What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur? (Part 1)

Business Edge-smart growth strategies-marciaDid you know 65% or more of all startups fail within three years–usually because the entrepreneur forgot the leadership side of running a business? They know their market, they know their sales proposition, they know their cash flow needs. But what they don’t pay attention to is how they themselves impact their business’s growth or demise.

What we do know, from research into entrepreneurship, is that highly successful business leaders like Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Howard Schultz of Starbucks and Larry Page of Google have four factors in common.

This Article will focus on two of the success factors – mindset and self-management – and the required entrepreneurial competences. My next Article will focus on the other two – dealing with others and your business orientation.

  1. Mindset:

Unless an entrepreneur has a positive, proactive mind-set is in place, making a business plan come to life has less chance of happening. It’s the attitudes, thoughts and outlook with which a person interprets and responds to the volatile situations of building a business that can make or break his or her success.

Here are three key mind-set competencies. Which do you have and which do you need to develop?

a. Independent Minded

Often entrepreneurs act on their own hunches and push boundaries rather than follow guidelines or get approval for their actions. How comfortable are you thinking outside the lines and challenging the tried and true?

b. Risk Tolerant

Without personal and probable financial risk taking, there is no entrepreneurship. But it’s calculated risk based on possibilities not certainties. How willing are you to go out on a limb and make decisions based on guesstimates?

c. Optimism

When starting or growing your own business, you’ll have many difficult days -finding the resources, recruiting the talent, and implementing the business plan. How confident are you that you will not just survive but thrive in challenge?

  1. Self-Management:

As an entrepreneur how you manage YOU is more essential to your success than if you worked in a large company. In a small business, you are mission critical… It’s very much up to you to chart the course, make the decisions, find the resources and so much more.

Here are three key self-management competencies. Which do you have and which do you need to develop?

a. Action Oriented

More than any other profession, entrepreneurs have to be motivated by action. Many times you’ll be facing barriers and disappointments. Often nothing happens until you do something. How well you redirect yourself to keep moving forward?

b. Multi-Tasker

In starting up, you’ll be wearing many hats…from being the CEO, to performing as the sales manager, to even operating as the trash collector. Do you have the amount of energy required for multi-tasking and shifting gears?

c. Resiliency

No one said it was going to be easy to be an entrepreneur. There’s the pressure of deadlines, of dealing with people, of the unknown …all can take a huge toll. Can you use stress as a motivator to thrive or will it wear you down?

Smart Moves Quote:

“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” 

Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese’s

Do you have the mindset to be a successful entrepreneur? How well do you self-manage? A simple, assessment, the Entrepreneurial Edge Profile, can tell you if you have the right stuff. To find out contact me below!

My Motto Is:

If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got. Therefore, MOVE outside of your comfort zone; that’s where the MAGIC happens.” To bring that magic to your leadership and business, subscribe to Marcia’s monthly Execubrief: Business Edge- Smart Growth Strategies with insights, intelligence and inspiration on how to build great businesses that matter- those that do well and do good.


Marcia Zidle
Marcia Zidle
Marcia Zidle, The Smart Moves Coach, is a national known board certified coach and keynote leadership speaker who guides organizations that are planning, or in the midst of, ambitious growth and change. As a career strategist, she works with professionals, managers and executives who want to build • shape • brand • change • vitalize their careers. She’s been selected by LinkedIn’s ProFinder as one of the best coaches for 2016!Her clients range from private owned businesses to mid-market companies to professional service firms to NGO’s. With 25 years of management, business consulting and international experience, she brings an expertise in executive and team leadership; employee engagement and innovation; personal and organization change; career building and development; emotional and social intelligence. Your Future Starts Now With Marcia!

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