Most business books and indeed the majority of business consultants will tell you that to succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to have things like integrity, reliability, trust, etc. In my view there is nothing new there, those things are expected in any person who has to interact with other people. They are what I call your common ticket into the game of human existence.
So then, what is the mission critical trait that an entrepreneur needs to succeed? There a few, but the one that stands out above all the others for me is, Bravery.
In my early days in the corporate world, I worked in an office building which also housed a young ambitious entrepreneur, who had left his job to start the first Mobile phone company in Zimbabwe. The odds were outrageously staked against this young man. Mobile phones were virtually unheard of in the country. The regulatory authorities and their political accomplices had already blocked his venture several times. He decided to take his case to the High Court. Five years later he was still battling the government and the regulatory authorities in the courts, until he finally got his operating licence. In fact at the time, his was to be only mobile phone licence in the world issued by a court of law. Today his company has about 60% market share and has interests in Southern Africa, and abroad.
Now that’s what I call real Bravery in the face of extreme adversity. It is through bravery that this man was able to persevere where many would have simply lost hope and given up the dream. Apart from this example. I also think that it is through being brave that one can live the other common traits like integrity, reliability and trust.
So, the question is where on the Bravery dial you sit as an entrepreneur. I have put together a few questions that can help you to determine how well you are doing as a brave entrepreneur:
- On a dial showing low, medium and high, where would you rate your level of Bravery?
- What about your customers and suppliers, where on the dial would they rate you?
- If you have people that work for you, would they describe you as a brave person?
- What behaviour do you display on a consistent basis that demonstrates your bravery and or courage?
- What do you when an attractive business opportunity arises but where the odds are heavily staked against you?
- What is the one thing that must you stop doing in your business that does not show bravery or courage?
- What new behaviour trait must you start showing that displays your commitment to bravery and or courage?