While I think passion is very important. As a coach, I have seen many people with passion who have not persisted long enough to make a go of it. I believe persistance is number 1.
My two cents:
#1 is the ability to motivate people. There are lots of ways to do this, but it is key.
#2 is perseverance. Nearly every start-up gets caught in a slow painful path at some point. To maintain the course while critically evaluating it is essential to get to the other side.
I would say... Passion. Once you drive your business decisions with openness & necessary humbleness to acknowledge that it´s time to build by learning, then it will be passion that keeps you going towards your goals.
I would agree that passion is Number One.
I would suggest that a clear understanding and appreciation of the value of strong marketing is a close second — because after you build the better mousetrap you need to tell your market and get them turned on enough to buy it.
In the highly competitive world of start ups, less than 10% of entrepreneurs are able to achieve success. It is not that the remaining 90% are less hardworking. Those who succeed in running a start up are merely more resilient, very good motivators and are open to new ideas.
While all the entrepreneurs are self-motivated, the ones who achieve success are able motivate their workers and business partners as well. Perhaps, the single biggest quality that characterizes the successful entrepreneurs is their ability to bounce back after a setback. They take every failure and defeat in their stride and convert it into a learning curve rather than allow it to dampen their zeal. Successful entrepreneurs are always looking for new ideas, are quick to learn from anyone – even a junior - and they have the ability to apply these ideas to their business.
A willilngness to give up control and allow various parts of the business, including the CEO position, to be filled by people who have expertise in those areas. A large portion of start-up failures are due to "founder's disease," where the founder refuses to allow the business to be run by people with experience. That is why it is commonly said that VCs invest in management teams, not the product/service.
While I wholeheartedly agree that passion and perseverance are crucial, what I haven't seen mentioned yet is flexibility: being willing to shift gears if something you're doing isn't working, and the willingness to wear multiple hats, roll up your sleeves, and plunge in to handle whatever needs to get done.
Tough question! I am sure you will receive a lot of interesting answers. The idea has to make sense. Passion to achieve success of your vision (of an idea, product or service).
Organizational skills are critical and the ability to sell, convince others, of your vision, and ability to achieve success.
Tenacity. You must keep going when everyone else has stopped for a second breath or given up the race!
All the posts prior to mine are very good comments! .......Perseverance is key ..... Many things will not go the way you expect..... Focus on being able to "know what you don't know" so you can access the knowledge and experience you don't have to help you make the ongoing adjustments in strategy and execution required throughout your business building journey.
The absolute #1 is Guts. (S)He has must dare to stay with his ideas, and above guts to act, even making mistakes. Just like the old saying No Guts no..........
I'm going to echo what you are already getting as a response...Passion. As Steve Jobs said "We believe people with PASSION can change the world for the better..."
Entrepreneurs should love what they do so that the love of flows over to everyone they meet. For seventeen years, I've been coaching and advising business owners. My enthusiasm and excitement is just as high as it was the day that I first started this business. My legs are less wobbly, shaky, and I'm less scared than earlier, but I still get out of bed each day with the same zeal and excitement that I had on day one.
For me the first quality an entreprenor neddes to have to be successful is passion
Personally, I don't think much about "#1 qualities" as some tend to do. You can see my rationale from the fact that in business lessons and reports, the things that brought some "successes" and lauded by some are at times the same things down-played by others. For example, some say be very structured and at times others say don't be too structured or inflexible.
I think the key is a good dose of common sense. If you are trying to be an entrepreneur in a new field that is wide open there is more room for errors. If it is in an occupied area then strategy and niche become more important. There are a few key qualities like...perseverance, common sense, intuition, imagination, and a sense of reality, that play important parts.
And then again, what is "success"? I don't think there are clear cut answers.
To be creative is the ultimate quality. This means to take your past experiences and use your deep passions of highest purpose in your life. And this will give you what you seek which is the everlasting joy. You must recreate moment-to-moment of your life to create.