How To Become Extremely Talented

This past week, I happened upon a Gallup research poll this week that found that extremely talented entrepreneurs are:

  • 3X more likely to build and significantly grow large business
  • Four times more likely to create jobs and
  • Four times more likely to exceed profit goals

It got me thinking. While anyone who owns their own business aims to be an extremely talented entrepreneur, how can one develop him or herself into one? The Gallup poll includes a link to a questionnaire that defines what traits comprise an extremely talented entrepreneur, but I decided to form my own list:

  1. Conviction: Many people aim to become their own bosses. While there are perks, there is also enormous risk and weighty responsibility. The market often dictates the direction of many industries, and unless an entrepreneur is passionate, motivated, and convicted, with a firm belief in his or her purpose, the future of the business is tainted by the instability of the world around us. Building a business starts with purpose and an extremely talented entrepreneur possesses the confidence to see beyond the gloom of an unfortunate situation to see a bright horizon.
  2. A Hunger for Knowledge: As Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” I recently faced a difficult decision when I was accepted into the Duke cross-continent MBA program. All monetary costs aside, going through with the program would entail 4 trips around the world from China, to India, to Chile, as well as extensive group work and homework outside of the travel. In spite of increased stress levels and less time with my family, I know that self-improvement is vital. Although I already consider myself a finance nerd, in a long-term relationship with financial statements, my classes at Duke have added considerably to my knowledge. Even an expert doesn’t know everything. An extremely talented entrepreneur never stops learning and growing.
  3. The Ability to Listen: The smartest, most successful people I know would never acknowledge themselves as such. In fact, these people are always seeking others’ opinions and ideas. As the owner of a business, it is extremely vital to listen to those around you. Learning is not contained to professors or keynote speakers; the most important lessons have been taught to me by my friends and family, employees, and even with those whom I disagree. Listening respectfully helps one to gain perspective, and in life, we will always be encountering different perspectives.
  4. Appreciation: No person is successful without the help of many others. I would not be here today without the support of everyone in my life. It is important to acknowledge peoples’ contributions, and know that even as an “extremely talented” entrepreneur, much of our success is dependent upon the time and talents of other people.

What factors do you notice that extremely talented people possess?

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