Attention Entrepreneurs – Do You Have What it Takes to be a Winner?
Not everyone can be a successful entrepreneur. Mark Zwilling, in his post at StartupProfessionals.com, says individuals with “unwavering passion and sense of urgency” are likelier to succeed. Angel investors seek this quality in entrepreneurs. Briefly, he or she should be articulate and honest, must have confidence and experience, must have studied the business venture’s ins and outs, and must be ready to face the challenges head-on, among other things. The entrepreneur must be able to fully explain the proposed venture and give intelligent satisfactory answers to questions thrown at him or her. Mark lists seven important attributes a person-most-likely-to-succeed-in-business should have. Check the list to find out if you have the right qualities to be a winner.
1. Talks and writes well. Can concisely explain the unique, compelling value of the proposed venture in written terms and in oral presentations (elevator pitch), recognizing that some investors rely more on one than the other. Listens before answering questions.
2. Networked and connected. Successful entrepreneurs already have a visible network of trusted suppliers, potential customers, partners, and even investors. These are critical to any venture. A successful track record with previous investors is a home run.
3. Full disclosure attitude. Clearly willing to provide details of weaknesses as well as strengths of the proposed venture, and the challenges ahead. You must be willing to welcome the participation of the angel investor in the company, at least at the advisory level.
4. Values intellectual property. Convincingly presents a patent, trademark, or other “secret sauce” that can create equity value, not just current cash flow for the owners. This has value now, and is critical for maximum value in a merger or acquisition.
5. Not in a heated rush. Calm and self-assured, rather than desperate. Can show milestones achieved, as well as planned, which indicate rational expectations. Allows sufficient time to find capital, including due diligence time for investors.
6. Realist. The best entrepreneurs recognize and accept things as they are, and react accordingly. They are quick to change their direction when they see that change will improve their prospects for achieving their goals.
7. Domain experience and expertise. Investors realize that passion is no substitute for knowledge and experience, and every business is more complex that it might look on the surface. They will pay a premium for someone who has been there and done that.
The investor, in order to eventually be successful, has to spot not only winning technologies but winning people, and all investors have a slightly different view of what a winner looks like. So, of course, they try to guess the internal traits, like honesty, dedication, vision, intelligence, and leadership based on external traits listed above. …
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