I am not an entrepreneur.  I am however lucky enough to have always worked closely with some very good entrepreneurs.  

What I have observed from watching them in action for the last 20 years is this: 

  • When they have a good idea they challenge it; then they believe and keep believing even when everyone says they are wrong
  • They double down investment when frankly I would have walked away
  • They are not afraid to pivot and change their minds as long as there is a reason and a plan
  • They hold their nerve (I mean really hold their nerve)
  • They properly understand risk - not in the way a middle manager at a big firm talks about risk. They risk the ranch again and again and, although it hurts, failure is understood to be inevitable
  • They do not let ego get in the way but have self confidence to say I am right and you are wrong
  • They surround themselves with people they trust who share their values. Culture is everything
  • And finally when all is going a bit pear-shaped they give out some great advice to those they work with (like me).  My favourite was after I had a particularly bad week I simply got this message 'Chin up, chest out, no surrender - Charge!!'

Summer is a good time to read and this list from Forbes of the 10 best books for Entrepreneurs is worth a look. I am buying Grit by Angela Duckworth. From reading the summary her advice to focus less on talent and more on getting that blend of passion and persistence resonates with me.

1. All In by Bill Green

2. Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

3. Disrupted by Dan Lyons

4. Idea to Execution by Ari Meisel and Nick Sonnenberg

5. Unshakeable by Tony Robbins

6. Grit by Angela Duckworth

7. The Third Wave by Steve Case

8. Pivot by Jenny Blake

9. Be Obsessed Or Be Average by Grant Cardone

10. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Let me know your recommendations.