Today I had the humble opportunity to get interviewed for a local newspaper about a new venture I’m starting. I was asked many questions, but one question I was asked was, “What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?” It was strange to be asked that question because that was one of the questions I often pondered about the past few years. But on top of resourcefulness and resiliency, I said a successful entrepreneur is experienced enough to know how to dance between the 2 extremes of optimism and pessimism. What do I mean by that? I mean that ignorant and early “wantrepreneurs” have all of these ideas and think they can be billionaires just by having “the next Facebook.” However what they’ve failed to realize is that they’ve delved into the spectrum of optimism too much and have been blind-sided by the lofty dreams of becoming billionaires and having nice cars and mansions. On the other hand, once first-time entrepreneurs get a taste of “failure” and immediately dive into the deep end of pessimism, they think that their entire world is crumbling before them, and they fail to realize that they have more going for them than they realize.
A successful entrepreneur knows how to elegantly dance between these 2 extremes. Beyond meeting the requirements of having a good idea, assembling a good team and being resilient and resourceful, a good entrepreneur knows how to masterfully dance between the 2 extremes of optimism and pessimism. They know how to keep their head in the clouds but keep their hands on the dirt at the same time. It’s an elegant discipline of knowing how to control your temptations and emotions.