Being a successful entrepreneur or startup employee requires a special skill set. From being incredibly productive and inspirational, to having integrity and common sense, being keenly aware of how you should act will help you achieve success in every interaction you have and with your startup as a whole. The key of such entrepreneurial qualities are broken down below.
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Truly gifted, passionate people often have the ability to make the complex simple and almost fun. It’s an infectious quality. I’m a sucker for this. When a founder can clearly, articulately and plainly explain complex and mind-numbing topics, I’m almost 80% of the way towards investing. It’s probably not the most helpful bias but I have it.
I believe that there are "unique and defining characteristics of entrepreneurs." Here are some of the ones I observe most frequently: 1) A stubborn belief in one's self; 2) A confidence bordering on arrogance; 3) A desire to accept risk and ambiguity, and the ability to live with them; 4) An ability to construct a vision and sell it to many others; and 5) A magnet for talent.
If I thought I could make a lot of money backing somebody that made money through low integrity I would personally pass. I know that sounds trite but that is exactly how my firm talks about things in partner meetings. If we’ve seen a company present where we feel that the CEO is shady. It becomes a large part of the conversation in our partners’ meeting afterward.
“Domain experience” means that the founders have worked in the industry before. It isn’t a “must” for me but it’s certainly a huge positive when entrepreneurs have it. When you’re researching a market you can spend a year putting your hypotheses on paper but you somehow never really have a handle on the minute details of the industry until you’ve lived in it. It’s not an absolute requirement for me that you have domain experience but if you do it’s a HUGE plus.
As I’ve said previously, being an entrepreneur is about moving the ball forward a few inches every day. What astounded me when I switched from being a big company executive to being an entrepreneur was the sheer amount of decisions I had to make on a daily basis. The minutiae. Some of it incredibly important.It never ends. And there is no such thing as a startup decision with complete information. The best entrepreneurs have a bias for making quick decisions and accept that at best 70% of them will be right. They acknowledge that some decisions will be bad and they’ll have to recover from them. Building a startup might be a game of inches but you don’t get timeouts to pause and analyze all of your decisions.