3 CHARACTERISTICS TO BE A SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR
Let’s face it. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur.
That’s why so many fail – they are not prepared for the challenges, financial as well as emotional. Just because you may have invented a better mousetrap, doesn’t mean you are the right person to sell it. Before committing to the long and arduous path ahead, be certain you have time and resources needed for the long haul.
In every business, there are three basics to be successful; the Mad Inventor, the Super Salesperson and the Businessperson. Think of this as a three-legged stool. Without all three legs, the stool is going to fall.
The Mad Inventor is the one who comes up with the new ideas. The core idea that is worth starting a business. The Mad Inventory also needs to keep coming up with ideas to grow the product line or scope of service. Very few business survive long term on a single idea.
Strengths: Creative, visionary, inventive
Weaknesses: May not understand costs, challenges to get product to market, how to run a business
The Super Salesperson can sell anything. This person understands selling and marketing and knows how to ask for the deal. Just give the Super Salesperson a great product and get out of his or her way.
Strengths: People-person, great communicator, persistent
Weaknesses: Laser-focus on closing the deal despite possible constraints on delivery challenges, fights budget constraints
The Businessperson is the one who holds it all together. Understands the importance of proper pricing, accounting, logistics of setting up a business. Also, vendor supply chain management as well as inventory.
Strengths: Will keep an eye out for possible growth balanced by working capital as well as cash flow. Knows how to run a company.
Weaknesses: Will have the least amount of entrepreneurial spirit of the three so may dampen enthusiasm on new ideas.
Of course, the above list of strengths and weaknesses is not complete, but this should give you a good sense of some of the characteristics needed in a successful company.
ENTREPRENEUR VS. ESTABLISHED COMPANY
The difference between an entrepreneur and an established company is that while a company will, more than likely, have three different people (and more) fulfill those requirements, an entrepreneur may need to be all three.
Let’s step back for a moment and examine the difference between an entrepreneur and an established business. There is no difference.
An established business was begun by an entrepreneur, at some point. It then simply grew. Hired more help, divided up responsibilities, established more resources, etc.. When does an entrepreneurial business move beyond that label? Does it matter? Probably when the owner stops referring to him or herself as an “entrepreneur” and changes that to “CEO” or “President”.
YOU NEED ALL THREE LEGS
The challenge is that the entrepreneur must encompass all three; the Mad Inventor, the Super Salesperson and the Businessperson. If not, then they must have partners that have different strengths and weaknesses to take on one or two of those roles.
If you are just the Mad Inventor, you will end up with 5,000 widgets in your garage (been there, done that). If you are just the Super Salesperson, but nothing awesome to sell, you will lose interest quickly because you won’t be closing deals. If you are the Businessperson with no company, you go start sending out your resume.
Being all 3 of the legs of that stool can be exhausting, frustrating and relentless. It’s not a 9 to 5 job when you work for yourself. And it’s not weeks or a month of working 80 hour weeks. It’s months and months, if not years.
Be realistic. Be sure you are ready to dedicate 100% of yourself to your vision. If not, you will probably not succeed, or, at least, not to the degree you are probably dreaming.
HERE IS ONE TRICK
Celebrate the successes, no matter how small they are. Entrepreneur’s tend to beat themselves up a lot. A lot. The costs are higher than expected, a design correct is going to eat more capital, marketing costs much more than predicted, etc. A lot of head banging on the wall.
So, celebrate the successes. Give yourself a pat on the back once in a while. Step back and relish the moment. Take what motivation you can to keep your engine running.
I am an entrepreneur and have had my share of mis-steps along the way. I’ve redesigned The Storytelling box 3 times already and paid for samples from all over the world that turned out to be useless.
Yet when I received an e-mail like this, it reminds me that it’s all worth the effort.
Earlier this week, I read the article in the OC Register about you and your boxes. I taught Kdg and First grade in Fountain Valley for 38 years, so early literacy is near and dear to my heart. I’ve told so many mermaid stories and stories with character building themes [to my granddaughters] that I’m running out of creative juices. So I was thrilled to read that article!
I’ve checked [The Storytelling Box] out and organized the story starters according to her interests. I can’t wait to start next week! Joy, my granddaughter, is quite artistic so I may have a drawing or two to submit to you.
I love the ongoing value of this product! When a child is ready for writing, these story starters provide a great writing prompt. Words Inspiration seems like it can be used effectively for drawing, story telling or writing.
I hope you are very successful with these boxes. Parents really need alternatives to “screens”.
PURSUE YOUR DREAM
I now it’s a cliche, but I can’t resist reminding you that our country was built by entrepreneurs. Don’t let anything or anyone, even me, scare you away from going after your dream.
Just be realistic and prepared. Plan, plan, plan. If you are not a planner, then find someone who is and ask for help.
Even though you may not encompass all the needed characteristics today, you can still be successful by learning as you go. It is, however, much easier if you start out with all three legs of the stool. Consider bringing in somebody to help.
No stool or company can successfully stand without all three legs, eventually.