The DNA of a Successful Entrepreneur

Posted: February 9, 2014 by Avi Ram in Culture, People

aviramAn entrepreneur is an individual who attempts to make a profit by executing an innovative idea using initiative and taking calculated risks with limited resources. Entrepreneurship is more an attitudinal issue than a learned process. The attitudinal characteristics that will inhibit entrepreneurship are:

*            Living in the past

*            Risk aversion

*            Fear of failure

*            Valuing linear thinking over non-linear thinking

*            Constant search for a designated scapegoat

*            Hatred of other people’s success

In addition to attitude, there are specific people and business skills required to create the DNA of a successful business. One of the principal reasons that start-up and early stage companies fail is the lack of attention to serving the priorities of all the stakeholders.  Every business has at least six (6) stakeholders with different priorities that need to be satisfied. These stakeholders and their priorities are:

1. Founders – profitability and revenue growth

2. Investors – equity value growth

3. Customers – pain relief at a competitive price

4. Employees- a compelling job and a regular salary

5. Suppliers – orders and acceptable payment schedules

6. Government – economic and job growth

No single stakeholder can ensure success of the business; however, any single one of the stakeholders can cause the business to fail if their priorities aren’t met.

Therefore, one of the core competencies of the leadership and management of any business is to create an innovative system to balance and satisfy the priorities of all the stakeholders.

The level of risk each of the stakeholders is willing to undertake varies considerably. The biggest risk takers are the founders and the investors. Considering that 50% of all private investors lose all their invested capital in early stage ventures in the first year, it is a myth that investors are risk adverse.

Customers, employees and suppliers are quite risk adverse requiring satisfactory delivery of products/services before payment or guaranteed payment for product/services rendered.

Forming the entrepreneur’s DNA to consistently address all the critical success factors requires an assessment of ones attitude as well as continuous up grading of one’s hard and soft skill sets.

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