Someone sent me this list a couple of years ago, and I have had it pinned to my office wall ever since. These are the top ten success factors for people running their own businesses, ranked in order of importance:
Being honest with all people
Being well disciplined
Getting along with people
Having a supportive spouse
Working harder than most people
Loving my career/business
Having strong leadership qualities
Having a very competitive spirt/personality
Being very well organised
Having an ability to sell my ideas/products
These are interesting as they are not all about having great ideas and being able to sell. Other personality factors such as being organised, working hard and being disciplined also appear on the list. Note too that they are ranked in order of importance, and the factors that most people would associate with entrepreneurs are near the bottom. Ideas are essential for any business but you need the ability to get on with the hard work too.
Crucially, up there at number one, is honesty. There is a difference between making a quick buck and being in business for long-term success, and being honest will help you build the long-term relationships with customers, suppliers and partners which will make success easier.