What does it take to be an entrepreneur? This is a question people have been asking for a long time and depending where you turn, you’ll get a lot of different answers. The real answer is, anyone can file the appropriate documentation to become a self-proclaimed entrepreneur. The question we should be asking is, what does it take to become a successful entrepreneur?
This question is slightly more involved. We know the odds are stacked against the aspiring entrepreneur, but it’s more than feasible if we have the right perspective in approaching the whole situation.
Got an idea? Great. Got a product? Great. Got a service? Great? Now What?
I’ve read several articles lately that say entrepreneurship really takes passion, perseverance, and resilience. These are all true to be certain. But is that it? If you have elements like these in your character will you succeed alone?
Here is where we have to make a key delineation. Successful entrepreneurship happens with two requisite elements, the intangibles of spirit and the tangibles of skills.
Let me explain, in 2019 and going forward, a successful start-up requires visionaries and missionaries. The visionaries cast a net, wide and far. They dream big. Their future end game is beyond what many might be able to comprehend, but they can articulate it well. The missionaries are the boots on the ground. Those willing to put the vision to paper, set a plan, and execute it because they buy into the vision.
Can one person be both the visionary and the missionary? It’s possible, but it’s the exception and not the rule. So if you’re thinking of starting a business, here’s the #1 thing you have to self-assess first before getting started, are you the visionary or the missionary? Be honest! Do you have the intangibles of spirit or the tangibles of skills?
Both types can start a business, but if you know what you are, whom you surround yourself with could be the difference between success and failure. Early in my career, I was at a corporate Christmas party and the CEO got up to speak to us. An accomplished Wall St. executive, he said, “I’ve been successful because, I surrounded myself with people who are smarter than me.”
I took those words to heart in my early twenties and carried them with me throughout my career. But, I would like to expand on them now. It’s not just about getting the smartest people. In innovation, we use a term called “creative abrasion,” which in essence means competing viewpoints that can come together to solve the most wicked and challenging problems this world can throw at us.
Today’s entrepreneurs succeed largely in teams. The teams who get the dynamics right are the ones we actually read about. So despite, your idea, product, or service, think about this notion above all else, appropriate chemistry often supersedes your desired organizational chart.
Put a bunch of visionaries together in a room and you’ll get great ideas. Put a bunch of missionaries in a room and you’ll get great plans. Put a bunch of visionaries and missionaries in the same room together and you could well wind up with a revolution that will change the world for the better!
To learn how to embrace innovation more, you can purchase my new book, Next: Reinventing Your Future Through Innovation here