I’ve been an entrepreneur now for nearly 10 years.  In that time I’ve worked with a lot of people, many of them excellent.  But all that experience has taught me one thing – not everyone is an entrepreneur.  In my experience, it comes down to time commitment.  How much time is someone willing to put into their venture, to get into the details, to really do the job they need to do to get their company launched and operating successfully?

The answer is that most people, even those with the best intentions, are not able to do it.

So I’ve been on an exploration of sorts, trying to figure this out.  Not just because I’m curious but because I want to partner with the right people from now through forever.

I’ve recently come across two fantastic blog posts that shed light on this.  They’re great on their own but truly awesome when read together.

VC Mark Suster’s excellent series on Entrepreneur DNA explores 12 characteristics of an Entrepreneur he’s encountered over his career.  If you haven’t read it, it’s fascinating, but it all boils down to an amazing degree of precision and tenacity that’s required to understand every facet of your company and the competition.  I really enjoyed seeing a lot of myself in his posts.

Meanwhile, just last week, Jonathan Fields posted The 12 Dysfunctions of an Entrepreneur.  Almost as an answer to Marc’s series, Jonathan explores 12 of the worst character traits that entrepreneurs tend to exhibit.  Sadly I also see a lot myself in Jonathan’s posts.

Urgh…  I mean, what’s a well-intentioned, detail oriented, tenacious guy supposed to do to make sure he doesn’t bring himself down with his built-in negative instincts?  All I can think of is… explore them!

So over the next few months I will post a regular series on each of these 24 characteristics, the good and the bad.  I’ll think about how they pertain to me, how they pertain to the folks around me, and try to come to some conclusions about how to maximize the good ones and off-set the bad ones.

Through it all I’d love to hear your opinions, your stories.  Please submit them.  Are these traits really right and do they have to all come in one package to be an entrepreneur in the classic sense?

Looking forward to seeing where this one goes…


One Response to The Entrepreneur 24

  1. Megan Strand says:

    Hmmm, Ian. I guess I disagree that it comes down to a pure time commitment. IMHO, it comes down to passion. And maybe we’re saying the same things. What are you willing to sacrifice for your entrepreneurial dream?

    And, no, it’s not sexy. It’s a ton of work. Most of it kind of icky and non-glamorous. But there IS something to having that feeling that you’re creating. Innovating. Challenging the status quo.

    Funny you should mention Johathan Fields. I stumbled upon his TEDxCMU talk on Fear today via Psychology Today (http://ht.ly/21Ndo). Totally inspired by his talk and love that you posted these “12 dysfunctions”. Get out of my brain, will ya? I love his point that when “the most relevant and impactful innovation comes not when you’re working, but when you work hard and then step away and allow time for contemplation, and for breakthroughs.” I couldn’t agree more.

    I love reading about your journey. Keep it up, Ian! :)

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