It's a question that's been debated in the classrooms of business schools to conference rooms, of venture capitalists for years. What sets entrepreneurs apart from everyone else?
Is it their appetite for risk taking? Is it their ability to articulate a vision and inspire others – or is it simply a matter of working harder?
Serial entrepreneur, Ruwan Weerasooriya, knows more than a thing or two about entrepreneurship, having successfully launched and exited CafeScreen, TouchTaxi and fashion outlet Pugnacious George. He recently raised $4 million through an oversubscribed IPO for his latest venture Rewardle – an Australian start-up that helps small businesses with the type of business intelligence and marketing tools that have traditionally been the domain of large retail chains.
Weerasooriya says, 'Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Although there is no -one size fits all' I believe there are 7 habits every highly effective entrepreneur must have."
1. Vision- Entrepreneurs see opportunity around every corner and have the ability to see the future before it happens. They hold a clear picture of what direction they want their business to take and possess a detailed plan to guide them from conception to realisation.
2. Passion- As Steve Jobs said ...starting a business is so hard, if you don't have passion, any reasonable sane person would just give up. No matter how bad it gets, it's their passion that motivates them between paydays and during all the times when everyone else tells them to quit.
3. Persistence- Entrepreneurs have to deal with business challenges every day. What makes entrepreneurs great is the persistence to keep moving forward regardless of how many doors close on them.
4. Flexibility- Being able to adapt to changes and challenges is key for any business. No matter how great an idea or plan may sound at the beginning, successful entrepreneurs are flexible enough to keep making adjustments to make the idea work.
5. Detailed Focus- The most successful entrepreneurs know their top priorities that matter most and only focus on nailing those things. The more focused an entrepreneur is on an opportunity the more excited they get, because they are only worried about the most important things, and that's what will make the business successful
6. Be a problem solver- Every entrepreneur looks at a problem and knows it's an opportunity. In fact the default mindset of a successful entrepreneur is here is a problem; here is a solution. Entrepreneurs know that a problem is a guaranteed way to get paid if they are the ones to solve it.
7. Cut the crap- When you are totally passionate about something you'll do whatever it takes to succeed. The most successful entrepreneurs squeeze every second, minute and hour out of every day sometimes working 15+ hour days. Which means cutting out the crap. If you want to watch your favourite TV show – cut it out.