Tom Oriol
SalesClic

Member Article

How to be an entrepreneur: the big 6

It’s Entrepreneurship Week on Bdaily. Below, Thomas Oriol, CEO of sales forecasting and analysis application SalesClic (www.salesclic.com), details what he believes are six top qualities an entrepreneur must have.

So you want to be an entrepreneur? It’s a great idea, but regardless of your project, you should first ensure that you have the right mindset. Based on my experience with my sales analysis and forecasting company SalesClic, here are six key qualities for would-be entrepreneurs.

1. Resisting the entrepreneurship propaganda

You don’t have to change the world, you don’t need to be a college dropout, it is OK if you didn’t start your first company at age 12… The goal is to create a viable, honest business, not the next Microsoft. Your baker around the corner is as much of an entrepreneur as Mark Zuckerberg. You will be more resilient (see point 5 below) if your expectations are sound.

2. Tolerating financial insecurity

Let’s face it: starting a company with two kids and a mortgage is harder. Make sure that you have enough financial reserves, or that you can tolerate frugality for a (long) while. Winter holidays in the Maldives won’t be yours any time soon.

3. Accepting the possibility of failure

Failure is the likeliest outcome. Not because you are inexperienced, but because a startup is very exposed to its environment. When I was an M&A banker my colleagues loved to FUD prospects with this question: “What if Microsoft invests €100M to compete with you?” The answer is: “I will go bust”. Such market uncertainty is part of the deal, so it is very important to start with the knowledge that your company may not last.

4. Being proactive

Things will never, ever come your way magically. People won’t return your calls, channel partners won’t approach you, service providers won’t deliver… You must be the driving force everywhere, every day. If you don’t have that kind of personality, you will have to build it. That is what happened to me. I am naturally introverted, but now I harrass people like a maniac. (N.B. It helps if you offer solutions, not just complaints.)

5. Staying positive

A rule of thumb: there won’t be a week without an unpleasant surprise. I think surviving the troughs of startup life must be challenging for the naturally pessimistic. Take an honest look at yourself. Are you resilient? It is OK if you are not. There are many types of challenges, and you will find one that, while being equally hard, will better match your personality.

6. Telling stories

During the first few years, the stories you tell will be your greatest asset. Recruiting your first employees and clients, finding your first investors, nailing your first large accounts…these will all depend on your ability to articulate your vision. Again this doesn’t mean you should be grotesque (“My messaging app will change the world! And I will make money selling ringtones and logos”). Just that you like what you are doing and can communicate your excitement.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by SalesClic .

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