Ask any entrepreneur to describe themselves, and odds are you will hear a wide variety of answers. Driven. Passionate. Responsible. Adaptable. However you probably won’t hear one really important trait entrepreneurs need.
All of these are excellent descriptive terms, worthy of successful entrepreneurs across all facets of the business world. And yet, something is missing. There is one word you probably won’t hear, but should. A single, key trait that can mean the difference between immense success and imminent failure. That key trait is naivete, and it can often be found in first-stage stories of entrepreneurs everywhere.
One trait entrepreneurs need, but don’t always have
Naivete does not refer to a “lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment,” as Google Dictionary defines it, but merely a tendency to see slightly less than the entire picture.
It is this blatant naivete that helps release entrepreneurs from their real world shackles and chains, giving them the time and ability to dwell a little longer in their own headspace where anything is possible. No obstacle is insurmountable. No detail too minuscule. In a naive mind, each and every aspect of a business venture is, at the very least, achievable, as long as you put in the effort.
“The true entrepreneur (or the true intrapreneur, for that matter) is almost always characterized by an inability to see negatives, a certain blindness to obstacles, a disregard for barriers,” says Forbes Contributor Henry Doss.
Sometimes it means neglecting to ascertain the full scope of sheer work required to accomplish a particular goal. Other times it might mean operating without acknowledging the negative voices. In both cases, naivete suppresses a few small parts of an otherwise overwhelming picture, thus making it seem more attainable.
Naivite on the entrepreneurial journey
It is important to note that naivete does not necessarily require unrealistic expectations or disconcerting amounts of optimism. In fact, many entrepreneurs are acutely aware that their journey will not be easy. Some even experience work-related meltdowns once they fully comprehend the epicness of their inevitable to-do lists. But, it is blissful naivete that coaxes them to persist. It is the reason they can keep on going.
A naive entrepreneur cannot quit for the simple reason that, in their mind, they cannot fail.
Aaron Sansoni, the new breed of selling superstar, is an international speaker, best-selling author and recent nominee for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 & Australian of the Year 2017