I have just read a book, called The Founders At Work, Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston. In this book Jessica Interviews the founders of 33 Very successful companies. The list includes: Hotmail, Excite, Firefox, Paypal, Yahoo, Flicker, Lotus. I realized a common trend in the stories these founders were telling. They all had very similar characteristics. These are 5 common characteristics of the successful entrepreneurs.
1. Big Unrealistic Goals
Every single successful entrepreneur that has ever lived has had goals. They may not have necessarily wrote them down, but they always have a mental image of where they are going. Will Smith says, “Set a goal, know who you want to be, what do you want to do, figure out how you are going to get there”
2. Make a Plan
Setting goals and envisioning how you want your future to be like is the first step, but you must make a plan. Without a plan, you are just a daydreamer. Steve Chandler, the author of 100 Ways to Motivate yourself says, that you should write your plan on paper. When ever he needs to accomplish a goal, he writes 100 ways to accomplish my goal. It doesn’t matter how unrealistic the things are. All that matters is that you are making a plan. What this does in your brain is, it helps you imagine and believe that the goal can be accomplished.
A common characteristic that the founders of big companies is, they can adapt whenever it is necessary. Most of the time plans will not go accordingly, but that does not mean your idea is not a good one. Or that your goal can not be accomplished. There will always be hurdles in your way, but you must adapt to the changes. Blockbuster is a good example of a company that did not adapt to changes in the market place. They did not recognize that most people watch movies on the internet. That is where Netflix came in and took over the market. So how do you adapt? it is simple; Accept it. Evolve. Adapt.
4. Be Decisive
A lot of the times you will need to make quick decisions. Not only do you have to make a quick decisions, but you also have to believe in it. When entrepreneurs are asked how do you make decisions? How do you know a business is going to be successful or not? Most of the time they will answer i followed my gut feeling.
5. Positive Attitude
Self Explanatory ! Believe in your goals, believe in your plan, believe in your decisions. If something goes wrong, its not the end of the world, adapt and move on !
Jessica Livingston’s Book