6 Important Traits For a Successful Entrepreneur

Successful entrepreneurs have to learn to adapt or else run the risk of becoming irrelevant in a fast-changing world

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The world today is powered by influential entrepreneurs - Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and our very own Sachin Bansal, Kunal Shah and Bhavish Aggarwal - people who are defining the dreams and aspirations and outlining potential success parameters for the new generation. While there isn’t any ideal personality for an entrepreneur, the following traits can be identified among those who have been very successful:

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  1. Vision - Vision is the vital energy that drives an entrepreneur. While having smaller goals are equally important, vision is what binds the company together and motivates the employees to work towards a larger goal. The founders of any successful organization will start out knowing clearly what their organization will look like in the next ten or fifteen years.

  2. Grit: Entrepreneurship may look glamorous from the outside, but it's hard work, with a lot of pressure, dealing with great uncertainty and a continuous struggle. There will be setbacks on the way, but founders need to have the resilience to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change and keep going in the face of adversity. Nonetheless, the arduous journey adds meaning and purpose to the struggle, thus making success all the more sweeter.

  3. Emotional Quotient: Entrepreneurs must be sensitive to the needs of their customers as well as employees. This perceptiveness helps in identifying problems and inefficiencies and discovering opportunities to improve people’s experience and help them in their pursuit of those needs. Not only does this help create better products and services, best suited for the target customers it also helps develop excellent relationships with clients, in maintaining highly motivated employees in a more trusting work environment. Higher EQ also leads to better self-awareness, and hence better decision making, even under pressure situations.

  4. Flexibility: Every entrepreneur needs to find the balance between stubbornness and flexibility. You must be stubborn enough to trust your instincts, keep persevering and work on your idea, even when people around you end up doubting your potential to succeed. Entrepreneurs also need to have an understanding that the first attempt may not yield successful results. The supply in the market left a lot to be desired. This led us to turn into a full stack player in the co-living space. Moreover, as conditions and society evolve, so do the needs of customers. Hence successful entrepreneurs have to learn to adapt or else run the risk of becoming irrelevant in a fast-changing world.

  5. Continuous Learning: Successful entrepreneurs strive to explore new topics and push their boundaries of knowledge one step ahead of everyone else. Continuous learning helps create a feedback loop, where you constantly think about what you’ve done and how you can perform better. Reading books, listening to podcasts and talking to people from diverse fields not only helps the entrepreneur generate diverse perspectives but create new mental models which are essential for better pattern recognition and decision making. Entrepreneurs also need to stay humble enough to learn from their own experiences—including failures.

  6. Being a Great Storyteller: Today’s entrepreneurs consider value-driven storytelling as an art to complement the right business models and technology-harnessing. Creating a grand narrative to bring out the uniqueness of the business and why it is likely to bring outsized returns is essential to get an investor’s buy-in. This skill is also essential in creating a great brand image and connecting with potential customers.

Other than the points mentioned above, being a self-starter, having an abundance of optimism and self-confidence can go a long way in helping you in your venture. So, if you are about to embark on the journey to become an entrepreneur, you need to adopt these traits and make them a part of your mantra to achieve success.

Nikhil Sikri

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Armed with an MBBS from AIIMS and a management degree from ISB, Hyderabad, Dr. Nikhil Sikri is the driving force behind Zolo. Under his guidance, Zolo has grown to become India's largest co-living brand within a short span of three years. He comes with over 10 years of diverse experience in start-ups, management consulting, establishing companies’ sales footprints, and medicine. Nikhil has been actively involved in all aspects of building the business and in his role as a CEO is instrumental in setting strategies and providing invaluable entrepreneurial leadership