The 10 traits an entrepreneur needs to succeed


Serial entrepreneur and investor Russell Dalgleish on how to react to the continued disruption.

Serial entrepreneur and investor Russell Dalgleish lays out the approach all founders and entrepreneurs should be taking at this time as we move towards a gradual lifting of lockdown.

Be brave

“You have to be so brave to go out there and be willing to allow yourself to fail. There is nothing wrong with failing, provided you can learn from the experience, build yourself up and go out and do it again.”

Be visible

“Right now being visible has never been more important than it is at the present moment. We've been used to building our businesses through community interaction, meeting people, going to networking events, going to meet clients. We've been unable to do that. Instead we've had to develop ways to build relationships online.”

Seek opportunity

“We've got to build our businesses. So our job is to look for the opportunity. What I'm talking about is, from what you've seen that's happening in the world and the way the world is going to go, where could there be opportunities for your business?  Particularly where your product or services can aid those who are on the frontline of Covid-19. ”

Be strategic

“You have to be able to raise yourself out of your business. You have to be able to think about how to research, develop a plan, and then implement that plan. Being able to work to a plan and develop it is absolutely essential. Sometimes it's misunderstood, particularly at moments like this when we're all frantically trying to keep going. We have to free up that time to do the thinking.”

Be resourceful

“For some reason we never seem to include the fact that entrepreneurs are fabulous at using resources they don't control. If you work for a large organisation you will have a team, you will have people you can delegate tasks to. But if you're an entrepreneur you tend to have a very small, busy team. Find people to help, willing to donate their time or perhaps work on a reward basis.”

Have a global mindset

“Don't let anyone tell you export is not going to happen. It is. Make sure you understand how you're going to get your products and services out into this global market. Don't fall back into just dealing in your own region or your own country.”

Be the salesperson

“It might sound obvious but the entrepreneur has to be incredibly good at doing sales. You have to force yourself to learn how the customer works, what the customer wants and how you can meet that customer need. I'm not talking about some sort of mythical shiny suited salesperson. I'm talking about someone with a personal belief in helping others.”

Be innovative

“You have to come up with new ways of doing something, because if you do it the same as everyone else, or the same as before, you lose any kind of edge. You're going to have to find new ways for solving problems.”

Be technically savvy

“I don't mean you have to be a technologist, you just have to be willing to learn how to use the technology. I encourage you and your team to try the latest applications and see how they can help you. One’s I love are Strikingly, VeryConnect and Airtable.”

Put the work in

“Everyone works hard in a different way. I don't know anyone on this planet in business who hasn't been successful because they've worked hard. They've built businesses because they’ve simply grafted. They grafted when everyone else had fallen asleep and they kept going.”

Dalgleish, named in the 100 most influential British entrepreneurs, was speaking during an Eagle Labs live event alongside fellow UK entrepreneurs Karen Somerville, co-founder and director of Angels’ Share Glass, and Sheryl Newman, managing director of Aberdeen-based digital transformation company, Appetite for Business.

Contact Russell Dalgleish

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