It takes courage and passion to start a business. Taking an idea and making a great business out of it takes more than passion. It takes consistent and productive action coupled with strong leadership qualities to take a new business straight to the top.

Successful entrepreneurs are able to make the best decisions in the worst of cases, they enjoy a challenge and take calculated risks to achieve their dreams. And they are willing to take chances that may not seem rational to anyone else.

These are 7 successful entrepreneurs on what it takes to successfully lead a business.

1. CEO & Founder of @Forge_Gaming. Previously CEO of WeGame.

At 19, he was the CEO & founder of WeGame and has recently raised $3M Series A.

Startups are a marathon, not a sprint.

The truth is, you are not going to be a billion dollar company or acquired in the next 18 months. This shit takes a long time.

Surround yourself with people you will want to work with for the next 5 years and beyond (e.g. co-founders, employees, advisors, board members, investors, etc).

Build a great board and/or advisory board

Depending on who you raise money from, the investors who join your board may or may not have the operational experience of running/growing a company. Look for folks who have proven operational experience and have scaled a company and ask them to be an advisor.

2. Brad Feld, Venture Capitalist

There’s a long list of soft skills that I think great CEOs exhibit. Empathy, compassion, and humility top the list. Learning how to listen (most CEO’s know how to talk) but also learning how to have a discussion rather than simply a debate.

And – most importantly – recognizing that life is finite so the experience should be treasured (and all that comes along with that).

3. Peter Berg, A former entrepreneur turned “intrapreneur”, now working on product strategy for Visa.

Start simply, prioritize, and maintain focus.

Embrace the minimum viable product philosophy. As CEO you’re responsible for steering the vision of the company, including setting long-term goals for your eventual total world domination.

But to get from A to Z you first have to get from A to B. As tempting as it might be, don’t try to do everything at once, because you’ll end up spreading yourself way too thin and not doing anything well.

4.  David S. Rose, Founder of 6 startups, angel investor in 90.

Make a decision.

This one I learned in reverse from watching my very first boss, who would not/could not make a decision to save his life. The result was an office that descended nearly into paralysis, before everyone else (including me) started making decisions around him.

Keep in mind that not making a decision IS making one, because something is ultimately going to happen, but now it won’t be under your control.

One of the essential components of leadership is being decisive and taking your best shot; hopefully you’ll be right more often than wrong, but indecision leads to disaster.

5. R. Paul Singh, Founder @Documents.Me


Most first time founding CEOs want to do everything and want to be involved in everything. There are not enough hours in the day and so it leaves them overworked and always feeling like I wish there were more hours in the day.

I suffered from that too and then learnt to change. So, delegate, focus on important things and don’t let your health slide. Trust your team but constantly measure them on goals.

6. Partner @First Round Capital in NYC

Be careful what or who you choose

Know that there are three choices you get to make and the rest is heavily influenced by circumstance and luck. You choose your idea. You choose your business partners. You choose your investors.

Your choice of partners and investors should be thought of as permanent and are therefore the most important two decisions you make. The idea can change and evolve but this ability and the direction of  this evolution will be highly influenced by your choice of partners and  investors.

7. Mark Otero, CEO @KlickNation

Know your weaknesses

Knowing your weaknesses is as important  as knowing what your strengths are, and even more important as your company grows; hire or have co-founders who are great in areas where you are weak.

Hire for passion

Hire for passion over experience.  When you can afford it, hire employees who have both.  Never, NEVER, lower your standards during dry hiring spells (if you do, you will learn to regret it later – always).

These invaluable advice were originally shared on Quora