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Startups: 5 "Must Have" Traits for Startups - Shradha Sharma

Shradha Sharma
10th May 2011
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2 years observing close to 1000 entrepreneurs have given me some insights ( or so i think!) on what makes one Startup entrepreneur succeed vis-a-vis another. While there are many views circulating in the market, i have attempted to put learnings based on real interaction with these entrepreneurs.

Be Shameless: Being shameless is one of the biggest asset in your entrepreneurial journey.Don't forget to ask incessantly, call your prospective client again and again till he/she is forced to pick your call, don't give up if your email is not replied to..write again.Many a times what we presume is indifference on other party's side might just be lack of time. Give anyone and everyone benefit of doubt. Many of the deals that get closed in the Startup world is a result of persuasion, patience and undeterred follow ups. Do it, you will not be the only one, i have seen some of the most successful guys doing the above as a practice.


Be Super Flexible: A key differentiator between success and failure is flexibility. How do you take feedbacks speaks alot about you and your ventures' future. Do you say, "Hey, this is a great feedback. Let me work on it" or "I don't agree with your views, but i may be wrong..let me think this through and get back to you" or "I am ready to change". Most importantly ask yourself are you open to change based on feedbacks from Investors, Clients and Employees? Some of the guys whom i have not seen growing one bit are the one's who are very inflexible, opinionated and view feedbacks as personal criticisms. Closely observe all success stories, all of it has a twist and entrepreneurs flexibly responding to it.

Be a Star but try to create Super Stars: All of us like to be a Star ( yes in hearts of heart me too) , somewhere it is enmeshed in an entrepreneur's DNA to want to be known, loved and admired by people all around. But please don't forget, successful guys find glory in making Super Stars. Don't treat people working with you as lesser then you. Your employees are and will be the scriptors of your venture's success. Make them successful and nobody can take away your success. If as a Startup you need to madly love someone, love the one who works with you. And yes, don't fake it..it shows.

Communication still very much matters : Yes, you have a Startup story. But how you speak, share and sell the story is the key factor on the time it will take you to succeed. Without getting into specifics, some of the most successful startups have one or more glib talkers as their Founders. They have a way with words. They are always ready with their 2 minutes elevator pitch. Practice and polish your communication ( both oral and written) everyday. Take time out from your busy schedule. Trust me on this one, an entrepreneur may come and go but a Good Communicator is always in fashion.

Be Hungry: Please be hungry to achieve each day when you get up and go off to sleep. Work round the clock ( as a startup you have to, nobody else will do it for you),network everyday, and think of your goal everyday. Yes, you have to want it most, its not your partner, family, eco-system its all about you. So want it desperately everyday because you can only get it.

These are few of the most common traits that i have observed. I have seen it working. What do you think? What has worked for you? Tell us, we are eager to learn.

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