I really have a great appreciate for entrepreneurs. In fact, I work for one who’ve managed to built a 30 million dollar company from scratch in a short couple years with no funding. However, I was speaking with my boss the other day and I realized that many of the same traits that make entrepreneurs great actually keeps them from being a great investor. Let’s talk about these in more detail.
Every entrepreneur is optimistic about the future. In a business environment, it is so important to think about the potential rewards because optimism is the only motivation tool at his/her disposal to weather the tough times.
An investor though should not be optimistic. The best investors are the ones that worry about the potential downside all the time. The number one objective of an investor should be to not lose money and the only way to do so is to assess the risk of the portfolio constantly.
Convicted in the Decision
In order to be successful, the entrepreneur has to be convicted in the decisions that are made. This is the only way to be able to lead other people to follow and execute his/her direction with confidence.
In an investing environment, being too convicted is going to hurt an investor. It’s good to make decisions, but if it doesn’t turn out the way we though it will, we shouldn’t convince ourselves that it was the right direction going forward.
Entrepreneurs are aggressive. There is no doubt that successful entrepreneurs made big bets at some point in their lives. Many entrepreneurs start off by leaving a good paying job and risking it all for something they truly believe in. Some fail, some succeed but they go with the mantra of “no guts, no glory”.
Never Give Up
Entrepreneurs never take no for an answer and they never give up. The only reason why my boss is successful is because he never gives up. There are business relationships that he saved because he never, ever gave up on winning the customer back. In a business world, this is one of the most admirable trait to have.
Investors better give up when things turn the other way. A famous quote related to this is “It’s not what you don’t know that hurts you the most, it’s the things you know for sure that turns out to be completely wrong that hurt you the most”. If an investment turns south, admit defeat and get out of it immediately.
I’m glad that there are many professionals that help these successful entrepreneurs handle their finances because it would otherwise distract them from doing what they do best – build their business.
I feel like I need to somehow separate investing and business before I can be successful in both. I’m a pretty good investor so far, so it will be interesting for me to see how I can become a successful business person also.