Passion. Ambition. Motivation. Persistence.
These are all traits we tend to associate with the entrepreneurial spirit.
And it’s true that many of the world’s top entrepreneurs share these and other personality traits.
But there’s another thing that they all have in common, too:
A willingness to do the “dirty work” it takes to start a business.
They never hesitate to actively volunteer for things that are hard, or messy, or complex.
This initiative empowers them to take on tasks that no one else was willing to do, and that tendency can pay off in a big way.
Doing these things can sometimes even involve an element of courage.
Entrepreneurs can overcome fear of failure, and forge ahead with projects no one else fully believed in.
Hard work and persistence are essential for success in the business world, and the world’s biggest entrepreneurship success stories have those things in spades.
A recent piece in Entrepreneur explains this in detail.
Entrepreneurs volunteer for the hard jobs.
If you want to be successful in a startup, you should be ready to raise your hand, roll up your sleeves, and tackle the work that no one else is willing to do.
A perfect example of this comes from HubSpot’s history, not from a founder but from an integral member of the leadership team.
In 2014, HubSpot was a pre-IPO company in serious need of an overhaul of much of its sales operations plan.
It was clear that tons of hard work and analysis would need to go into the process, and there were numerous stakeholders with varying opinions on how to proceed.
Nevertheless, Alison Elworthy, VP of Operations at HubSpot, raised her hand to do the messy work. The resulting plan was a massive success upon rollout — and it’s still called “The Elworthy Plan” to this day.
Here’s the lesson: whether you want to start your own company, you want a better title, or you’re just interested in a bigger paycheck, the best way to raise some eyebrows and boost your career is to volunteer for the hard stuff.
They’re definitely not afraid of failure.
In fact, many successful and innovative companies (like Google) encourage people to fail, the mindset being that if you’re not failing, you’re not trying.
They embrace the mantra of “failing fast”, because the faster you fail, the more things you’re able to try and the more proof you have that you’re pushing your limits. This reliance on failure has kept companies like Google on the forefront of innovation for years.
Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx (and the youngest self-made female billionaire in America) is the perfect manifestation of this mantra.
Working as a door-to-door fax salesperson at the time, Sara (unsuccessfully) sought pantyhose that would work with the modern woman’s lifestyle.
At 27, Sara invested her life savings, $5,000, into a hosiery concept of her own designs.
The rest is history.
Sara founded Spanx, and in the process earned a fortune worth more than $1 billion.
On the subject of failure, Sara has one piece of advice: “It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.”
You can find out more about the personality traits of entrepreneurs over at Hubspot.