7 Traits Successful Startup Founders Have in Common

Global teams
Published on
February 9, 2016

Building a startup is like running a marathon. It can be painful, discouraging, and tempting to give up. The ups and downs are tremendous. In fact, according to report in Small Trendz Business, only 2 in 5 startups are profitable. Despite this, a true leader will persevere, never unscathed but with the strength and wisdom necessary to support their team as best possible.  

Every day, new issues will arise. Many may be predicted and dealt with promptly, while others come as a complete surprise and require extra work to handle. While you must have a solid foundation of cutting-edge technology and a brilliant idea, how executives cope with uncertainty and solve challenges is often the determining factor in whether or not a business succeeds.

Below are the seven traits that separate winners from losers when it comes to successfully scaling a startup.

Positive attitude
Founders who ignore situations or procrastinate allow more problems to build up. Tackle every issue as they present themselves and do not shy away, thinking they will go away on their own because they rarely ever do. Unfortunately, many founders find it difficult to cope with the stress associated with this lifestyle, so they ignore critical problems. They are being successful means powering through the garbage thrown at you daily.

Realistic Approach
Successful startup founders simultaneously take responsibility for their lack of effort and achievement while applauding the accomplishments of others. A founder with high self-esteem and confidence can acknowledge others and learn from their successes, as envy or jealousy is a clear sign of weakness and never amounts to anything. Being satisfied is a trait many might view as giving up, but truthfully it realizes success is composed of many things. If you are never happy, you will drive your team into the ground.

Everyone strives for success, but to be the best we can, we must identify our sources of contentment. For example, many people will achieve more great accomplishments than you, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they meet their definition of success. If someone is unsatisfied despite starting a billion-dollar company, that discontent will disrupt any lasting feelings of accomplishment and happiness. As a result, many so-called "successful people" are miserable because they cannot find the inner peace necessary to enjoy their achievements.

Leadership skill
Founders who ultimately find success can walk the walk. Unsuccessful people often delegate everything to others and never get their hands dirty. Still, true leaders show others how to succeed by putting in hard work and practicing what they preach. When teams develop new ideas, a great founder is the first to offer to try them and get bloodied if it fails.

Always available  
Founders and CEOs can never fully disengage and do their own thing. In instances where founders claim they have too much work to take part in the "little things," it's constantly those little things that end up making or breaking a young company, not to mention crushing the team's spirit. If you don't have time for your team, you have told them that they are unnecessary. It is critical in a young startup for a founder to be utterly available to their team.

Imagine a founder who nit-picks everything you do to the point where you want to quit. This person never says "great job" and let go; they always have to make changes, no matter how small or irrelevant. This behavior is most of the time to make sure everyone knows that they're the founder and the most intelligent person in the room. However, in most cases, this results in a space, as everyone has either transferred or quit—an easy remedy: having flexibility with such procedures and processes. Nothing is ever perfect, but not having flexibility can do more harm than good.

Many startup founders can be closed off in the idea process and come across as condescending. This black-box mentality is a clear sign of insecurity. Great founders have lots of confidence in their knowledge and worth and use that to build others up by keeping the communication flowing. Having an open mind and letting others create helps make the entire team successful. Indeed, well-adjusted people are happy to share what they know and to learn from others.

There are hundreds of attributes that make up successful individuals, but these seven play the most crucial role in defining the success trajectory of a company. While everyone might experience setbacks here and there, it's the founders who consider the entire team's health and modify their behavior accordingly, making history.

If this post resonated with you, check with your organization to see whether you are part of the MentorCloud network. If not, sign up for a demo here! Our vision is to create a mentoring planet in which true equality is achieved, and hard work is rewarded, but it's only possible with your participation.

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