What can make an entrepreneur successful?

What makes a successful entrepreneur and why?
Perseverance. No really. You can be a brilliant MIT graduate with all the connections in the world, and a groundbreaking technology, but nothing happens overnight. You have to be able to stick with it through all of the trials, all of the awful pitches, all of the no’s, being broke, being lonely, being frustrated. If you don’t have the grit and will to push through all of the negatives of being an entrepreneur, and just survive, you wont last too long. Rarely do you found the next Instagram or Snap chat, going viral overnight and being picked up for billions in a matter of a year or two. Often you slog through horrors until the market is ready for you, it might be 3 years, it might be 20 years.
What skills or traits do I need to be an entrepreneur? 
Entrepreneurs need to be able to take in a lot information, and glean some insights from it to apply to what they are doing. I read constantly, and am always surprised at what can spark ideas or solve problems. Being able to look at a 30,000 foot view of a problem, do a quick survey of an industry or area of science, and then zoom in on a solution is a really important ability to have.
Entrepreneurs usually need to be humble as well. There’s always someone who’s been there first, always someone who’s smarter than you, and always someone you can learn from. If you go in like you’re the end-all-be-all you wont attract the right people to make yourself successful.
How do I succeed? 
Beyond what I said above, you really need to commit to it. It’s a lifestyle, and if you have a family, the whole family becomes an entrepreneur family. It might mean no vacations, a smaller house, tighter budges, and often meager Christmases. If everyone isn’t committed to it, you’re going to have a lot of distracting strife. You have to be able to keep motivated and sacrifice today’s comforts for tomorrow’s returns, always looking at the long game.
Pro-Tips for entrepreneurs
  • Learn everything you can, from everyone you can.
  • Network like crazy, always provide value to people you meet, and be humble in the process.
  • Find a mentor who’s been there before.
  • Have your own house in order.
That last one is probably the most important part. Personally, professionally, financially, you have to have your ducks in a row or you’ll miss opportunities. Your finances need to be awesome so you can A) have enough money to take opportunities and make leaps of faith, and B) when you’re in due diligence you should probably have decent credit, or a great story why you don’t. I meet a lot of entrepreneurs that put more value on the lifestyle, and looking and acting like an entrepreneur than they do in actually being an entrepreneur. If you walk into my office hours with all the gadgets, a $2,000 suit, and a BMW, but complain you don’t have enough cash to bootstrap, I can’t feel sorry for you because you did that to yourself.

America, a Nation of Laws

America was founded as a nation of laws, laws which should treat anyone equally regardless of race, gender, creed, or beliefs. It is not for the government to decide what society sees at acceptable speech, but to society to use its innate power to curtail and form itself.

Society’s power rests in inclusion or exclusion in the benefits of society. In days past, if you were thrust out of society it meant fending on your own and being forced to eek out an existence on the fringes. Unfortunately today, it’s very easy to live on the fringes of society, and even easier to find others of your persuasion for support and confirmation of your fringe beliefs. People don’t die in the wilderness anymore, but is that a reason to change one of the major foundations of our American institution?

I don’t think it is. I’m firmly of a mind that once you grant the power to restrict speech it’s one of the greatest weapons of the enemies of freedom (Including Nazis). It’s far too easy to use censorship as a political tool, and very easy for society to fall into McCarthyism and paint broad groups as demons to be cast out. Yes, today it’s nazis and white nationalists, but yesterday it was Dr. Martin Luther King fighting for civil rights. No one has authority to judge what speech has merit, but we as a whole decide what is acceptable or not.

Now, if censorship isn’t the way to combat hateful rhetoric how do we tackle it? Do we arm up and go toe to toe? I’d argue again, no, because again we’re a nation of laws. Assault is assault whether you like what someone has to say or not. And furthermore, it feeds into the victimization narrative that these hate groups use to feed the fires of their followers and grow their hateful ideologies. These guys generally use the same recruiting tactics as ISIS and similar groups, and every action people take that they can use to enforce their narrative should be avoided at all costs. Every one of their group that gets punched, arrested, or otherwise becomes a martyr to the cause, a person to be emulated. The guy that gets punched in the face today, wont suddenly have an epiphany that he’s wrong, he’ll just show up next time with a set of brass knuckles, a gun, or maybe a Dodge Charger… Violence Begets Violence. Always.

The only course of action I can see that doesn’t make things worse is to show these hateful people (and the world) that 1) They are so grossly outnumbered and outmatched that any thoughts for their hateful revolution or otherwise, would be a futile effort. and 2) That society has heard, and rejects their views.

One of the dangerous things I am seeing right now is the media taking up these demonstrations and blowing out the numbers to make it seem like they were way bigger than they are. By all accounts there was 200-300 of these guys in Charlottesville, and thousands of counter protesters, these guys were probably outnumbered 20 to 1 which is awesome. This was a nationwide, highly publicized callout from maybe different hate groups, and people answered the call, but were still outnumbered 20-1. They should be made to feel small, feeble, and petty. But they shouldn’t be attacked with violence, or have their rights restricted. They claim there’s a war on the white race, don’t feed the narrative.