Building a start-up: What characteristics do you need to be a successful founder?

In my last blog post, I wrote about our experiences when starting Testbirds and what I’ve learned from evaluating business ideas. You obviously will need a really good idea if you want to found a company. But another important aspect you have to consider is asking yourself if you have what it takes to be a founder. In this post, I will talk about the top 5 characteristics that, from my perspective, make a good founder.

No 1 | Be persistent

The first thing you need as a founder is the strong desire to build up something on your own. There will be many obstacles you will need to overcome, so being persistent is key when founding your own company. My advice is start small and think big. In my case, I gained some first experience at school by starting a small company with friends. We provided computer helpdesk services for people in my hometown.

No 2 | Have an interest in people

Being good with people and being interested in them is important, because these things will be a big part of your job. As a founder, you will build your own company from scratch, which also means choosing the people you want to work with and how to motivate them. I’m not sure that I knew this in the beginning. This is something you may or may not have now, but eventually you will figure it out.

No 3 | Don’t be afraid

My tasks and responsibilities at Testbirds change every year, sometimes even every few months. It could be that I hand whole areas over to a colleague and took over completely new areas. As a founder, you need to have fun in changing things as well as not being afraid of gaining new insights into areas you don’t know a lot about.

No 4 | Grasping opportunities

Another thing I realized is that I think in grasping opportunities rather than in working time. As a founder, it should be clear for you that you will work more than the average employee. But, working a lot by yourself doesn’t define your results – only seizing chances does.

No 5 | Charge your battery

Last but not least, don’t forget to relax sometimes! It is essential to charge your batteries. In my case, I love snowboarding and nothing will prevent me from rocking the slopes in January ;-)

Pow, pow, powder!
Philipp

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