Being an entrepreneur is one thing, and being a successful one is another. Ms. Anchal Gupta, a resident of Boston, MA sees entrepreneurs as people with “a vision, and zeal to achieve it…”. Besides the traditional track of having a defined goal, process, plan and evaluation criteria, there are certain personal traits of a human being that make them a born entrepreneur or not. You may have the best business plan and the best sales process in place, but what differentiates one businessperson from another is his/her charisma, the ability to captivate, inspire, and influence people.
Optimism: One of the most attractive qualities of any person is Optimism, the ability to see the positive in any situation and to be able to move forward. People, as well as business tend to gravitate towards someone who has a positive attitude towards life in general. Not only externally but internally as well, the most powerful mover is positivity in our attitudes. Clients, and employees are equally influenced by the attitude of the business owner. Most successful entrepreneurs attribute their success to this aspect in their personalities. Also, entrepreneurs more than anyone else, take risks. They employ time and resources towards something they believe in. It works, and at times it does not work. Even with the most calculated, thought out risks, and back up plans, situations arise when their own optimistic attitude is what they can rely upon to take them beyond and pull them forward. Along with the attitude, a disciplined approach includes discussing options, evaluating them and most importantly implementing them with the right team of people. People who you can lean on, people who trust your judgment and believe in you. As summarized by Mr. Karan Bir Singh Sidhu, Joint Secretary at Government of India, “The key elements of entrepreneurial personality are: Optimism, Discipline and Ability to get along with others”.
Uniqueness: Another core quality that dictates entrepreneurial abilities is “to be able to look at everything differently,” Ms. Roopam Arora, a business owner in Boston, adds, “They (entrepreneurs) always try to find a problem to solve, a puzzle to finish”. We all know there are millions and millions of businesses that sell similar products and services. What clicks with the human mind is not a product or a service, but a solution. As a customer, anytime we choose to buy something, we are essentially trying to solve a problem. An entrepreneur who is able to see it the same way as us and present a solution to us is the one that gets our attention as a consumer. As the business owner, this involves knowing your competition, developing and knowing your own uniqueness as a business as well as be able to communicate that to potential clients. As Mr. Ram Dhan Yadav Kotamraja, the CEO and President at Novedea Systems Inc puts it, “The uniqueness lies in being able to challenge the status quo all the time” as it relates to processes, presentation, and delivery.
Utilize the Power of People : According to Mr. Sanjay Mazumder, the CEO at Veristorm, “From my experience as a serial entrepreneur in high tech industry, the success is in the team you build. The right kind of partners, employees, investors will like to associate to the high integrity person. You absolutely need to possess this to have "real" success as an entrepreneur.” And rightly said, though most entrepreneurs come with a “just do it” attitude and the enthusiasm of “do it yourself”, one of the most neglected skill of successful people is “people skill”. It is not important to have a perfect person as a team member but it sure is important to have perfect skills to make a perfect team. Not one person can do everything. It is almost disastrous to believe that one CEO can manage the Operations as well as Sales aspect of business. Though this may be an established fact in large enterprises, it is easily overlooked in smaller ones. A person can either be internally focused or externally to say the least. A complete team, of course, includes visionaries, ‘executionists’ and well as those who possess the skill to sell, expanded to investors, and partners as well. But as a basic skill, an entrepreneur knows how to select complementary team members as far as skills are concerned and also knows how to utilize these skills to the maximum potential without burning out people resources. Ms. Hannah David Paramanadam, agrees 100% as she spells out her three essential ingredients of a smart entrepreneurial mind “Good negotiation skills, people skills and the willingness to take risks.”
In addition, as Mr. Mazumder touched upon, the integrity of an entrepreneur is the fortress of all attributes which dictates long term relationships and in turn, long term success. Though there are many other characteristics that can be listed out for smart entrepreneurs, these came out as the top three. Interestingly, one of our respected community members chose a non traditional and less ‘sugar-coated’ path to emphasize and warn new entrepreneurs against attractive impulsive practices that seem to attain immediate perceived success but in the long run fizzle out quickly as clients, investors and employees are able to see through these pretty easily. Here’s a list from Mr. Jay Srinivasan, who recommends staying away from these short term quick-winning-charm attributes, which are commonly seen being associated with success in this competitive world:
· Back stabbing
· Being Selfish
· Me Me Me attitude all the time
· Excessive praise, ( lots of it - More the better)
· Make money at any cost, Charge for every thing !
· Use others when needed
· Be an opportunist , Need not be always a WIN WIN situation.
· Claim success, even if the venture was total failure and most of the shareholders lost money . But who cares !
· Kick the ladder which helped, once the person reaches the top, forget the old friends and move in a new circle, now that the entrepreneur has made his money !
· Learn to hype even the minutest stuff
The Foundations TV would like to thank all those who contributed to this article and made it an interesting read for our viewers.