Three common attributes of successful entrepreneurs

Ellis Orlan, BA, CPA (IL), CGMA, SF Partnership LLP, Toronto, ON, CYBF Mentor, eorlan@sfgroup.ca

I have had the pleasure of meeting many business people; some more successful than others, many more successful than I am, depending on how you measure success.  So, when the challenge presented itself, to choose three characteristics that describe a successful entrepreneur, I struggled with the notion; I just did not think it could be done with only three characteristics or attributes.  In the end, these three popped into mind during a discussion with a colleague, and from my perspective they stand alone and work.

Drive. I have never met a business problem that could not be overcome with hard work.  At the end of the day, drive may be the singular key factor that determines how successful most business people are.  There is no easy way to compensate for laziness and most often if there is an absence of drive in the business leader that will lead to a trickle-down impact where failure is the inevitable.

Determination. Business is about problems and opportunities, it really is that simple.  When problems keep mounting and it seems like there is no time left in the day for taking advantage of opportunities, successful entrepreneurs use determination to push through the obstacles presenting the problems. It is determination that gets them to the opportunities.

Discipline. The discipline to make difficult decisions is important but also the discipline to execute strategy, no matter the cost and despite the risk. If there is a characteristic that approaches “drive” in terms of importance, it is discipline. Disciplined people are organized and subsequently they are great finishers.  Every strategic planner knows that the most important aspect of the plan is the execution of it.

From business to business, goals and objectives, mission and vision, these things are somewhat constant; they just don’t change too much.  You don’t have to be a visionary to be successful.  If you really want to differentiate and dominate in 2013, think Drive, Determination and Discipline and chances are you will end the year having made significant progress with your goals and objectives.

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