When six years ago the founders of Marcellus put their life’s savings on the line to create the firm, they realised that becoming an entrepreneur is not everyone’s cup of tea. This short piece by the broadcaster Evan Davis struck a chord with us:

“In the interview series The Decisions That Made Me a Leader, we spoke to half a dozen successful entrepreneurs – too small a sample from which to draw statistically useful generalisations, but large enough to spot some interesting patterns.

I was struck by three intriguing attributes that may not guarantee business success, but which do seem to help.

First, I noticed the degree of rebelliousness exuded by several of them. They never quite fitted in – perhaps not into school, or university, or into the first jobs they tried.

Duncan Bannatyne, famous as one of the original big stars of the Dragons Den TV series, certainly never fitted into the navy, from which he was court-martialed and dishonourably discharged after getting into a fight with an officer. “I just thought it was right thing to do – he was poking me and shouting at me,” recalls Mr Bannatyne.

His attitude, he tells me, is that “authority should not be accepted”…

The second attribute that I noticed was a kind of impatience hard-wired into their personalities. It seems there is always an itch. They never stand still.

But if you thought their success in business came out of some kind of life-plan upon about which they had reflected and consciously embarked, you would be missing the point.

These entrepreneurs grabbed at opportunities, and indeed grabbed opportunities to make opportunities for themselves….

So to a third and final entrepreneurial attribute, which follows from the others: it’s a willingness to actually do things, rather than merely think about them. Or overthink them.

I feel this is what marks out those people – in business or perhaps even in charities or public service – that are of a genuine entrepreneurial spirit. They are the people who seem to get things done.

Some of it comes down to a kind of optimism. They believe that their own actions have a good chance of achieving something, so they are less likely than most of us to descend into a fatalistic stupor. It gets them out of bed in the morning.”

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Note: the above material is neither investment research, nor financial advice. Marcellus does not seek payment for or business from this publication in any shape or form. Marcellus Investment Managers is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a provider of Portfolio Management Services. Marcellus Investment Managers is also regulated in the United States as an Investment Advisor.

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