The (March) Madness of Entrepreneurship

It’s the season of brackets so I filled out my own. Not for the NCAA basketball tournament. That’s easy. Michigan wins, end of bracket. My bracket is one of the skills one needs to succeed as an entrepreneur. Game on.

SWEET SIXTEEN

Tenacity vs. Charm

Tenacity. All day long. I think charm might get you in the door, but tenacity is what you have when you look in the mirror.

Energy vs. Intellect

Energy. Because the amount of effort to pursue this marathon is prodigious.

Salesmanship vs. Financial Acumen

Salesmanship. You can buy financial acumen, but you can’t send anybody else in the door to sell for you.

Resourcefulness vs. Courage

I think I’m going to go with courage because the world is sort of against you for so much of the time. And you have to have an independent ability to work through that.

Vision vs. Physical Fitness

Vision. That’s easy. I mean, if somebody were a bodybuilder or an Olympic athlete, that wouldn’t mean they could pursue a business.

Organization vs. Independence

I think founders can be pretty scattered and still succeed. But they can’t be followers or lemmings, so independence.

Experience vs. Support

Experience is great, but support helps you with the weaker, psychological moments. Support wins.

Passion vs. Humor

Passion. There’s no personality type to founders—successful founders. Humor’s wonderful, but passion is the winner.

ROUND 2

Tenacity vs. Energy 

Energy goes up and down for sure, it’s human, but tenacity is the thing that makes you go get more energy so tenacity.

Sales vs. Courage

I think I’ll go salesmanship on this one because it never stops. I think in the later days of a startup or a few years down the road, the courage quotient maybe doesn’t have to be quite so high, but you never stop needing to sell.

Vision vs. Independence

They are a little bit different sides of the same coin. But independence in and of itself could just be contrarian or cranky, but you need to know where you’re going with that independence, and that’s vision.

Support vs. Passion

I’m going to go with passion on that one. That’s hard because support can make up for a lot of challenges and bumps. But if you don’t have passion, it kind of doesn’t matter what else you have. So passion.

ROUND 3

Tenacity vs. Sales

This one’s tenacity because as important as salesmanship is, it’s still a subset of a founder’s skills whereas tenacity is an underpinning to everything.

Vision vs. Passion

People depend on the founder for vision and it has to continually evolve. So I’m going to go with that one because it’s hard for anybody else to play that role.

FINAL ROUND

Tenacity vs. Vision

I’m going to go with tenacity because the need for revising vision is not as constant as the daily need for tenacity. And that is the thing when I look at successful founders, that seems to separate them from even their pre-founder self or people who work as employees, is they have tenacity in spades. It’s the one thing you just cannot do without.

What are your picks? Fill out a bracket of your own and let us know your winners in the comments below!

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