We can all think of the names of some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, Richard Branson; Steve Jobs; Larry Page; Warren Buffet etc. There are several key traits that these guys mostly share in common with each other. This might surprise you…
A familiar image of some of the more outspoken entrepreneurs of our generation is that they do what they want, regardless of others’ opinions. Those that have read anything about Steve Jobs have heard about how difficult he was to work for, and how hard a time he had letting go of control.
What people miss, however, is that even Jobs had a team of advisors and extremely talented employees helping power all of his decisions behind the scenes. Richard Branson named listening as one of his three most important leadership principles. The point here is that you have to listen more than you speak. While you will never be a success if you are totally reckless, you do need to take risks along the way and accept that there will be failures, as well as successes in life. Nearly every successful entrepreneur has some failures in their back log of life.
Even though Steve Jobs is no longer with us, he certainly left behind a legacy at Apple. However, many people have forgotten that at one point the Apple board, who disagreed with his decisions, ousted him as CEO. It was only after he spent time developing NeXT and Pixar, that he made a triumphant return to Apple. Steve Jobs did nit lose the heart when he was dumped from the successful company that he built. Be prepared and ready to embrace failure.
Curiosity is a fundamental trait of any successful person. Alas, too many people make their way through life without ever discovering what they’re truly passionate about. Not only do successful entrepreneurs determine what their passion is, but they make an all-out effort to ensure that they wholeheartedly follow that passion. Most entrepreneurs spend long hours running their businesses. It is much easier to devote this time if you are doing something you love.
A common misconception about successful entrepreneurs is that they are often arrogant and believe they know everything. You are likely to find that most genuinely successful, self-made entrepreneurs are not anywhere near arrogant. However, its the vocal minority that gets all the attention. Most successful entrepreneurs are the first to admit that they do not know it all. The more they learn, the more they discover what they do not know. To truly succeed, you have to learn from your life experiences. You need to keep an open mind, and be prepared to handle criticism the right way. Remember that learning and leadership go together.
Business managers and owners find that they have enormous demands on their time. There is a real danger that you can burn out if you attempt to micromanage your business. Truly successful entrepreneurs can see a multitude of opportunities for their business to take. More importantly, they can also see that it would not be beneficial for them to pursue every opportunity that comes their way. they need to be selective and concentrate their focus on only those ideas with the greatest potential. You have to know when (and how) to say no. Truly successful entrepreneurs know that there is much more to life than just running their business. they spend quality time with their families. They take breaks and vacations. In some cases, this is an example of their learning from their past mistakes. You hear about entrepreneurs working horrendous hours; and many that do, end up experiencing eventual health problems.
If you intend to be a successful entrepreneur, you will very quickly discover that you cannot do everything by yourself. It is a physical impossibility, and you would certainly burn out. Also, any human being, no matter how intelligent, educated and experienced they are, is unlikely to have the full skill set needed to run a successful company by themselves. None of the entrepreneurs have become successful solely of their own accord. They have all built a team of loyal, creative and skilled people. To be a successful leader, you need to know how to delegate. you need to be able to allow others to become involved, and make decisions in their areas of responsibility.