Looking at all the successful startups and established global organizations, we see how each and every one of them had their own unique recipe for success. The truth is that most entrepreneurs achieved their success because they refused to fit into one category and do what they were supposed to do. If you think about it, every major business success was based on thinking outside the box and offering a new perspective on products and services that became an instant hit.
Still, regardless of what you’d call success, most entrepreneurial big-shots did have some traits and qualities in common – evident especially well in the period that led directly to their success.
Here are 5 interesting qualities that many successful businesspeople had in common before they became popular names and thought leaders in their respective industries.
1. They Were Curious
One thing is certain – each and every successful entrepreneur develops a certain degree of curiosity about the world, the market, the industry or the consumers. Before becoming successful, these businessmen always wondered about things, took them apart to see how they work, and enjoyed the process of finding out what other people liked or disliked.
In short, every great entrepreneur is fond of asking many questions. But not just to people – successful businessmen are the ones who question the common practices and ask themselves whether things really need to be done in the old way when there’s a potentially new and better approach just waiting to be discovered.
Curiosity is something that simply inspires learning. These entrepreneurs are able to understand their customers and everything about their industry, which together make up for a great and powerful recipe for success.
Case in point? One of the most curious entrepreneurs around was probably Steve Jobs. Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, also admitted that curiosity played a big part in clearing the path towards his success in business.
2. They Had a Tendency to Think Big
It’s safe to say that great entrepreneurs in making don’t think small. When they do think, they always think big – usually on a massive scale and from a global perspective. Now, if you think they’re motivated by a sense of gold rush, you’re wrong. They’re doing this in order to leave their mark on our everyday reality. Success comes to those who target ambitious ideas and are always on the lookout for more development and challenges.
3. They Desired to Change the World
This is close to the point presented above – entrepreneurs develop their ideas not because they’re attracted to piles of money waiting for them at the finish line of a successful organization. They do it all in order to make a real impact on the world and change the ways in which we do things.
Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, extrapolates this kind of ideal onto his prospective employees: “The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world”. All great enterprises will always strive to surround themselves with people who think in a similar vein and want their work to have a real impact on reality.
4. They Were Disciplined
In the context of a business, discipline can mean many things – from firm execution of business strategies to staying focused on core markets. It also means that you’re able to stay on your course, measuring your success only against your business strategy. Instead of overreacting to market changes, great entrepreneurs would stay on their track and just do their jobs as best as they could.
Before they became successful, most entrepreneurs already showed signs of discipline in their day to day behavior. Countless studies have shown how morning people, i.e. people who have enough will-power to get up at 5 a.m. and do their job are more successful in each and every aspect of their lives. It’s all about less procrastination and more action.
If you’re wondering who got there thanks to their discipline and a dose of early mornings, the best example around in Anna Wintour, Vogue‘s editor-in-chief, who starts her day at 5:45 a.m. with an hour-long tennis match.
5. They Were Crazy
Every entrepreneur exhibits some personality traits that others easily interpret as outright crazy. Big decisions taken overnight, a fair amount of risk-taking, and a true dedication to one’s goal can all become catalysts for a really crazy, but potentially successful lifestyle.
If you think being a little crazy doesn’t help in entrepreneurship, have a look at this insightful infographic from Enterpreneur. It might sound absurd, but Virgin’s immensely successful CEO Richard Branson’s first job was selling Christmas trees. If that’s not enough – Mark Cuban, the current NBA Dallas Mavericks owner, started his professional career by selling garbage bags.
If you’re worried that some of those qualities might be beyond your reach, don’t panic. Most can be simply learned with practice and developing a winning attitude isn’t so difficult once you see a clear goal before you and apply yourself to achieve it. Follow your strategy step by step, don’t rush, and stay close to your dream.