Have you ever asked yourself what are elements or traits common to successful entrepreneurs? Sitting down to talk to some of the most successful I know, I have seen failure, persistence and discipline as one element and two traits that are always present. I’ve seen early, juvenile failures, you could say, from some who have gone on to become wildly successful. These entrepreneurs started early on, while most of their peers were dazzled by the trappings of modern life they suddenly could barely afford, maybe because of a first job that gave them adequate comfort. These that bucked the trend had nothing or little to lose, and an early life experience marked by dispossession, or at least sprinkled with unavailability of all kinds. In the extreme, born into what some may regards as a failed environment, persistence was the early trait ingrained, with discipline as the only available medicine, and they were discerning enough to take it.

Others I know grew up in some level of ease because their environment allowed them to stand in the shoulders of family, and their fortune extrapolated. These branch into two groups. The first one, oblivious to early failure, without the discernment to develop the discipline trait and once the exogenous extrapolation expired with the support system, succumbed to endogenous failure. The second one, which also stood in similar shoulders, had someone in that circle, through direct action or example, make them participants in the daily struggle success requires, and taught them persistence and discipline. Once the inevitable course of time launched them past the end of the extrapolation curve, these learned traits made that curve’s end a springboard. The ones in that group that I’ve seen fail, with everything lost, have more than likely gone on to succeed again, because they gained the springboard reflex early on, and know how to aim persistently and with discipline.

If you are riding a wave of success, be alert enough to make sure you to stay on it, and make sure you pass the traits to those around you that share in your success. Both things are as important. If you are not there and still aiming, as long as you are clear on the traits, stay the course, it will continue to open up to you.

Our View from the Top – September 10, 2019