You might have the perfect idea for a startup, that should be a guaranteed success. You want to make it happen, but you’re not sure you have the capability to start and run a business. The bad news is, even if your idea “speaks for itself”, you need to have specific personal qualities to succeed. The good news is, you can develop those qualities with accurate information and dedicated practice.
The following 7 traits are absolutely vital if you want to succeed as a startup founder:
1. Grounded optimism
There are two types of startup founders likely to fail: optimists and pessimists. Of course, we’re talking extremes here. If you’re constantly looking at what’s going wrong, and you doubt that you’ll succeed, you definitely won’t succeed. On the other hand, if you ignore warning signs and won’t admit the possibility of failure, you’ll fail too.
What is essential is grounded optimism. That means you’re confident your startup will take off, but are prepared for setbacks and worst case scenarios. You make a plan B but you focus on plan A. Your attitude is grounded in hard reality, yet you still have the confidence to clinch success.
You already know you have to be committed to the success of your business. But you may not understand exactly what that commitment will require from you. It might mean you have to give up time with your family and friends, work yourself ragged, and miss out on sleep. You need to decide now if you accept the lifestyle changes your startup will require. If not, accept that your priorities are not necessarily in business.
That said, you need to…
3. Know when to stop
This is required at every stage of the process. If your sleep is too compromised, and your relationships break down, your business has a good chance of falling apart. While it must be of the utmost important, it can’t come at the cost of some sort of balance. The most successful people are successful in every aspect of their lives, including mind, body, and spirit.
4. Inspirational presence
You need to be able to inspire those working with or for you. After all, the success of your startup is more important to you than anyone else. It’s up to you to convince your staff to give it their all and, most importantly, to believe in your goals. You need that grounded optimism we mentioned before, and you need to pass that on to everyone around you.
Empathy is important on two levels:
a. you will have to empathise with your staff to ensure they’re doing the best work possible. If you’re unable to recognise their difficulties, they’ll fail to reach their full potentials.
b. you will have to empathise with your clientbase. This does not mean getting over-involved in their lives, but when they give you feedback, try to understand it from their perspective, not your own. The customer is not always right, but they’re going to see things you’ve overlooked.
A person with high self-awareness is far likelier to succeed. Many mistakes are made out of stubbornness, or due to an emotional blindspot. If you take time for self-reflection, and take heed of what others are telling you about yourself, you’ll be guaranteed better management of your business and staff.
7. Excellent communication
As the founder of a startup, you’ll need to communicate your vision to investors, partners, staff, and customers. You’ll need to communicate feedback on your staffs’ performance, and facilitate an environment in which they’ll be free to communicate respectfully with you.
If you want your startup to succeed, the place to start is within. Make sure you have all the traits ready for you to be the best businessman possible.