Q:Do you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur?

A: This is a question I wonder about a lot and if there was one answer I would be a rich guy.
I am happy to report that although there isn’t ONE answer, there are some GREAT answers. So maybe the best way to find answers is to look at those entrepreneurs that are already successful themselves.

Barbara Corcoran is one of the sharks on Shark Tank. She is also a frank and successful property entrepreneur. Among other things you may not know about her, is that she had 20 jobs before she was 23, and made her fortune from an original loan of just $1,000.

For her, the key to success, is not the idea or the team, it’s the entrepreneur. She invests in the person. Today I met with a professional investor who told me the same thing. He said that his willingness to lend or invest money was never based on debt collateralization (that’s what banks do), nor was it based on a great strategy, but it was based on the character of the person he was going to invest in. Did he trust them to execute what they said they would do. As one of my fellow Entrepreneur Organization colleagues Govindh Jayaraman is fond of saying – “Strategy is welcomed, but execution is worshiped”. A poor strategy, well executed will always be better than a great strategy poorly implemented.

The Ernst and Young /Harvard Business Review Impact Report entitled “The Entrepreneur’s Purpose” had five key findings for what made someone an “Entrepreneur of the Year” type of entrepreneur:

“They empower people.” Yes, great entrepreneurs are great leaders, but they do that best by empowering the team around them
“They are purpose driven.” Profit is great, but purpose is better
“They thrive in resource-constrained environments.” They figure out how to make it work
“They are obsessed with talent.” They don’t just like good talent, they are obsessed with it
“They de-risk the risk.” They are prudent risk takers.

It is interesting to note that none of the findings were experience or training based, they are all character based. So, what makes an entrepreneur great? Yes, it is the usual suspects – passion, purpose, obsession, risk-taking, teamwork and creativity, but it’s also something else, something a little less expected:

Character. Can you be trusted to do what you say you’ll do?

If you would like a little help speeding up your entrepreneurial venture or you have an idea and you think you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur, give Simon a call at (440) 385-6737 for a free initial consultation.