The Admirable Character Traits of Entrepreneurs
I regularly talk about how so many startups fail. I hadn’t yet
written about all the incredible things I’ve seen entrepreneurs do.
In 2007, I decided it was time to leave my wonderful position as Nokia’s VP of Marketing in Israel and part of the international marketing group after three fantastic years of great success and joy (who heard about iPhone then?!) and start my next journey.
I changed either position or company every couple of years; I believe an executive marketer shouldn’t stay in one position more than three or four years in order to assure the best results. So I was continually moving from one business challenge to the next. I’ve used the magic of marketing to gain high revenue, many customers, and build the brand in every job.
Most of this time period, I was working with traditional products like food, fashion, water, and more. However, after those three fantastic years with Nokia and getting a taste of the excitement of marketing in the technology world, I didn’t want to go back to traditional marketing.
As I’ve mentioned before, I got an offer fro a new VC. I quickly decided a VC wasn’t quite what I was looking for. Then I discovered that entrepreneurs aren’t familiar with the magic of marketing! So, I established a company, working with entrepreneurs on their global strategy, marketing, and sales.
That was ten years ago. Over those ten years I’ve worked with over 120 startups and entrepreneurs and met with thousands more in meetups conferences and the like.
I regularly talk about how so many startups (more than 90%) fail. And I offer tools and techniques to raise your success rate.
However, I hadn’t yet written about all the incredible and admirable things I’ve seen entrepreneurs do. Mainly because, as business people, we believe in results; this is the only way we measure success.
Yet, I believe entrepreneurs and startup founders have a lot to be proud of and a lot to learn from.
The unique combination of 5 character traits most entrepreneurs have:
Successful business managers must have courage. You can’t succeed in the long run without taking risks; it takes courage to take those risks. Yet, not many successful managers have the courage to leave their high positions and the security of a stable high salary to establish a new entrepreneurship, taking a risk not only on a new company but also on the possibility of losing their source of income.
That is what entrepreneurs do. Many of them have left attractive technology positions with high income and given up their secured future income and chances for promotion. They do it in order to start from scratch, and most of the time invest most of their past income in this risky opportunity to establish a totally new successful venture.
2. Vision and Imagination
Most successful business managers have vision; this is one of the strengths that leads them to succeed. However most business people that I have met don’t have much imagination.
The opposite is true; most business people are disrespectful of the idea of imagination in business. Their vision is generally very far reaching, however they also base their vision on solid market behavior and well known numbers.
But you can’t be an entrepreneur without imagination. The only way to establish a new product that doesn’t exist yet is by using a lot of imagination.
Creating a vision and establishing a business without any numbers to rely on, or even a clear benchmark is difficult. When you have to build your entire plan on assumptions and act by them, it requires a lot of imagination.
You can’t be an entrepreneur without working incredibly hard. An entrepreneur has to work almost nonstop, often without a connection between the hard work you put into your venture and the results, which may never come.
Every entrepreneur I’ve worked with was prepared to put as much blood, sweat, and tears as it took to make their dream come true.
Entrepreneurs are fighters. Often, they battle against all odds. When you read the excellent book about Elon Musk, (INSERT TITLE HERE), or the story of Google, you realize that even the biggest products, like Google, or an entrepreneur that has already succeeded big time, like Elon Musk, has to struggle and can’t rest for a minute.
More then that, one of the toughest things about this fight for your venture is that there aren’t any set in stone rules.
The best business people know to surround themselves with the most talented people possible, to collect skills that compliment their own in the best way possible.
Entrepreneurs don’t have this privilege. They might have a partner, but most of the time, they work by themselves.
Often, they don’t have a choice but to multitask; learning many new skills and delivering many advanced capabilities.
No doubt about it, being an entrepreneur requires many skills and capabilities. The unique combination of character traits is something worth admiring them for.
However, as determine and talented as you are, you are looking to get the results. The surest and fastest way to success goes through focusing on your customers and use of the right marketing and sales approach to maximize the value of your business.