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I wasto one of two buckets: those who sell stuff or those who can build great products. Some of them, a rare breed, can do both. Companies live or die on the strength of their products and their ability to market and sell those products. To successfully lead a company, you have to be able to drive at least one of those pillars. Steve Jobs was a good communicator, but his skill lay in products. Even though Bill Gates had technical expertise, he was actually a sales and marketing specialist. Scott Cook at Intuit is a product entrepreneur. Donald Trump is a sales entrepreneur (among other things).  

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5. They can reduce complicated data into something manageable and actionable. 

Even extremely complex business problems usually reduce down to three or four important components. Good entrepreneurs are able to identify the few key factors that are important to a decision or a business. Shark Tank is an entertainment show, without question. But notice how the judges on the show (all of whom are successful entrepreneurs) really know what they are talking about. They rapidly get to the success or failure points of the business almost every time. Regardless of the industry or product, they can almost immediately home in on the two or three key points that the business’ success depends upon.

6. They are very effective with people.

As Americans, we tend to admire people who are out on the edge a little bit. At the risk of getting too philosophical, I think this goes back to the founding of our country by revolutionaries. We tend to admire people who represent fringe elements, even while we may criticize them. Entrepreneurs fall into this category. The popular media representations would make you believe that entrepreneurs are successful in spite of, or because of, their antisocial, “outlaw” tendencies. This results in an inaccurate portrayal of the entrepreneur as a loner or malcontent. Let’s briefly dissect this. Growing a business is a matter of getting people to work together; the probability of being able to build a business, without working well with others, is very, very low. This does not mean to say that good entrepreneurs, like the rest of us, do not have personal foibles, because they do. However, if you look a little bit more closely, it is obvious that the truly great entrepreneurs are very effective with people, or else they would not have achieved the same level of success. 

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1. Great entrepreneurs blend vision with execution.
2. They have an ability to find backdoors.
3. They’re willing to work the long hours.
4. They can either sell or build.
5. They can reduce complicated data into something manageable and actionable.
6. They are very effective with people.
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