ASK STEVE - What makes a good entrepreneur?
I expected comments on entrepreneurship to be highly colored and open ended. That is entrepreneurship. In 1999 my business was destroyed by a tornado. In that moment I became engulfed in who I was, what I stood for and where I would go next to survive the disaster. I was described as an entrepreneur by many and expected to recover and reinvent without a hitch. I really did not feel that way in my head or heart. The reason I had been able to succeed against the odds in diverse businesses was not because I was flippant, egocentric or a scheming capitalist and neither was I a genius business person. I worked hard, planned well and engaged people through passion and persistence. Before moving forward I needed to understand better the virtues of entrepreneurs and committed to study the virtues and vices tied to the name. My experience was that good entrepreneurs are leaders with three unique qualities that many of you have addressed. The three headline features of entrepreneurs are PASSION, INTELLIGENCE, AND ACTION. The ten subsets of "good" entrepreneurs include: knowledge, people, excellence, profit, action, service, values, innovation, planning and relentless energy. I created the term LEADERGIZED to describe successful leaders-entrepreneurs. I named my business that and have worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs from around the globe for the past fifteen years. From my work I learned that if there was a rule book for business success(entrepreneurship) we all would have read it and would be enjoying our "by the book" lives. Because no such guideline exists it is the entrepreneurs of the world who constantly dream, research, test, analyze, prove and then again disprove the ability to develop and deliver the world's wants, needs, processes and priorities without making a critical mistake and failing. A good entrepreneur is someone cursed by ideas, blessed by energies and challenged by the realities of society and economics who by luck, genius and/or discipline and commitment makes something successful happen in the world of business. Teddy Roosevelt said it well - "It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."