We always hear about the unequaled abilities of superstar entrepreneurs. Stories like these are juicy – the public and scoop-seeking reporters alike love them. This skewed media coverage makes it tempting to think some people succeed because they’re blessed with special abilities. Talk to enough successful founders, however, and a different picture emerges. Their personalities are all over the map. Some are in-your-face outgoing, for example, and others are shy and reserved.
There are a handful of attributes that contribute to a founder’s success, and they’re what you would expect – vision, leadership, design skills, risk tolerance, and interpersonal skills, to name a few. While these traits may be necessary, they’re not sufficient. At the end of the day, getting a company off the ground comes down to three indispensable attributes: passion, sales, and follow-through. If you’re not passionate about your new venture, you won’t be willing to walk through walls to make it work. Entrepreneurs are always selling – to prospective customers, partners, employees, suppliers, and investors. Finally, it’s all about the execution and follow-through. It’s about executing the plan and pushing through the boring, menial tasks to create something amazing. If you excel in these three areas the rest will fall into line.