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The Single Most Important Trait for Any Successful Entrepreneur You may not be as technologically brilliant as Jack Dorsey or Aaron Levie, but you can adopt their intense competitiveness.

By Diana Ransom

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


From the late Steve Jobs to Twitter's Jack Dorsey, certain entrepreneurs seem to spring from the womb predisposed to success. Not only are they exceptionally smart, but they also have a dogged belief in their own abilities and a similar unrelenting passion for achieving their vision.

Put simply, they don't do things like "regular" people. Case in point: Los Altos, Calif.-based Aaron Levie, the 28-year-old co-founder of online data-storage company Box, now valued at more than $1 billion. As a student at the University of Southern California, Levie shunned the typical college social scene. "If people were going out on Saturday night, I preferred to be on my computer and working on the next internet idea," he says. "I just recognized that I was a bit different than everyone else."

While Levie is hardly alone, he's certainly not in the majority among entrepreneurs. "They're a different breed," claims Jeff Cornwall, Belmont University's director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in Nashville, Tenn. "In the last four years, I can only identify five undergrad students [like Levie] that could fit into that high-growth entrepreneur category."

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