As a really old serial entrepreneur and MBA Professor, I have been blessed to associate with dozens and dozens of extremely successful entrepreneurs. I can even brag that many of my former students became multi-millionaires, including one of them that created an extremely successful online business using the business plan that he created for my class.
As I look back at the characteristics of those entrepreneurs, there are clearly some that are common amongst all of them. I have put those commonalities in three general categories of ‘secret sauce’ that I think you’ll find interesting.
- Every successful entrepreneur is persistent. Failure is not an option, and they never give up. You can see that same characteristic in worldclass athletes. In fact, the most perfect example of not giving up is Game 6 the 2011 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers.
Facing elimination in that game, the Cardinals were behind two runs in the bottom of the 9th inning, there were two outs, two men on base and the batter had two strikes against him. The Rangers were one pitch away from winning the Series. But persistence wins again. The batter hit a triple, tied the game and took it into the 10th inning. In the bottom of the 10th the exact thing happened again. A two run lead for Texas, two outs and two strikes against the batter. Lighting strikes twice. The Cardinals tied it again, taking it to inning 11. The Cardinals won on a solo home run. They were the ultimate entrepreneurs.
- Successful entrepreneurs have a basic understanding of the business principles that govern all businesses. There are laws of business just like there are laws of nature such as gravity. If you ignore them, you’ll lose. If you understand them and use them to your advantage, you’ll win. But how do you learn those laws? You read great books such as the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout. You also understand the principles of achievement taught by Brian Tracey in his book Maximum Achievement. There are dozens more of these excellent books at your fingertips. I’ve tried to include many of these principles in my own e-book entitled ‘Six Secrets to Starting Your Own Business.’
- A third characteristic of a successful entrepreneur is his/her ability to manage risk. The old saying is true – no risk, no reward. However, that does not mean that you should take unnecessary risks. Just the opposite. A wise entrepreneur evaluates the risk in almost every circumstance and minimizes it by testing, testing and testing some more. Although there are many great books that can be helpful to you, none of them address your specific circumstances. After using your best judgment, a simple test can help you to validate the wisdom of your actions. If you are wrong, you can take corrective action without having wasted excessive amounts of money. Once that you’ve found the answer, you can scale the business with considerably less risk.
I have often been asked if entrepreneurism is a natural-born talent or can be learned. The answer is ‘yes’ to both. Some people seem to have been blessed with the ability to succeed in business. However, I have unequivocally tell you that many others have simply ‘toughed it out’ by learning the three characteristics of great entrepreneurs. If you were born with the entrepreneurial talent, I congratulate you. For the rest of us, our extra measure of tenacity and drive will help us to reach our personal goals.
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About The Author
Professor Jim Solomon
Entrepreneur, MBA Professor, Certified Public Accountant
Jim Solomon is an accomplished entrepreneur, MBA Professor and Certified Public Accountant who has helped dozens of large corporations and small businesses achieve phenomenal growth and value. His unparalleled ability to secure funding, boost revenues and create exit opportunities comes from hands-on experience and an enormous rolodex.
To learn more about Professor Jim Solomon please visit www.professorjimsolomon.com and be sure to secure your free copy of his powerful new eBook, “Six Secrets To Starting Your Own Business”.