A reader of this blog sent me this note recently asking for help:
"I just started small business management and entrepreneurship at Mohawk College and I would like to hear some of your ideas and experience on owners of small businesses, entrepreneurs and the top people you have guided that have been successful. I am very interested in any advice you may have."
My reply suggested that her query was rather too open-ended fr me to deal with well. But that sounded harsh, so I added the following to try to sum up what I've learned about entrepreneurs in the past 20 years. It turned out okay, so I decided to share it with you:
"For what it's worth, here are the five most important characteristics I think most entrepreneurs can have:
1) Vision. The ability to see a goal or objective, and then make it clear enough so that others (employees, bankers, customers, etc.) can make that vision their own.
2) Passion. This gives them the courage to begin and the strength to persist.
3) Genuine interest in people. Others will be more likely to help you when you show interest in them.
4) Relentless curiosity. Entrepreneurs must always ask themselves, how does this work? How could it work better? How did they do it? How can I learn more about this? And they must feed this curiosity by reading and absorbing all the knowledge and information they can.
5) Self-Awareness. This tells them when to talk and when to shut up and listen."
And then of course I directed her to my book, which is available still in some libraries: Secrets of Success from Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies. Also available here.
(Surely "asking for the sale" is another admirable entrepreneurial attribute.)