Three traits for great entrepreneurs

Starting out on your own in the entrepreneurial world can be very intimidating. We represent a lot of entrepreneurs and talk to a lot more in this business.

Harvard Business Review created a list of a number of the quality attributes shared by successful entrepreneurs, among them persaverance, intelligence and drive. The ones that they think have the best chance of bringing you success are these:

Practicality. Your business can be truly outrageous. Maybe you want to knit dog sweaters for Alabama summers. Heck, there’s a market for everything, if you know where to look.But you should always sprinkle a handful of practicality on those plans. Explore the market for dog sweaters. Develop a plan to get into that market, and a plan to advertise your business in a way that underscores both the quality of your product and the affable absurdity of what you’re trying to do. You can have an outlandish idea and implement it in a coldly rational way.

Have a purpose. What is the value of your products and services? How can you add new ones that aren’t just cool, but give your customers what they want and indeed demand? If you don’t know the answer to that, you’re not going to be successful. Again, you have an idea that’s off the grid a bit, but it has to be practical to implement and people have to actually want it.

Be impatient. Some businesses can be built up to the point where you can sit back and watch your  sales roll in. For entrepreneurs who are coming up by their bootstraps and probably making delicious bootstrap soup until they find success, that’s simply not an option. Craft a plan and implement it quickly, secure franchise financing, adjust it on the fly and get out there. Nothing less than committed action—or as the HBR puts it, inspiration with perspiration—will get the job done.

A friend of mine once told me that all I had to do was jump off the diving board, that I would find there was water in the pool. But he was standing by the side with his feet in the water so I had all these parts we talk about by my willing to trust another professional. Find your friends in the business, find your experts and trust your instincts.

As always, good luck and good hunting.

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