We all know how trying the process of seeking out a long term relationship can be. There is the deception, the “quick switch”, the skeletons or the reality that people are ever evolving and change day to day.

Seeking out a partner for your business venture can be an equally difficult process.

True Entrepreneurs are increasingly rare. They successful bunch I have encountered over the years have a maniacal focus to success. A fast thinking mind and big dreams unsuppressed by many of the realities around them, good or bad.

I recently sought out a business partner for my third business, a website like Etsy, called Framestr which launched in September.

Here are some of the traits I have quickly learned are crucial for success:

  1. A sense of urgency– This is one of the most important traits in entrepreneurs. It’s essential to live every day like someone is going to overtake your business, even if you are clearly on top. Business doesn’t wait for anyone. Business is fast evolving and your competitors are constantly thinking of ways to overtake you. Live 10 steps ahead at all times.
  2. Risk Takers- I started my second business, Canadian Media Buying Company, Grey Smoke Media by maxing out my credit card. Shark Tank star, Barbara Corcoran turned a $1000 loan into a Billion dollar business. The founders of Snap Chat constantly talk about how they were maxing out credit cards to pay their growing server costs and nearly gave up. To start a business you need to be a little out there. You need to be willing to go all out to make your dream happen or die trying.


  1. Confidence- As you grow, you will meet with people who are better versed and more successful than you. You will need to be able to go toe to toe with them and stand your grand. It’s important to not only believe in your business, but in yourself.


  1. Seller- A good entrepreneur can sell anything. Selling your business that you hopefully believe in should be an even easier task. Selling is all about psychology. Get into the head of the person you are talking to. What motivates them? What are they scared of? A good entrepreneur knows it’s not all about your needs.


  1. Focus- It is so easy to get off track in the process of starting a business. Life keeps moving including your social life. A good entrepreneur keeps their eye on the prize and doesn’t get dislodged. There will be sacrifices along the way. The question is, how bad do you want it.


Jordan Whelan, BCom ’08, is an entrepreneur who serves as president of Media Buying and Strategy Agency, Grey Smoke Media. His latest e-commerce venture, Framestr allows users to get paid cash for sharing products among friends