Entrepreneurs are a tricky bunch. They all have something in common – the will to bring their vision to life – but it takes something extra special to truly make them great at what they do. These are the qualities that separate the survivors from the thrivers; the just-good-enough from the trailblazers. And oddly enough, some of these attributes aren’t wholly good. They can be double-edged swords that actually take away from their greatness in other areas of life and business. But for better or for worse, these are the qualities that all amazing entrepreneurs possess.
That’s right: not confidence, but overconfidence. Confidence is perfectly healthy and perfectly common in all successful people. A good doctor is sure of himself; so is a good politician or a good accountant. Great entrepreneurs occupy another plane. They must be able to believe in themselves even when no one else does. It’s the only personality type that can stand a chance of breaking through the seemingly intractable challenges an entrepreneur takes on. They’re people who, after accomplishing something very close to impossible, spend their mellower years wondering how they ever dared to do what they did.
In Buddhism, they call it one-pointedness: the quality of the mind that allows it to dedicate itself entirely to one task and one task only. Great entrepreneurs are able to shut out the whole world in order to dedicate themselves completely to their vision. They’re entirely devoted to mastering their niche, to the exclusion of all other pursuits. Everything outside their business takes a distant second place. Jacks of all trades need not apply.
To the point of driving everyone who works for and around them half-crazy, entrepreneurs are absolutely committed to doing what they do as well as it can possibly be done. They’re not about excellence. Excellence is the goal of most accomplished people, but great entrepreneurs aren’t motivated the same way. They want to get it absolutely perfect – which is an impossibility, of course, and a difficult quality that could be described as a kind of madness. But that’s what they’re after, and it’s the only way they could ever manage to climb as high as they do.