Three traits you need for start-up success

Question: If you had to pick, what are the three qualities you’d say are most important for someone to succeed as an entrepreneur?

I think that this question will vary from person to person, and entrepreneur to entrepreneur. However, I will tell you the three qualities that have stuck with me for many years now.

They’re the same qualities I use when I am going into any business arena or transaction.

1. I have in the past and still always go with my gut. This is not to say that a knee-jerk decision to do something has to happen then and there just because my gut tells me so. Quite the opposite. Your gut will tell you immediately whether or not the idea or proposition presented to you is worth exploring. Once you get past that initial gut reaction, you can either explore it further, or turn it down.

2. Put your faith in people. This is probably one of the hardest things to do, especially for me. I’m a micro manager and over the years, I’ve had to really begin to put my faith in people. Doing this has helped to create a wonderful team, but more importantly, it’s given me time to rest. Because, I am no longer trying to control everything.

Thinking that I’m the only one who can solve problems, something that I used to do, is juvenile and truly an outdated concept. Put your faith in others, and you’ll see a change in not just your lives, but their lives as well. You will create among your team a sense of pride that no amount of money can buy you.

3. Always, and I mean always, look for solutions. Globally, there’s a workplace habit of complaining about what isn’t working, rather than figuring out what needs to be done to make it work.

I’ve been fortunate to work with two great men in media – Phil Mathews, the former programmes controller at Capital FM, and Patrick Quarcoo, the managing director of Radio Africa Group. Both men are extremely solution oriented, something that I’ve taken a hold of in my businesses. I constantly remind my team to come to me with solutions.

As an MD or CEO, we’ll remember those who came to us and said, “This has happened, so I did this to ensure that it never happens again”. These are the people that I put first in line for promotions and pay increases. I’m solution oriented, and I expect the same from my team as well.

The writer is a business owner and media practitioner.

The Standard
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