Thursday, April 15, 2010

10 Traits of Winning Entrepreneurs

U.S. technology entrepreneur Naveen Jain – founder of Internet companies Infospace and Intelius – is speaking at the Kairos Summit youth entrepreneurship conference this weekend in New York. (Along with Bill Clinton and Bill Gates’s dad.)
Jain’s speech includes a list of the top 10 attributes of a successful entrepreneur. In case you're not going to New York, here’s a sneak preview.

Jain believes that entrepreneurial success usually comes through doing “a superior job of blocking and tackling.” But here are 10 other qualities that make entrepreneurs great:

10. You must be passionate about what you are trying to achieve. “Passion can be infectious and ignite the same intensity in others who join you as you build your team.”

9. Great entrepreneurs focus intensely on an emerging opportunity where others see nothing. “Most companies die from indigestion rather than starvation.”

8. Success comes only from hard work. “There is no such thing as overnight success.”

7. The road to success may be long, so enjoy the journey, “and celebrate the milestones along the way.”

6. Trust your gut instinct more than any spreadsheet.

5. Be flexible but persistent. “You have to continually learn and adapt as new information becomes available.”

4. Rely on your team. “Seek out the smartest people you can who complement your strengths. It’s easy to get attracted to people who are like you; the trick is to find people who are not.”

3. Execution, execution, execution. Success doesn’t come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution.

2. Honesty and integrity must be at the core of everything you do. “Everybody has a conscience, but too many people stop listening to it.” Result: “Guaranteed failure.”

1. Success is more rewarding if you give back. “By the time you get to success, lots of people will have helped you along the way. You’ll learn, as I have, that you rarely get a chance to help the people who helped you because in most cases, you don’t even know who they were. When we are successful, we draw so much from the community and society that we live in. Giving back is simply paying back what we owe.”

(A lovely sentiment, that, and one which I was just explaining just the other day to a fundraising professional at Sick Kids' Hospital. So if you get a call next week to donate to Sick Kids, blame me. And please give generously.)

1 comment:

Entrepreneur Blog said...

“Most companies die from indigestion rather than starvation.” Excellent observation. I feel a blog post coming on!