Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from our interview with Mark Organ for the Founder’s Corner. Read the full interview here.
“Investors love to talk about metrics, but at the end of the day, people make decisions based on people,” says Mark Organ, founder of marketing automation leader Eloqua (acquired by Oracle for $871 million) and the pioneering advocate marketing company Influitive. So, what are some of the qualities that VCs look for in entrepreneurs that influence those decisions?
In the video below, Organ shares three characteristics that attract the right attention and separate the best entrepreneurs from the rest.
3 Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs
1) Ego (but it’s a double-edged sword)
On one hand, you have to have the confidence to set out and do things that other entrepreneurs aren’t willing to do, Organ says. That means trusting your gut when you’re on to something and believing in yourself when you know you have a better way of doing things.
On the other hand, says Organ, you also have to be comfortable with servant leadership. That means being the type of person who goes out of their way to surround themselves with others who are smarter and more talented, and who is genuinely motivated and inspired by enabling those people to succeed.
The best entrepreneurs are people who have an insatiable curiosity for discovering how the world really works. Organ says they’re driven by the five questions: “Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?” (tweet this quote)
To be a successful founder and navigate all the challenges that startup life brings, you have to undergo continuous learning. You should always be striving to discover new solutions and ways of doing things, always upgrading your management and leadership skills because you can’t ever know enough about people.
3) Transparency and Authenticity
As a founder, one of your biggest challenges is to attract the best people to your vision, including employees, advisors, and investors, Organ explains. People are attracted by honesty, hard work ethic, and authenticity. They want to trust and throw their support behind people who are openly passionate, and who can clearly articulate that passion in a way that strikes a chord with them.
Read the full interview with Mark to hear his thoughts on when to pivot, the secrets to creating a category, and more.