Saturday, October 28, 2006

Eight Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

1. Seizing opportunities. Have a knack for spotting and grabbing opportunities that nobody else seems to notice? In the early days of the Internet, many people talked about starting an on-line auction house. Pierre Omidyar and his collaborators organized a business plan that created eBay.

2. Running your own show. If you've had a lifelong, overwhelming desire to be in charge, you're probably already an entrepreneur. If job insecurity and workplace frustrations are driving you to be your own boss, you might be an entrepreneur in the making.

3. Innovative behavior since childhood. Shoveling the neighbors driveways when you were a kid doesn't count. Hiring your buddies to shovel the driveways and taking a cut of the proceeds does.

4. Turning on a dime. While many people are intimidated by the unpredictability of the marketplace, you spot angles in every messy situation and can shift direction in a heartbeat - without calling a meeting or hiring a focus group.

5. Tenacity. Don't like rejection? Hate it when a bank says no to your loan request? Don't quit your day job.

6. Self-confidence bordering on delusions of grandeur. Many entrepreneurs expect their startups will someday ascend to the Fortune 500. Don't scoff. One person's wishful thinking is an entrepreneur's self-fulfilling prophecy.

7. Pragmatism. Can you stick to the game plan and resist impulse? While everybody thinks entrepreneurs are big risk takers, they are pragmatic risk takers: very disciplined, very calculated.

8. A knack for "failing upward." Fumbles, setbacks even fiascos can be seen as opportunities.

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