The 5 Traits of Entrepreneurs Famous for Making All the Right Moves

Everyone can hone that uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time that distinguishes business greats.

learn more about Jag Shoker

By Jag Shoker Originally published Aug 15, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Consistently making the right moves at the right time is the difference between a good CEO/entreprepreneur and those we consider great.

The perceptive investor, Warren Buffet, knows to "be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful." The exceptional entrepreneur, Richard Branson, knows when to say "screw it, let's do it" but also when to hold back a product. The ourageous visionary, Steve Jobs, knew to listen to his heart when it told him to back an innovation and to the inner voice that could tell him he'd made a mistake.

Related: Richard Branson on Decision-Making For Entrepreneurs

Recognizing the right move is the key to all success. Here are 5 ways an aspiring entrepreneur can learn the signs indicating the right moves that will unleash your company's potential.

1. Be progressive. Success typically does not happen overnight. It is the product of time and effort. Do not follow that potentially debilitating mantra of "perfection or nothing' when growing your business. Business success or capability grows in complexity and sophistication over time.

Realise that you and your business are constantly evolving. You can consciously help that process by frequently asking yourself three questions that hold much power: What is working? What isn't working? What do I need to change?

2. Be clear. To make the right moves, we must first know what we aim to achieve. Do you want to be a market leader or a specialist high-value niche player? The direction you set will ultimately determine the moves you make.

The legendary CEO Jack Welch earned GE the accolade of "most valuable company in the world" by setting a goal that everyone in his organisation understood. Be number one or two in your market, or be prepared to be sold off.

3. Be passionate. An essential feature of making the right moves is doing or being that which you love! A deep-rooted passion for what we do encourages us on the path of knowledge, experience and success.

As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently revealed, it's his curiosity and thirst for learning that has shaped his success. When we love what we do and stay with our passion, our moves get bigger, better and more refined over time.

Related: Bridging the Gap Between Passion and Profits

4. Be courageous. The path of innovation veers sharply from the path of convention! Making the right moves will require the courage to break free from the pack (and your closest competitors), perhaps going it alone. You must be fearless at times to make headway in your business.

Steve Jobs knew this path well. As the journalist Geoff Colvin pointed out, "Time and again, as the CEO of Apple, he introduced products, services, and entire business models completely unlike anything in existence."

5. Be perceptive. The greatest entrepreneurs are in tune with their world. They have developed rich mental models of the markets in which they operate and have, therefore, enhanced their ability to perceive more "right place-right time' opportunities. They recognize market dynamics and know how to adjust profitably.

You must know what your customers want and need to make the right moves. Make every effort to stay in touch with your market. Where your products or services meet the needs of the world, therein lies your greatest success.

Related: Tough Choices and Juggling Priorities Takes Courage

Jag Shoker

Author, Speaker and Founder of Inspired Movement

Jag Shoker is the author of The 7 Master Moves of Success. He is a performance coach in the Birmingham, England, and the founder of Inspired Movement, which provides high-performance coaching and consulting for business leaders, sports professionals and creative performers. 

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