How many studies have been done, how many reams of papers have been produced, how many theories have been postulated and how many federal dollars have been granted to try to find the magic formula for creating a successful entrepreneur. Of course, that presupposes the answer to whether entrepreneurs are born or made; a question that can be debated on its own merits for hours, days and weeks without finite resolution.
What can be resolved, however, is that entrepreneurs (whether born or made) share some common traits. Chief among them, and what is the common denominator for long-term success, is an entrepreneur’s constant quest for information. An entrepreneur’s never-ending search for new ways to solve problems, their personal antennae always twitching for feedback on how outside events will affect them, their inner need to stay on the alert for new opportunities and their consummate desire to network with those having just a bit more power or are a bit more successful, all exhibit this thirst for information.
Perhaps it can be summed up simply by saying that successful entrepreneurs understand that they don’t know what they don’t know. Their overriding goal is to search for the questions because once they know the question, they know they can figure out the answer. Above all an entrepreneur is resourceful. One way or another, he or she will find the answer – as long as they know the question.
Entrepreneurial books sell like the proverbial hotcakes – and the buyers aren’t all wanna-be entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs buy books written by successful entrepreneurs because somewhere within those several hundred pages are a few nuggets of information that provide clues to the current questions they should be asking about their businesses. Best practices seminars continue to sell out because somewhere in that two to three hour investment is information that will open a mental door to a different way of thinking about a piece of their business.
On the opposite end of the success scale are those entrepreneurs who figure they’ve got all the answers. Call it ego or call it naiveté, if an entrepreneur doesn’t know that he or she doesn’t know all the answers, let alone all the questions, the future success of their business is extremely limited.
NEXT: Doomed to fail entrepreneurs.