For those who are on the outside looking in, successful entrepreneurship is a mystery. How does one person make tons of money in a line of business, while others lose their shirts? It's no mystery. There are certain patterns of behavior that are common to successful entrepreneurs. Here are the five secrets.
Successful entrepreneurs are open-minded. Their minds are not clouded by preconceived judgments or assumptions. When they come across a business idea, a potential product, or a possible technique, they have the ability to assess it with complete openness. This means that they aren’t conditioned by the assessments of others. They possess both independence of mind and the courage to try something (an idea, product, or technique) that nobody else has tried–even if everybody else thinks it won’t work.
Two: Strong Team
Successful entrepreneurs build a strong team and then use it. The paradox here is that the strongest individuals and winning entrepreneurs are, by definition, strong people who don’t want to be surrounded by sycophants or yes-men (or yes-women). They want smart, hardworking people who can take responsibility – who will take a task and run with it. They also want people who will occasionally challenge them.
Successful entrepreneurs are perfectionists when it comes to their core product or service – but not about every aspect of the business. They are willing to spend an almost infinite amount of time getting that core product/service right. No detail is too small to consider. However, they know that it’s not possible to devote that kind of close attention to every aspect of the business. They delegate, they cut corners, they do whatever is required.
Successful entrepreneurs are adaptable. They realize that the ground can shift at any time, and they’re willing and able to make the required adjustments when it does. For instance, they would put a tremendous amount of time and energy into building the very best business plan, but a month later they are fully prepared to revise that plan to accommodate significant new data. This adaptability is one of the things that separates the run-of-the-mill entrepreneur from the star.
Five: Willingness to Learn
Successful entrepreneurs are willing and able to learn from both success and failure. This requires, first of all, the ability to honestly assess a business venture and determine whether it is a success or failure. It requires also the time and attention necessary to analyze what happened. Successful entrepreneurs are willing to do this, not out of academic curiosity but out of a passionate desire to take away whatever lessons are available.
Very few people can master all these five qualities. That’s why there are so few entrepreneurs who are consistently successful! Anyone who does develop and hone these qualities has the potential to do very well with whatever type of business they choose to develop.
What do you think--did we forget anything that's really helped you?
About the Author: Steven Burns, FAIA, spent 14 years managing his firm Burns + Beyerl Architects. After creating ArchiOffice®, the intelligent office, project management and time tracking solution for architectural firms, Steve brought his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is perfecting the business strategy and product development.