Professor Van den, Born at Tilburg University, has researched successful entrepreneurs and their critical success factors and character traits. He comes to the following 14 factors that make them successful:
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1 – Hard work.
“It may be boring, but it’s just true. Entrepreneurship is harder work than working on the soft cushion of salaried employment.”
2 – Intelligence matters.
“People don’t think intelligence is that important. But people who are intelligent get further, you have to be smart.”
3 – Attribute success or failure to yourself (locus of control).
“Control is an important quality. If something goes wrong, blame yourself and not the outside world. Successful entrepreneurs blame themselves.”
4 – You must be open to changes and new experiences.
“You also have to be open to others and be proactive. Be creative and innovative. Innovation often comes from a different angle.”
5 – Need for achievement.
“You need to achieve something in life, to want to achieve something great, to build something to be proud of. Willpower to show something in life and to earn money. You have to be a go-getter and making money is always an important theme, motivation.”
6 – Entrepreneurship is a top sport.
“There is not one type of successful entrepreneur. There are several types, just as there are different types of top athletes. You can be top in weightlifting, be top in athletics, that has different characteristics. You have to focus, milk that one trick for years.”
7 – You should not be too anxious.
“Entrepreneurship is by definition taking risks, you should not be afraid easily. If you are very anxious, neurotic and you find it difficult to take risks, to put all your money, all your luck in the game, then you should not become an entrepreneur.”
8 – An entrepreneur does not have to be excellent.
“You don’t have to be nice, because there are nice and not-nice top entrepreneurs. 10 percent of CEOs are psychopaths, compared to 1 percent of the population. There are also many people who are narcissistic. The older the stiffer , especially because your own business is so personal. But you have to be open to changes, your dream changes. Your own strong child changes, if your child can walk then it is quite different again.”
“You don’t have to be fun to be a good entrepreneur. It helps if you take less people into account in life. It becomes very difficult if you want to have satisfied employees, a satisfied partner and satisfied children. The balance between work and private life is often absent with real entrepreneurs. By the way, you also have fun and social entrepreneurs, which is better for people.”
9 – Know your market.
“All successful entrepreneurs know their market well. It’s just analysis. They know what it requires of them and what behavior they should exhibit; a very natural process. With incredible competition you really need to have perseverance. mobile, where a lot is changing, you will have to be proactive.”
10 – You can learn to be an entrepreneur.
“ You have to bring some qualities with you from home, such as empathy and intelligence. But a lot can be learned. You can learn very well to write business plans, manage finances, do marketing, create a network. develop further.” “You can learn 90 percent of what it is to be an entrepreneur. But you run into your own limits. A very large part of the Netherlands can become an entrepreneur.”
11 – Take care of money.
“It just helps if mom and dad have some money. Entrepreneurship is taking risks, so you will probably go bankrupt two or three times in the first few years. If you have a father or mother, or for example a woman who works, you can get through that difficult period, you can then start up again. For people who don’t have that, the first bankruptcy is often also a final bankruptcy.”
“There are more entrepreneurs who come from good backgrounds. If you have a safety net, then you know for sure that it will succeed sooner than without a safety net. You can then make mistakes more often, every top entrepreneur has made mistakes and almost went bankrupt.”
12 – Happiness.
“Anyone can become a successful entrepreneur, but it takes some luck. It’s a rat race, there’s competition. A few will make it, others won’t. It’s a matter of hard work, but luck is just as important.”
13 – Write it down what you want to do.
“If you want to start, ask those around you like ‘gosh, could I do this?’ Ask both your best friends and your biggest opponents. If they say: ‘it could be done’, then I would do it. You never know if it will work, it’s a matter of trying a lot. It’s trial and error. ”
14 – What drives an entrepreneur?
“Survival. Check out the Millionaires’ Fair.” This week the RTLZ program Money Talks is about becoming a good and wealthy entrepreneur. We also pay attention to the rich with old money and the newly rich. Watch the whole show below, including the interview with Van den Born.