Have been deeply immersed in the application screening for Zell 15 these days. Tons of eager bright eyed IDC students vying for the opportunity to join an incredible journey of development, growth and learning in the process of venture creation. But how do we choose? What are the traits of an entrepreneur? I have had the opportunity to think about this topic a lot over the course of the ten years I have been involved in the program and it rests on years of previous experience representing entrepreneurs as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer as well.
While clearly there is no one correct answer I think in sum I would say there are some fundamental ingredients that distinguish successful entrepreneurs. Passion is the no brainer. It fits the stereotype and makes intuitive sense. A venture needs someone with a deep conviction and desire to change the world and a the passion to make that happen by getting partners, investors, suppliers and customers/users on board…the next one less intuitive and often deemed less important is Professionalism. Without crossing i-s and t-s and being thorough and professional, the enormous task of getting a company off the ground just cant be managed.
Listening or the humility to hear feedback and take in critical review cannot be understated. In general I think humility for entrepreneurs goes a long way…There is also Persistence and Perseverance. The stubborn will and elephant skin needed to be able to get through the roller coaster of entrepreneurship requires much more time and much more endurance than most people think when starting out or when reading about successes in the paper.
Finally, Luck! There is timing, karma, alignment of stars that helps create the secret sauce. Together that PPL squared and that is truly the magic ingredient…entrepreneurship is about people, engaging customers, convincing investors rallying partners and employees…it is never a one man show, there is always a team involved in venture creation, hence the second power…I have seen many entrepreneurs with some or all of these abilities and traits. Its less an exact science and more of a mixed bag. The truly successful entrepreneurs that have made my job so enjoyable have been these kind of PPL…
This article was posted on IECs new newsletter page and inspired by Shlomo Dovrats talks to our students over the years.