Three Characteristics I’ve Seen in Successful Entrepreneurs

By Vivek Jayaram

Photography by Anjali Pinto,

I’ve represented a lot of entrepreneurs and founders over time.  But a few things are strikingly similar among the really successful ones.  Here are three that come to mind:

  1.  Think Fast.  The top tier of entrepreneurs that I’ve worked with all have the ability to make decisions (good or bad) quickly.  Whether it’s pursuing a new product idea or taking funding from a controversial VC, entrepreneurs are constantly confronted with making important decisions.  Mulling something over might result in a more complete plan, but failing to strike when the iron is hot (even if the execution is less than perfect) can be fatal for a young business.
  1.  People, Not Ideas.  Founders ask me all the time about what I think about their ideas.  While the idea is important, I’m always more interested in the people.  I think my view is shared by lots of investors.  You can have an idea that’s “good enough,” but when it comes to the leadership team, they have to be really strong to obtain success.
  1.  Be Authentic.  The most successful people that I’ve worked with don’t aspire to be anyone other than the best version of themselves; and it shows. Companies that lack a genuine voice run the risk of being imitators that lack spirit.  Don’t get me wrong, know your competitors and riff off whatever makes sense for your business, but do it in a way that reflects your own beliefs and philosophies.