John Warrillow on behalf of Matt Gilbert
September 9, 2020
Much is made of analyzing the personality traits of successful entrepreneurs.
Some appear outgoing. Others are introverts. Some lean right, others left. Some are flashy. Others are monk-like with their money.
Their diversity can lead one to the conclusion that there are no common personality traits among successful founders.
Rather than trying to understand who they are, let’s look at what they do.
We’ve had the opportunity to help many businesses improve their value,with some going on to exit their business for seven, eight, or even nine figures. As such, we have a unique vantage point from which to observe the owners who achieve the most financial success. This point of view has allowed us to observe three things the most successful owners do differently:
Our most successful customers are voracious consumers of business content. When a new business book hits the bestseller list, most have either read it or summarized its central point.
It’s not just the printed word. Many get information through audiobooks, webinars, or podcasts - others via YouTube.
The actual medium is less important to these successful founders. What’s consistent is their continuous learning pattern and the desire to leverage other people’s smart ideas and put them to work in their own company.
In the absence of having a board of directors or a boss, successful founders often use a peer board to hold themselves accountable and gain an outside perspective when they’re stuck.
Initially popularized by Napoleon Hill in his class book, Think & Grow Rich, a mastermind gathers a small group of peers to act as one another’s board. Often led by a chair, these groups become lifelines for owners as they navigate big decisions in their businesses and personal lives.
The character trait that makes successful entrepreneurs inclined to read business books and join peer groups is their natural curiosity. They have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. No matter how successful, they never get full.
You may be surprised not to see the stereotypical attributes of successful entrepreneurs. Many founders are also action-oriented, competitive, tenacious, etc., but all those common personality traits are who they are. Our interest is what they do.
Actions are the measure of a person. Take a look at what a founder does to stay sharp, and you’ll see a consistent pattern among the most successful entrepreneurs you know.
Do you want to improve the value of your business? Now that you've taken the first step towards measuring and understanding the business factors on which serious buyers place the most emphasis, you are ready to have a confidential conversation with our exit strategy professionals.
If any of this resonates with you, I would encourage you to take our Sellability Assessment and talk with us to see if your business makes the cut as one who can still commanda great exit in this M&A environment.
Click here to take our Sellability Assessment. We will be in touch quickly to discuss the results.
AboutGaP Business Advisors
Gilbert & Pardue Business Advisors (GaP) is a Houston-based business advisory firm serving lower middle market and small business owners from coast to coast through representation for Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and through business value-growth services such as Fractional CFO, Advisory Board, Executive Coaching, and Consulting.
Matt Gilbert and Bret Pardue established GaPto provide owners of lower middle market and small businesses – those businesses generally enjoying annual revenue of $5-$75 million – with the quality of M&A representation and value-enhancement services previously only available to middle, upper middle, and large businesses. GaP brings highly experienced executives, sophisticated financial and marketing products, proven-effective processes, and fully integrated expertise to every engagement.No other M&A firm serving the lower middle and middle markets provides the quality of representation and transactional expertise that we do.