When I meet new people and they learn that I launched a company nine years ago that is still thriving, invariably I get asked some of the same questions.
“What products do you sell?” “How many employees do you have?” “How did you do it?”
And because I tend to gravitate toward people who are considering starting up their own companies, the one question I ALWAYS get asked is, “How do I know if I have the right temperament to be an entrepreneur?”
Many of these people are big-picture extroverts who wonder if they are detailed-oriented enough to run a business. Others are detail-oriented introverts who wonder if they have the ability to focus on the big picture.
Some of them have exceptionally high IQs but are concerned about their ability to present their product in a way everyone can understand. Others have a lot more common sense than book smarts, but they’re worried they might not be intelligent enough to run a company.
One of the things I’ve learned about entrepreneurship through the years – and this is also the single greatest thing about being an entrepreneur – is that it takes all kinds.
There is no reason why an introvert can’t be just as successful as an extrovert when it comes to launching and developing a great company. And there’s no reason why the guy or gal who excels in common sense can’t be just as prosperous as the person with a super high intellect.
How is that possible? It’s simple. The traits that enable one to become a successful entrepreneur are not about personality types and IQ. They are traits that anyone can possess, but I will say it’s very difficult to make it as an entrepreneur without them.
So, what are these traits that entrepreneurs need to succeed? Here are five that come to mind:
So, don’t worry about personality characteristics such as whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert. And don’t be concerned about how high your IQ is. Instead, score yourself on those five traits listed above. If you can honestly give yourself high marks for them, you’re probably going to be a successful entrepreneur.
Allen Baler is a leading entrepreneur and Harvard grad. Allen Baler is a Partner in 4Patriots LLC, based in Nashville.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for the sound advice of a business professional with expertise in the subject matter discussed. Please seek appropriate counsel on what strategies make sense for your business.