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School for Startups Interview: Character Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

Jim Beach believes that creativity, passion, and risk taking have very little to do with being a successful entrepreneur. His approach to The School for Startups is based in 25 years of direct experience building successful bootstrapped businesses and teaching entrepreneurship to others. I was honored to join him on the School for Startups Radio Show last week to share my story of founding Micro-Ant and the writing of Lessons My Brothers Taught Me.

Charles McCarrick discusses the chacter traits of successful entrepreneurs with Jim on the School for Startups Radio. You need more than passion pushing you through adversity.

Jim and I agreed on many things: that large US corporations shamelessly steal from small businesses, that life experiences can be a guide for business decision making, and that anyone building a business will one day encounter a situation they are simply not prepared for. How they work their way out of it will determine the success of their business and become a building block of their character.

Jim asked me - how do you deal with that type of obstacle?

You take a stance. You realize that you will find yourself in situations where there is nothing that you could have done to avoid it. The cards were stacked against you and you didn't know it until you found yourself in it. You can see this is an opportunity to learn something that you can apply going forward.

This has been my secret to success.

Yes, pursuing something that you're passionate about is important. Yes, you will need to take the first risk in actually starting a business. However, when the rubber hits the road, traits such as perseverance and determination will win out over passion.

What is motivating you to start a business? You need something that is pushing you, rather than pulling you.

Discipline, deliberate consistency in habits and self control, will get you through the hum-drum of business and ensure consistency of quality. But most important of all traits, is the mindset that every adversity is an opportunity for learning. Every adversity can teach you two important lessons. First, the specific lesson that is there for learning from that specific situation. Second, the lesson that you are capable of surviving and thriving in spite of the adversity. This is the key lesson in character building that bolsters determination and resiliency.

As you go through your entrepreneurial journey, every adversity that you overcome will become a building block for the long term success of your business. Your customers will learn that you are resilient, dependable, and capable through how you handle difficulties and adverse events and they will learn to trust you more. Your leadership and influence with your team will grow as your character grows. In my book, I call this salability, and it is the foundational trait of successful entrepreneurs.


Jim Beach is a remarkable business man and teacher. He started his first business when he was 25yrs old and has since launched many successful companies, most of them bootstrapped and cash positive within months. He has taught his methodology at Georgia State University and now teaches his own program called "School for Startups." Though he doesn't admit it, he is passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed through coaching and training and no-nonsense methodologies.


Join me for the 2nd Annual Inventor-Manufacturer Entrepreneurship Conference - an event for growing companies who invent, design and manufacture. We will be focusing on Talent and Culture, Leadership Transitions and Operational Excellence.


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