Five Important Traits You Should Build While Starting a New Venture

Work towards identifying how you can add value to your business

learn more about Dr. Ravi Mehrotra

By Dr. Ravi Mehrotra • Nov 3, 2018


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One day, a young man asked Socrates, the great Greek Philosopher, the secret to success. Socrates agreed and asked the young man to follow him to a river nearby. When both were chest deep in the water, Socrates placed his hands on the young man's head and pushed him into the water. The young man struggled to get out, but Socrates was strong and held him underwater until he started turning blue. After some time, Socrates pulled his head out of the water and the young man took a deep breath. Socrates asked, "What did you want the most when you were in there?" The man replied, "Air." Socrates said, "That is the secret to success. When you want success as badly as you wanted the air, then you will get it." There is no other secret.

If you have a keen interest in starting a business or have just started one, and want to make it a success, here are the five traits you must build:

  • Keep a laser-sharp focus

In the Mahabharata, Guru Dronacharya once placed a wooden bird on a branch and decided to put the Kauravas and the Pandavas through an archery test. He gathered all his students and asked them, "What do you see there?'' They responded saying that they saw a tree, branches, birds, leaves and so on. When it was Arjuna's turn, he stated that he could only see the eye of the bird. Everyone else had set their eyes on everything, but Arjuna shot the arrow and achieved what his master wanted him to – shoot the eye of the bird.

It is the kind of focus one needs to have at all times when starting on the entrepreneurial path.

  • Get the edge

Do not go after success. Instead, work towards identifying how you can add value to your business and those around you. If you can create the real value, success will come naturally, and you wouldn't have to run for it. You need to analyse your capabilities, who the other players are, and how can you play the game better than anyone else.

  • Take calculated risks

Albert Einstein once said, "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

You must have the tenacity to take risks. If you are risk-averse and want guaranteed success, entrepreneurial pursuits are not meant for you. It is said that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I go a step further and believe that if something isn't broken, break it. Or else, you will be caught in a situation where you will never improve and become extinct.

  • Team up

Identify your strengths and ensure that the business that you want to develop gets more than what you have. Next, look for people with complementing skills to help build a holistic team. Remember, it isn't possible for one person to do everything. Don't be afraid to bring people on board and form a versatile team to take care of different functions. For example, if you are the CEO or head of a company, you don't have to get involved in the day-to-day aspects of the work. You must set aside time to ensure that there is enough room to handle changes and have a forward-looking agenda or vision on how to improve your product through a roadmap. At the same time, always aim to stay on top of the game.

  • Persevere

Initial success may come with difficulty and take longer than you anticipated. There are times when things don't work. Be prepared for any change in your original plan. You may even fail the first time, the second time or persistently. Maybe the hundredth time, you will succeed. You have to be a good planner and have the analytical bent to figure out what is needed for long-term success.

It is said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."

Dr. Ravi Mehrotra

President & Founder, IDeaS Revenue Solutions

Dr. Ravi Mehrotra is the president, founder & chief scientist of IDeaS Revenue Solutions. His research and founding involvement in IDeaS is a natural progression of his scientific background and experience as an assistant professor at the North Carolina State University.  Ravi continues to research on increasingly sophisticated methods for dynamic pricing that help hotels optimize the expected profits over longer time horizons. He is also a widely-recognized leader in the field of predictive analytics, forecasting and dynamic price optimization

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