Drive is one of the 6 Essential Traits you must possess to become an entrepreneur. “Essential” is defined as “absolutely necessary, extremely important.” You have to have all of the essential traits if you’re going to become a true entrepreneur!
The Fourth Essential Entrepreneurial Trait: Driven
The definition of driven is “operated, moved, or controlled by a specific source of power.” Driven people have a strong sense of urgency. This trait is essential to success. Whether you’re trying to prove something to a family member, trying to avoid the life you had growing up, or trying not to be a failure, these are some of the roots of an entrepreneur’s drive.
Driven people are self motivated. They don’t need outside forces to cause them to move. As Jim Rohn said, “Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.”
Drive is about an internal fire that you want to succeed.
Drive: You Either Have It or You Don’t
At a meeting of entrepreneurs, the host brought in four of his newest employees for a Q & A session. All were very driven, hardworking people in their early 20s. We peppered these young ambitious people with questions. I asked them where they got their strong work ethic and drive. While each answer was a little different, in every case they went back to a very young age—before they were ten years old—to recount where their drive came from.
The point is that you’ve either had this trait for as long as you can remember—and have always exhibited it—or you don’t have it. Driven people are tenacious, competitive, self-motivated, goal-oriented, growth-oriented and never give up. They hustle. They want to succeed.
A Real World Example: Meet Zac, a Red Bull Distributor from Iowa
A good example of someone with drive is Zac Voss. In his final year of college at the University of Iowa, while doing some marketing for bars and restaurants, he had his light bulb moment. A friend of his came back from a trip to Spain and told him about the hottest drink going there. It was a new beverage called Red Bull.
One of his friends bought a case over the internet from Red Bull direct, at a cost of over $50 per case with shipping. When his customer found out how expensive the product was, he refused to purchase more. Not willing to fail, Zac called the phone number on the website and asked how he could get it for less. He was informed, “You can’t, because there are no distributors in Iowa.”
So Zac said, “You are talking to him. What do you need me to do?” Zac was given a name and a phone number, which happened to be the CEO of Red Bull North America.
He called countless times, to no avail and no return calls, until he finally got the CEO to take his call. He offered Zac the opportunity to participate in a “market seeding program” where Zac would introduce the product into his marketplace with no guarantees, no contracts, and he had to follow their rules. If that worked out, there might be a distributor opportunity in the future.
Zac took the deal and went to work. He set up his friends to sell the product in four different cities across the state. He soon was outselling every other seeding program in the country. Zac was determined to get his distributorship. He wrote a business plan. He created a mock-up of a Red Bull can with his pitch and brand promise printed on the can. He then sent the package to the CEO asking for a distributorship in Iowa.
The CEO was so impressed, Zac’s persistence finally paid off. He officially owned his own distributor company. He now has a fleet of 60 vehicles and more than 100 employees who sell to about 5,000 retail outlets in Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri.
Are You Driven?
Driven means not settling for second-best. You are relentless. In order for your business to be successful, you have to be determined to overcome obstacles—because there will always be obstacles. If you only take what comes, you’ll find your company slipping backward. Only your drive to succeed will break down barriers to grow to the next level.
I urge you to take five minutes right now to write down what drives you. Think of examples of how you’ve been driven your entire life. Also, take the assessment below to see if you have the characteristics of an entrepreneur.
To learn all 6 essential traits and discover if you possess them, buy a copy of Entrepreneurial Leap.