Entrepreneurship

Do You Have These Qualities as An Entrepreneur? Ditch Them Now

Entrepreneurs too should steer clear of certain traits that can make things go wrong for them.
Do You Have These Qualities as An Entrepreneur? Ditch Them Now
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Entrepreneur Staff
Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India
6 min read

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When you are running a start-up, there are a lot of people who depend on you, for their financial growth as well as professional success. So, as an entrepreneur, there’s a lot of pressure riding on you to stand up to the expectations of your employees first and then your users/consumers. An employee turns to the boss to learn a lot of things and in such a scenario, it is the entrepreneur who has to make sure he/she is portraying the role of a perfect boss.

But entrepreneurs too should steer clear of certain traits that can make things go wrong for them.

Here are the qualities an entrepreneur should absolutely not have.

Trying to be Too Perfect

As an entrepreneur, you are always striving for perfection. But is there something called too perfect? Apparently, there is. Founders agree to say that when you are working too much and trying to be too perfect, you often end up on the wrong side of things. Rahul Agarwal, Director, Wealth Discovery/EZ Wealth believes that it is understandable that startup founders are like artists who are married to their ideas; they are often mavericks and seek perfection in whatever they do. However, in real life, this pursuit of perfection leads to inordinate delays and cost overruns. “An ideal entrepreneur should, therefore, be cognizant of the fact that there should be a healthy balance between perfection and a workable solution, at-least early on when the survival of the startup is paramount,” said Agarwal.

But sometimes, when you are trying to be the epitome of perfection, you believe that things are going right even when they are not. There is a very thin line between the traits that exemplify a successful founder and a personality that lead to failure, believes Sachin Gulati, Founder, TruMath. And he too believes that a successful start-up founder should not be a perfection-seeker, because that can certainly pose problems in the establishment and growth of the company. “The leader should have a balanced approach to handle the team giving equal opportunity to contribute and grow the company to all the team members,” he said.

Moushmi Zaveri Sanas, Luxury Event Curator, puts it simply as - perfection is subjective. One must rather strive for being pragmatic and adaptable. “In a start-up, the founder often works on multiple tasks so seeking perfection is the wrong approach. Founders are problem solvers and achievers, not visionaries or idealists. It is important a founder is resilient and changeable according to the situation,” she said.

Don’t Be Too Optimistic

Who doesn’t love a happy entrepreneur? Someone who is sure of where they are headed and are positive about success. Having an optimistic attitude is great but sometimes it could also ruin things. Mr Tejas Khoday CEO and Co-founder FYERS Securities believe that an over-optimistic nature can often make the founder very idealistic and hope for long shots to come true without having the flexibility to adjust/tweak their strategies along their way. “This all-in/all-out attitude is not healthy for any startup as a startup's success heavily depends on the founder's ability to adapt, change and do it swiftly when it matters the most. Being realistic is important,” he said.

Don’t Be Egoistic

A leader has to be proud of his/her achievements but being egoistic might not go down well with his/her employees. Agarwal said that it is beyond doubt founders are extremely talented in their respective domains, however, at times this talent takes the form of overconfidence and an inability to consider alternative viewpoints. “Founders, sometimes let their ego come in the way of prudent decision-making, which hurts the organization. It is in the interest of the founder and the organization to recognize that no one is infallible and while having some ego is a good thing but when in excess being egotistical cannot be a trait that will benefit the organization in the long run,” he said.

Lalit Upadhyay, Founder, Polash Ventures agrees. He said that the successful founders should stay away from the devil of Egotism. Criticism is one thing which an entrepreneur should always accept because that helps in making a correct decision for the organization. “But, at times, ego takes the higher place and the person gets excessively conceited in himself, which eventually leads to the failure,” said Upadhyay.

Being egoistic could mean you end up creating a hostile environment at work where nobody wants to work with you. While being confident is good, being over-confident to the point of being egotistical is a complete no-no especially when you are building a company from scratch. Raghunandan Saraf, Founder Saraf Furniture said that letting your ego drive decisions is not the same as confidence based on knowledge and trust. “While start-up founder needs a healthy ego for body armour, it can quickly become the negative trait of arrogance if not tempered. Many put Ted Turner and Larry Ellison in this category,” he said.

Multitask Only If You Can

As the founder of a start-up, you are always trying to do multiple things at once. You want to accomplish everything and achieve it all. But sometimes it’s better to pause and see where you are headed, focus on one thing for success. Saraf believes that multitasking to the extent of thrashing is wrong. “Start-up founder often has a thousand things going in their mind, and switch so rapidly from one to the other that they leave many people confused, including themselves. The result is that important tasks get short shrift, and relationships suffer. Don’t let multitasking supersede focus and really listening,” he said.

Not a Team Player

If you are not a team player, things could get really difficult for you. At times, people develop a brilliant idea but they cannot materialize the same in a profitable manner because of their introvert nature, said Gulati. They are not comfortable in working with a team and they are also unable to handle a team.

Most start-up founders start their business because they perceive a need in the market not seen by others, and often they just don’t enjoy working with others, believes Saraf. “In time, however, every business requires a team, and giving up control becomes a constant struggle. Some start-up founder simply jumps ship and start again,” he said.

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