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8 Traits of ‘Shark Tank’ Entrepreneurs

I love the TV show ‘Shark Tank’.

Not just because I work with entrepreneurs and like to hang out with them but because the Shark Tank really captures the essence of what it takes to succeed in anything.

Yes I know it’s a show and it doesn’t reflect the experience of all entrepreneurs but it does show the attributes and personalities of people who are willing to risk a lot to pursue their dreams.

It’s inspirational and exciting to watch because it captures our real emotions.

It inspires us to be courageous and optimistic and to never ever give up.

Here are 8 traits of the Shark Tank entrepreneurs.

1. Embrace failure and learn from it

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” Thomas Edison

Successful people have learned how to deal with and learn from their failures. Yes there are two aspects of failure that’s worth mentioning here. Dealing with failure is a skill on its own that can help us get through failure. But learning from failure is what can propel you to the next level of success.

Instead of asking why this happened to me, ask what makes me fulfilled.

Failure is part of life. If you look at failure from the perspective of learning and character building then you’ll soon realize that learning from failure is not that different that learning in general (8th item on this list).

2. Take initiative

“Success comes from taking the initiative and following up… persisting… eloquently expressing the depth of your love. What simple action could you take today to produce a new momentum toward success in your life?” Tony Robbins

It goes without saying that entrepreneurs take initiative. Without initiative nothing happens. Without initiative the idea just remains an idea. A lot of people have ideas about all sort of things. But an entrepreneur takes the idea and acts on it.

3. Problem solvers

“Never bring the problem solving stage into the decision making stage. Otherwise, you surrender yourself to the problem rather than the solution” Robert H Schuller

Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. They have an innate ability to find solutions that can add value to their customers. Innovators and disruptors often use a process called “job to be done” developed by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen. The job to be done concept shows how to innovate and disrupt by observing the job people want to accomplish rather than just learning ABOUT the customer.

“As an entrepreneur, you can always find a solution if you try hard enough,” says Lori Greiner of television show ’Shark Tank’.

4. Work hard play hard

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains” Steve Jobs

Entrepreneurs are hard workers, willing to work as hard as necessary to reach their goals. Entrepreneurs are also driven with a strong sense of purpose. But Hard work and no play can lead to burn out.

Successful entrepreneurs balance hard work with fun and play. It’s a way to release the pressures of work, recoup and energize.

5. Create a strong team

“My partners taught me that in order to create wealth, I needed to pair up with people whose strengths compensated for my weaknesses,” says Kevin O’Leary.

It goes without saying that having the right team can be the difference between success and failure. And that’s a lesson that entrepreneurs have learned from previous projects.

Creating a strong team is not just about employees but also about mentors, advisors, and investors. It could also mean family and friends if yours is a family business where some of your employees are family members.

By aligning yourself with the right people and relationships, you are investing in the success of your business.

6. Risk takers

“So many people condemn me for risk taking, but I find it sort of hypocritical because everybody takes risks. Even the absence of activity could be viewed as a risk. If you sit on the sofa for your entire life, you’re running a higher risk of getting heart disease and cancer” Alex Honnold

Risk taking is a fundamental trait. There is no guarantees in life. To start a business takes guts, courage, and drive among other things. But taking risk doesn’t mean being stupid when it comes to potential losses.

Realize that if you come from nothing there is nothing to lose. Life with purpose and passion is all about taking risks.

Entrepreneurs take calculated risks, consult with trusted advisors and mentors. They weigh the risk and reward nature of their initiatives carefully and then decide their next move.

7. Strong sense of intuition

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition” Steve Jobs

‘I don’t feel right about this idea’ is a term we’re all familiar with. It refers to an inner voice that tells us something is not right despite the information in front of us. Some of us have a strong instinct that comes in handy in business. Yet for others it’s a weakness that can lead to tough situations or missed opportunities. It seems there is always a battle between the forces of instinct and fear, one leading the other in a given direction.

Entrepreneurs in general have a strong instinct and have learned how to use it to advance their business. Listening to your instincts requires skill and mastering it requires practice.

8. Constant learners

“Learning never exhausts the mind” Leonardo da Vinci“If you’re not learning you’re dying” Anonymous

This trait is true not just for entrepreneurs but also for all those who succeed in life.

Learning is a life long habit of successful people.

Learning means you take time to learn about your profession, your community, yourself, and the world around you.

For those that are naturally curious about everything learning can be easy. It’s part of who they are, always wanting to know how things work. Wanting to learn about the world around them.

For others learning maybe a little harder because it means change and transformation which may not be easy.

In business learning is a must-have skill because there is constant change in the market place. To be able to make smart decisions, you need to be knowledgable about your niche and customer needs.

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