Patrick Imbach
Head of Innovative Startups
KPMG

The digital revolution has transformed the way we do business. In the past, an aspiring entrepreneur would need significant capital and strong connections to get a business off the ground. The internet, together with powerful, inexpensive technology has given everyone the ability to develop a successful business without capital or connections. As a consequence, the spotlight has fallen on the traits and characteristics that separate entrepreneurs from ordinary business mortals.

To start us off, we asked you on Twitter to list characteristics you consider to be most important in an entrepreneur. Your answers varied from creativity through to passion and collaboration to tenacity. One comedian even suggested “having a rich Dad”.

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but in the spirit of brevity, we’ve decided to focus on five characteristics that you thought were particularly important. So, without further ado, here they are:

Visionary

All entrepreneurs have one thing in common – they have a clear vision and know how to implement it. The vision of the company should form a fundamental part of a defined strategy, dictating goals and how they will be achieved. That’s why the role of the founder is so important – it’s their job to inspire others and give the company a sense of direction.

Communicator

You may have the best business idea ever, but if you aren’t able to communicate it clearly and concisely no-one will want to invest in your company. That’s why it’s important to feel confident about your elevator pitch and well practiced. Especially if you’re heading over to one of our events. All great entrepreneurs are good at communicating to inspire employees, investors and partners to work effectively and passionately.

Opportunist

While it is important for an entrepreneur to be a good planner, they also need to be opportunistic in their behaviour. Successful entrepreneurs are great at spotting opportunities and setting new targets at short notice. They are also equally adept at reading the market and creating opportunities for themselves.

Delegator

The best entrepreneurs hire talented people, allowing them to take their own decisions and work to their strengths. Trust is given to their employees to focus and grow to their potential. This ultimately means that the company would still thrive without constant need for the founder at a more granular level.

Tenacious

All kinds of unforeseen events can conspire to make an entrepreneur’s life challenging, but most have a tenacity to deal with difficulties and find a way around them. One thing to note however is that although entrepreneurs are often persistent in their vision, they also know which battles to pick and when to change focus.

Reading through this, it’s important to remember there is no such thing as a born entrepreneur. Many of those considered successful went through a series of failures before they achieved great success. So if you have a fantastic idea you’re passionate about, why not give it a go? You never know, you might achieve more than you ever expected.

Resources

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