What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur?

Mark LewisLet me first preface that this is just not one thing that determine an entrepreneur’s success.  There are perhaps hundreds of articles that suggest qualities that make up a successful entrepreneur.  I have had the benefit of forming a couple of successful start ups along with negotiating the sale and merger of a few companies.  Personally, I don’t think it’s how smart you are (but it helps). There are so many factors that will determine a company’s success, some of it luck, and sometimes being at the right place and at the right time.

I think there are some critical factors that give you the best opportunity for success; and it’s not all about money either.  The company that bought ours back several years ago was flush with cash but they spent it foolishly and eventually went out of business.  I am firm believer that money can make you stupid. Having lots of it influences you to make decisions that you would not normally make if you didn’t have it.  Entrepreneurs need to spend money wisely, like it’s their own.  Okay, I went off on a tangent.  Here are my thoughts on some of the qualities that make a successful entrepreneur (no particular order):

PASSIONATE AND FEARLESS – Passion helps drive success because any setbacks you have will be over come by your will and desire.  Passion is also contagious (others want to be around and help you); plus it gives you energy that you might not otherwise have as nothing will stop you. Entrepreneurs are fearless in most cases and usually don’t take no for an answer.

KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW – Most entrepreneurs are great idea people, but frankly are poor business people.  Great entrepreneurs know what their core competencies are and are not afraid to delegate and outsource tasks, and give up a stake in the company for it. By focusing on what they do best and letting others do everything else, rapid and cost-effective growth can be achieved.

RISK SEEKERS – Entrepreneurs are willing to step out of their comfort zones to try new ideas because they believe that they wouldn’t experience immense success if they do not take risks. And they quickly bounce back after a failure. What sets entrepreneurs apart is their resiliency and willingness to bounce back after making a bad business decision.

TEAM VALUE – They are not above people and can take out the garbage just like anyone else. They inspire people working with them. They continually put themselves in the shoes of their employees to better understand what’s good for them and always look out for their well being.  They do the same with customers.

BUSINESS PLAN – Last but not least, successful entrepreneurs MUST have a business plan. It’s their road map to success and as much as they are a pain in the butt to do, your chances for success are much better, especially in getting support from others.

There are certainly additional qualities that make entrepreneurs successful.  The bottom line is that they work hard for their success and go the extra mile of behalf of their customers and employees.  If you would like to learn more or would like to discuss further, please feel free to email me at mlewis@simmonswhite.com or call 504 905-4646. Here is to your success.


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