Monday, February 7, 2011

Success Formula

Today we will offer a list of the traits of successful entrepreneurs. First, our definition: we look at long-term success. The one-hit wonder (The Knack of Entrepreneurship) and the flash-in-the pan lucky venturer are easier to define: they got lucky.

The problem with discussion in this area is that people do not agree. For every person who embodies successful traits, it seems you can find another successful entrepreneur who has done the opposite.

1) Ability to analyze the deal
     Some people are better at assessing the viability/success potential of a
     business concept. Some people think they are good at it but are not.
     Some know they are not good at it.

2) Perseverence
     Some people succeed because they persevere with a venture long
     after others would have quit. Some quit as soon as they recognize
     they've hit The Dip. They persevere, not in a particular business,
     but in the in idea of being an entrepreneur. Which way is better?

     We can't say yet, but we can say that trait #1 and trait #2 need
     to be combined. Have you ever met a serial entrepreneurial failure?
     These people are constantly trying new ventures, like speed dating,
     but nothing ever works. They eventually realize the idea was stupid
     --long after everyone else realized it--and they quit, looking for the
     next idea. They seem to have an unseen fear of success, but mask
     it with seeming to be persistent. These people are cannon fodder
     for multi-level marketing schemes.

3) Love of money
     The love of money is the root of all success. It is also the root
     of all evil, but this is not a discussion of morals. Every consistently
     successful person I have met has loved money.

4) Willingness to work hard
     Successful entrepreneurs work smart, but they also work hard.
     Keep in mind what a wise man once told me: lazy people work
     harder than hard-working people. Lazy people do things twice,
     they have to work much more briskly and later into the night
     because they procrastinated, and they don't make the effort to find
     easier ways to do things.

The list is longer, but these are some essentials. Each trait does not seem to be as important as the combination of the traits.

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