Entrepreneurs come in all sorts of different shapes and forms. Some, like Larry Ellison, are brash and bigger than life. Others, such as Larry Page, are introverts. However, it’s a mistake to think that their unique external persona is what makes them so successful. In fact, entrepreneurs who manage to set the world on fire all share a set of common characteristics; characteristics that set them apart from the rest of us. If you are thinking of going into business yourself, then it’s essential to understand what these characteristics are, and see how you measure up. If you don’t get a perfect score, that doesn’t mean that you should give up, but it does show you the areas that need work.
First, entrepreneurs have passion. They believe in what they are doing, whether that is heading into space or finding radical new ways to use social media. The thought of what they are trying to achieve inspires them. Without this, they couldn’t keep up the unrelenting effort that is needed to grow a successful business. For them, their work is their life, a work-life balance is meaningless.
Second, they trust their instincts. This doesn’t mean that they don’t listen to others; in fact, entrepreneurs such as Francesco Corallo surround themselves with talented people and value their opinions. However, in the end, a successful entrepreneur needs to make the final decision. Sometimes, making the wrong decision is better than making no decision at all so entrepreneurs need be able to move quickly and ruthlessly, without any wavering or second thoughts.
Third, they get it. The most successful entrepreneurs can take enormous amounts of information, and make sense of it right away. When someone else takes hours to understand something, they take minutes. This is not just about the ability to process data, it is also about being able to understand the dynamics of a situation, and to spot opportunities that others miss. Because of this, it goes without saying that they are born problem solvers, and get an electric thrill out of coming up with a solution, decision or plan.
Fourth, they are methodical. This may sound strange, given that leading entrepreneurs are some of the most creative people on the planet. However, they all have their own process for thinking things through. This process may be different from entrepreneur to entrepreneur, but each one of them is religious about the way that they approach things. Some may not even know that they are doing this, but it is this rigorous approach that makes them succeed.
Last, they are on a mission. They need to prove to themselves and to the world that they are right, and won’t let anything get in the way. Their desire to achieve is relentless, and once they near their goal, they are already looking over the horizon. Without this incredible focus, they wouldn’t be able to steer a course through the incredibly turbulent waters that they are sailing.