The Secret Intelligence of Successful Entrepreneurs


Introducing Entrepreneurial intelligence (EnQ). We have heard heaps about emotional intelligence from business writers and psychologists but only recently has the concept of “entrepreneurial intelligence” (EnQ) been considered as a significant factor in successful entrepreneurism. EnQ focuses on how an entrepreneur conducts himself or herself in order to flourish within the entrepreneurial environment. The entrepreneurial environment can look very glamorous and daring from the outside, but the reality for most is that it can become lonely and draining with initially few rewards to show for the effort it demands. For now, my definition of an entrepreneur is: anyone who pays their own salary. You need to be in good form to do that because the ultimate success of your business will stem from your conduct.

The notion of entrepreneurial intelligence can be likened to “rock star” intelligence. I am sure that most of you don’t watch Pop Idol, the X factor, The Voice and other such drivel and, like me, you just happen to know exactly what is going on from remote and second hand knowledge. It is well known that hundreds of thousands of wannabees audition worldwide each year, for these programmes and despite the fact that many can really sing, only a select few gain any long-term recognition. Before music moguls like Simon Cowell discovered how much money they could make from providing these platforms annually, the chances of becoming a recognized artist were even slimmer.


The point to this comparison is more about what happens after one “makes it” in the music industry. There are only a select few who have not fallen from grace or imploded publicly, and often dramatically, after the reality of the environment they find themselves in becomes too much to cope with, Whitney Houston another tragic example. What is it that those select few, who don’t fall from grace, have? I believe that they develop a level of intelligence that enables them to keep it all in perspective and flourish within the environment regardless of the pressures.


It is the same in the entrepreneurial environment. There are literally millions of us who have what it takes to succeed yet so many fail at one point or another and give up, exhausted and demoralised. Businesses seldom fail. It is more likely the entrepreneur leading the business who falters as the crucial conduit between his/her business and external influencing factors. I would like to propose that those who flourish are those who have built entrepreneurial intelligence.


This is not about being clever. The fact is that we are not all born clever but we can all learn to be intelligent and the best source of this learning is from mentors, formal and informal, who are further down the track than we are. I mentor business owners because I have learned many things through my own experience that will filter the process for them and build their EnQ as we go. A high level of EnQ enables entrepreneurs to learn to find and then filter the information independently, that they need to grow their organization in alignment with (or despite) themselves.

Sandy Guyer


Educational Publisher, Author, Specialist sales trainer and business coach

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