The contradictions and qualities of an entrepreneur

Business is a funny game. The reason I love business so much is that it demands that I ‘be more’ every day. It demands a flexibility that only experience can bring and a focus that only time can teach.

When I started in business, I didn’t just want to be successful – I wanted that success to be glorious! But when my first business failed quietly, it gave me the intelligence and resilience to since build some businesses that have succeeded in a very humble manner.

Through the years I have learned that there are many contradictions to being an entrepreneur, most of which are only ever learnt through trial and error and picked up after persevering through years of confusion.

In order to navigate today’s business world, an entrepreneur needs to develop and draw upon these contradictory qualities. These include the ability:

  • to think of larger visions while honing our attention to detail
  • to work harder and smarter, while still finding time for ourselves and those around us
  • to work on our weaknesses while recognizing our strengths
  • to plan for the losses while we’re celebrating the wins
  • to be tougher on ourselves and others, while being compassionate and empathetic
  • to give all of ourselves to the world while still ensuring that we’re taking care of ourselves
  • to build a brand in the market place, conscious of image, while remembering that that’s not what is truly important
  • to meet the intellectual demands of business, while also growing emotionally
  • to think long-term while managing the short term
  • to become better at understanding people while also being rigorous with the numbers
  • to give everything we possibly have to our team, clients and investors while also being a good daughter, son, husband or wife
  • to be ruthless with our time management while remembering to live in the present
  • to fail fast while holding the belief that we will succeed slow
  • to ask the right questions while still giving those around us confidence that we have the answers
  • to think of lofty goals, while keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground
  • to be a spokesperson for our brand and our business, while acknowledging the most important words we say are the words we say to ourself
  • to test, prove and more importantly disprove our assumptions while staying true to our beliefs
  • to know exactly who we want to become in the future, while recognizing that we’re doing alright right now
  • to have incredibly high standards for ourselves and everyone around us, while remembering we’re all doing the best we can with what we have available
  • to seek counsel from those who have come before us, and the courage to ultimately listen to our own voice
  • to take some things seriously, while remembering it’s all just a game

It’s essential to have a fire in our belly to start, and the strength in our heart to finish.s

It is through mastering these contradictions and these qualities that you become qualified as an entrepreneur. It’s not the money, not the brand, nor the status. It’s about who you become.

 Jack Delosa, Managing Director, The Entourage, MBE Education