The Anchor: 6 must-have traits for entrepreneurs

27 Mar,2012

By Vijay Singh


There is a newfound zeal these days for being an entrepreneur, and a number of folks are chucking away the securities & comforts of “salary on the 1st” and venturing into the unknown.


Entrepreneurs are the best thing that can happen to a society, economy and country. Entrepreneurs create value out of nothing, create opportunities and fuel overall growth, and they need to be deeply respected for it.


However being an entrepreneur is the toughest job in the world. There are no cushions; no soft landings and the failure rates are very high.


In an environment where most won’t make it, while luck might play a huge role, there are other traits that I believe an entrepreneur must have to break through:


#1 Imagination: A good entrepreneur sees not just the big picture but well beyond the picture. He / she needs to imagine ideas that will create solutions to obvious and everyday problems.


#2 Foolishness: Now made famous by Mr Jobs’ speech, foolishness is a virtue that is a must have, to pursue a dream that others don’t see, understand or give a damn about.


#3 Stubbornness: An entrepreneur lives in a lonely and often unkind world – especially in the early years. There are, more that you need, armchair advisors and critiques that would question the validity everything starting from the macro business environment, to the business model, to scalability, to ability, to sustainability. The entrepreneur needs to stay the course with persistence.


#4 Willingness to evolve: While staying the course, it is important to learn from mistakes and spot opportunities along the way and evolve into a better idea. It is my view, however, that one should stay true to the original & pure DNA of the idea and not drift at every opportunity (or failure) that pops up, as there would be plenty of both.


#5 Team: As an entrepreneur one you get into every aspect of the business, however, to do justice to the organization that you are going to create bring in specialized talent for specific roles and ensure they are better than you at that task.


#6 Passion for the idea:  Take up your entrepreneurial journey for the right reasons – the reason being absolute belief and passion for the idea that you have imagined. If one feels deep down that the passion has started to drain, that is the green light to quit and maybe take up a lucrative 9-to-5 assignment.


Not everyone has the mental toughness required to face up the uncertainties and challenges associated with a start-up; however, it is my belief that everyone with a real passion for an idea will acquire that toughness over time and they should jump in.


Professionally let me assure you there is nothing more fulfilling that to create something of value – out of nothing.


Vijay Singh is the CEO & Managing Director, AaramShop, and can be followed on Twitter @vijaysingh.


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