As an entrepreneur you need to have many skills and traits that need to be learned over time and honed down to a fine art to really succeed in business. But first you must define “succeed” for yourself. For example 12 months ago what we had planned and wanted, is where we are at now. Did we succeed? Well in a way yes but are we successful entrepreneurs…..No and now we want so muuch more than where we are at right now. While some entrepreneurs lack some of these more important traits or skills they are not the guys “smoking it” like the guys at the top.
So anyway what’s the most overrated trait of an entrepreneur?? Is it …….“doing what you enjoy”, “plan everything” or “staying organized”?
In my eyes it’s none of these traits. Not even close when you really think about it.
Are you stuck on what will be the “Next Big Thing” or the “Next Great Idea”? Well maybe it’s just about time you stop thinking about this and actually start doing something. Think about it…. If you were to open up a new hotel and turn it into an empire of 100 hotels, was that a new super amazing idea? Did you need to be Thomas Edison to come up with this idea? No, hundreds of people have done it before you and hundreds more will do it after.
So there it is, the most overrated trait of an entrepreneur is “originality”. Think about all the people in the world who stand in the grocery store checkout line and come up with the most “original” greatest idea ever and then never act on it and forget about it soon after.
This is what “originality” really means- coming up with a new spin or twist on something and making it your own. Most if not all of us cannot come up with a 100% original idea, even if you think it is original it has probably in some way been done already.
Examples 1- Facebook
In case you didn’t know, Facebook is one of the biggest most well known websites in the world. What’s that other one called that was around well before? Myspace! Was facebook a 100% original? Not even close BUT the way facebook went about making their product and features was. They were the best in the market and offered something new to users making it so popular while old crummy myspace died. Google vs Yahoo is another good example here.
Example 2- Richard Branson
One of my favorite entrepreneurs ever, who is the founder of a 400-company conglomerate. Were most of his 400 companies 100% original? Again no, he simply put a new spin on things in markets that were underserved or lacked quality. He then used his branding, quality staff, marketing and more to create amazing businesses like mobile phones, airlines and gyms. If you’re an entrepreneur and you can achieve 10% of what he has done you are doing amazingly well.
How did he do all this along with Mark Zuckerberg? What traits and skills do these guys have that made them such a success? Here are some of the key components and some of the commonly shared traits of some of the best entrepreneurs in the world. Sad to say I do not have all of these listed below but the good news is most of it can be learned. Gone are the days when you simply had to be “born” with it all.
- Productivity- Got things done.
- Took Risks- no “low risk” strategy here.
- Relentless- Never said no to any challenge and simply never gave up.
- Problem solver- Always dealing with issues as they come up.
- Product/market- Their products were the right time at the right time.
- Teamwork- working with a great team and culture.
- Customer/user focused- Making products that customers love.
- Keep Calm- when things went wrong they worked it out.
- Grab Attention- Both marketing and products caught the attention of many.
- Financial Know How- New how to get/spend money effectively.
So it’s clear you need to come up with your own way of doing things and your own spin on a business. If you carbon copy an idea it most likely will not work. You have to add your own personality, thoughts and spin into the business whatever it is that you are making. You need to keep your personality and be true to yourself at all times…. Copy and paste an idea and you are probably doomed for failure. But if your stuck thinking about the “next big idea” perhaps its time you stop and actually take some action. After writing this post and thinking of the geniuses mentioned above it makes me feel like a complete failure and a bit depressed but gives me the desire to achieve just a fraction of what they have done.