Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The 4 Critical Factors for Success by Scott Assemakis

Scott Assemakis is constantly speaking and consulting with entrepreneurs, the amazing things they do and the great life they live. But what makes a successful entrepreneur? Are there specific traits that entrepreneurs have? Are entrepreneurs born, or can they be made by developing specific skills?

He believes that entrepreneurs are made, and there is evidence to back this up. In this article, we are going to explore the 4 critical success factors that every entrepreneur should keep in mind.

1) Scott Assemakis says Attitude and Mindset

This report based on extensive academic research has shown that entrepreneurs are made rather than born, all of them sharing attitude and mindset characteristics that can be learned and honed through practice.

Scott Assemakis says Attitude and Mindset
Compiling their findings in what they call The DNA of the Entrepreneur Model, the study highlights the most important common traits successful entrepreneurs share. At the nucleus of the model is the specific attitude entrepreneurs have towards spotting opportunity and taking calculated risks. Where most people see problems and chaos, entrepreneurs see solutions and business opportunities.

Surrounding this attitude is the internal locus of control which refers to one’s belief in control over his or her environment. Entrepreneurs have a strong sense of direction and prefer to take control over their life and success, as opposed to leaving everything to abstract concepts such as destiny or the existence of a pre-written fate that one is not able to change or alter.

Further away from the model’s core we see the six guides to action, as the study’s authors refer them. Passion, persistence, good team-worker and leader, having an eye for market opportunities and having the know-how to support the venture are all traits successful entrepreneurs share.

All of these characteristics are based on a survey of 685 entrepreneurial business leaders from around the world, and are informed by a series of in-depth interviews with Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners.

Finally, the outer ring refines the model by accounting for key traits identified in previous studies.

The attitude and mindset of successful entrepreneurs play a big part in their success, and this study does a good job of defining such important traits.

2) Prior Work Experience

A different study conducted by the Kauffman Foundation documented the factors that influence the success or failure of startups. It revealed the important role that previous work experience can play in many entrepreneurial ventures, especially those conducted by mid-career entrepreneurs.

Out of 549 company founders of successful businesses in high-growth industries, 98% ranked prior experience as an important success factor in their ventures.

This does not mean that entrepreneurs without previous experience cannot be successful. They should, however, be aware of the areas where they still need to improve in order to better their chances of succeeding.

Another study conducted on 14 mid-career entrepreneurs has further shown the importance of previous experience in developing the actual business ideas for their ventures.

Having already worked for large companies in their specific industries, these individuals were able to spot gaps in what the large enterprises were already doing, while their entrepreneurial attitude enabled them to fill those gaps themselves.

When asked about the process of coming up with their business idea, this is how the 14 mid-career entrepreneurs answered:
Prior Work Experience - Scott Assemakis

These two studies confirm the importance and influence that previous work experience can have in pursuing a new, better idea in the industry that one is already involved with.

The ability to spot current problems and develop solutions, however, is still essential. Prior work experience is not enough to guarantee success by itself.

3) Ability to Learn From Failures : Scott Assemakis

Many successful entrepreneurs say that they don’t mind, or even that they enjoy failure. They believe failure is the best way to learn, and without past failures, they wouldn’t be and they wouldn’t know what they know today.

A successful entrepreneur I once interviewed told me that whenever you are doing something for the first time, you are going to fail anyway – so why postpone that moment?, he asked. Fail as fast as you can, learn the lesson, and move on. Failure is something you have to go through before you can achieve success.

Kauffman’s study seems to confirm this mindset, with 40% of the 549 successful company founders citing lessons learned from failures as being extremely important in their journey towards success.

Learn to embrace failure and learn from it. Know that without past failure, you wouldn’t have the experience you have today.

4) Finance and Funding

Finance and Funding - Scott Assemakis Asked what held them back in their ventures, 45% of the 685 entrepreneurs surveyed responded that Funding had been their greatest problem: both during the startup process and in their venture’s pursuit of growth.

Cash is king is one thing accountants love saying over and over again, and it does seem to be true.

Having the financial resources and the know-how in this field is proving to be an important success factor that stops many from putting their ideas into practice, as well as further growing their already established businesses.

Finance and Funding - Scott Assemakis
Funds to start and develop your business can come from many different places. When the 14 mid-career entrepreneurs were asked about their sources of financing, this is what they answered (broken down into their 3 specific industries):

Remember that no matter how great your idea and how honed your skills – you will need resources to kickstart and grow your venture.

By no means does this mean that you should not pursue an idea you know has potential simply because you don’t have the funds right now. Funding is always there for great ideas – but you do have to look for it. Set your priorities right and keep finances in mind when creating your business plan.

More Business Tips from Scott Assemakis

Did you enjoy reading our article? You can get more amazing business advice from Scott Assemakis, an experienced entrepreneur and Consultant.

He loves talking to people about entrepreneurship and business endeavours. Go connect with Scott Assemakis now on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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