What makes an entrepreneur successful?

Some people believe it is the ability to innovate.

However, many startups are refinements of existing business models or improvements on how everyday products and services are delivered.

How about access to capital?

[But] there are plenty of successful startups that survived on the thinnest of shoestrings for their first few years.

Management skill?

No ways. Entrepreneurs are famously short-tempered and few have the patience to coach employees.

There is one thing and one thing alone that every great entrepreneur absolutely must possess: courage.

It takes courage to forego the predictability and security of a corporate job.

It takes courage to let go of your comfortable monthly salary into something that you don’t know sure will work out as expected.

It takes courage to sacrifice your nest egg to your startup.

It takes courage to take the risk of failure.

It takes courage to venture into the unknown when everyone thinks you are insane.

It takes courage to start over again after you have been bankrupt and lost everything.

And it takes courage, lots of it, to hand over the reins when your startup grows beyond your ability to manage it.

[photo via undp]

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