After many rich years of Sales, Marketing, Business Development and Operations experience touching dozens of industries, I have seen some commonalities of traits in the most successful of entrepreneurs.
On Saturday morning I was privileged to spend an hour listening, coaching, and advising a young talented entrepreneur that invited me into their aspirations and dreams for a new multi-channel media business. That conversation, and her success to date, confirmed these six traits of the success entrepreneur…..
- They are the Producer, Director, and Main Character in a movie that they can see with amazing clarity. They know the vision output, the ‘end game’, the movie from start to finish.
Bias Toward Action;
- Speed is Life. A successful entrepreneur once told me “the tooth fairy only comes once and you better recognize it!”. They aren’t sitting around dreaming. They are doing it. They are continuing to move their dream and vision forward.
Outstanding Communication Skills and Charismatic:
- They can articulate their movie in 5 minutes that gets stakeholders not only interested but already leaning towards motivation and action.
- They engage stakeholders at all levels with their dogged focus on the goal and ability to ladder conversation up and down – from partners, to programmers, to principles.
Ability to See Value and Monetize It:
- They understand when its time to partner or lead, depending on the value they can bring in sophisticated value chains. They all start their journey taking total control but quickly learn that to be successful, they must fill their skill gaps. The successful ones are constantly exploring the best way to enable and accelerate their plans.
Work Hard, Work Half Days:
- Cool thing is they can pick which 12+ hours (half days). They have grit and perseverance. They are inspired by the “No’s” they hear along the way. They apply a high level of rigger to their work and have discipline in their schedule.
- They course correct quickly because they are open and approachable. They can engage at three levels – subordinate, peer, superior with amazing ease.
- They understand the world does not revolve around them. They adjust because they know in the tiniest of course correct, personal or professional, comes the nugget that might make the difference.
The Entrepreneur’s greatest challenge isn’t the lack of talent or drive, it’s time. They are fighting battles on every front, many times alone. They spend a lot of dark cold mornings and late nights writing business plans, scripts, code, and elevator pitches completely driven by vision and dreams. The successful entrepreneur engages and inspires others to fill skill gaps and time. I’ll spend a Saturday morning or a Sunday afternoon coaching and filling skill gaps anytime these ambitious, talented and inspirational leaders are gracious enough to share their dreams and they show up. Always.
About Mike McNamara:
Mike has held C-Suite, Executive and Senior Sales, Marketing, Business Development, and General Management roles with Equifax, Cox Enterprises, WW Grainger, and Federal-Mogul Corporation. Mike has led sales, service and operations organizations of over 1,500 associates and accountable for P&L responsibility in excess of $250M.
Dedicated to giving back, Mike formed The MBAR Group in 2009 with the sole intent of providing pro bono career and business consulting services. Today he coaches a number of high profile media personalities as well as holding advisory board positions guiding a number of multimedia and small business startups.
Mike earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and holds a Bachelors of Science from Michigan State University. He is a past chapter President of the American Marketing Association. Mike and family split time between their adopted state of Missouri and family home in NW Michigan where their philanthropic causes include The Kingdom House – St Louis, BACN in Benzonia, MI., and Samaritan’s Purse, Boone NC.