24 Sep
2015

Top traits of the best entrepreneurs

I have worked with, literally, hundreds of entrepreneurs. With those who have achieved FTSE100 status and with those who bombed. They have been in all sorts of sectors, from web to transport to food. I have also set up companies myself, and I have invested in start up and early stage companies.

So I feel that I can identify some of the attributes that enabled the best entrepreneurs to achieve real success – including some who first failed, if failure is the right word, in earlier ventures.

In no particular order, these are the key characteristics that pinged loudly on my radar:

  1. Never say never
  2. Never take no for an answer
  3. Resilient – never stop
  4. Haven’t been conditioned to not follow certain paths
  5. Not afraid to talk to anyone
  6. Listen hard
  7. Understand risk and are not reckless
  8. Think big (global) not small
  9. Act quickly
  10. Passion and courage
  11. Embrace ambiguity, contradictions and uncertainty
  12. Understand that they don’t have all the answers and use a network of advisers to help them
  13. Know that if everything is going well, something horrible is coming round the corner

Finally, a great quotation from Ernest Rutherford: ‘We had no money, so we were forced to think’.