The Most Important Trait Of Successful Entrepreneurs

What is the key to small business success?

If last year was one you'd rather forget then I have some good news for you - it's history. A new year is here and with a new year comes new possibilities.

But there's a caveat - if you continue to do what you've always done, you'll continue to get the same results you've always gotten.

The last year was a difficult year for many businesses and unfortunately many have not made it into the new year intact and some have not made it at all.

I know that some of you wish business was easier, however instead I'd ask you to wish you were better

In fact, don't just wish you were better - make the commitment to become better. Make the commitment this year to improve your business skills and thrive in a year that is likely to have more changes and more opportunities than any other year in history.

Here's how.


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In my observations of and discussions with many successful entrepreneurs over the years, I have discovered the one trait above all others that leads people to build successful businesses

That trait is persistence - the ability to get up and try again and again after failure.

The formula is: try and fail, try and fail, try and fail. . . then finally success. Many entrepreneurs take years of failure to become a so-called “overnight success”. So small business success requires persistence.

Would it surprise you to learn that on average the number of times most people will try something before giving up is less than one! This is particularly a problem in sales

That's right, most people don’t even try once before giving up; while others give it the half-hearted single try. Fear of failure has them paralyzed like a deer caught in the headlights.

It is so rare to see someone achieve spectacular success on their first try, that it can pretty much be discounted or put down to blind luck. More often than not, you'll encounter several failures prior to experiencing success.

Real entrepreneurs are a very different breed from most people. They will try 3 times, 10 times, 100 times until they achieve the result they are after.

This is the single biggest trait that sets entrepreneurs apart from other people. Having failed so many times they start to lose, or at least manage to tame, their fear of failure.

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The average person is more motivated by fear of loss than hope of gain. My take on the matter is there are basically two options when it comes to deciding whether or not to pursue a desired goal:

  • Option 1 - Do it and there is a chance you will not achieve the desired goal
  • Option 2 - Don’t do it and you are certain not to achieve the desired goal

To most entrepreneurs it's a no-brainer - option 1. You've got to be in it to win it.

However, while this kind of attitude is accurate, it does not take in to account the corresponding losses that sometimes accompany not achieving the desired goal

This fear of negative repercussions is what stops most people from even trying. This could be loss of pride, loss of money or what is perceived as wasted time or effort.

So what to do? How do we keep the fear of loss from paralyzing us?

The best way I know is to simply play out worst case scenarios. Playing them out in detail puts you in control. Once you start playing them out, you often also start coming up with possible solutions and countermeasures which make them far less scary.

The last thing to do is ask yourself two questions; how likely is the worst case scenario to occur and if it did occur what could I do to reverse it so I am no worse off than when I started. You’ll be surprised how often this will be enough to neutralize your fear of failure.

Most people play not to lose. You should play to win.


All of the most successful people I know practice what I call the “until” philosophy. This wonderful philosophy drives you single-mindedly until you smash down every barrier between you and your goal.

They've told you the mountain is too high, it's too far, it's too steep, it's too rocky, it's too difficult. But with an unshakeable resolve you say, “You'll soon see me waving from the top or dead on the side, because unless I reach the peak, I'm not coming back."

This is one of the key philosophies that separates the masses from the top 3%. The masses are seduced and distracted by the  that comes along. Their efforts are weak and scattered and their results are the same next shiny new thing that comes along. Their efforts are weak and scattered and their results are the same.

If it takes a hundred different things to try to solve my major problem, why wouldn’t I try every single one? How many books would I read? How much advice would I seek? How long would I work at it? As many or as much or as long as it takes. That is the “until” philosophy.

Adopt this trait and I promise you'll never be the same!

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