Kochie's Business Builders Column: Qualities of an Entrepreneur

by Drew B

Five Qualities Every Entrepreneur Should Have

20 November 2014

Words by Troy Douglas and Drew Bilbe, Co-founders of Nexba Beverages


‘Entrepreneur’ is a term businesses and professionals throw around often, but what does it actually mean? We believe being an entrepreneur goes well beyond being a leader in business or starting a company, it’s a mindset.

Being an entrepreneur is the ability to think differently, to work with passion and turn instincts into strategic actions. You know you are one when you have an insatiable thirst to be better and to create change.

Before launching Nexba Beverages in 2011, we both were passionate about ideas. Even in school were constantly searching for gaps in the market and unique opportunities. Here are the top five qualities we believe every entrepreneur should have (and celebrate!):

Be Better

Being comfortable is dangerous in business. Always question ‘can I do this in a smarter, more efficient, better way?’ That constant drive to challenge yourself in business and in life is what sets a real entrepreneur a part from the rest.

Trust your instincts, feed that zest to learn more and never stop striving to improve.

Love Relationships

Your network is one of your most valuable assets, so as an entrepreneur you need to love building thriving and long lasting relationships. If you’re not a natural networker, focus on connecting with three key people at an event.

Engage with them and try to draw on similar experiences that might align your businesses or personal careers. Cement the relationship by following up over email or connecting on LinkedIn in the following days, to show your genuine interest in that person and desire to stay in contact.

Think Differently

True entrepreneurs constantly search for new opportunities to revolutionise their industry, either through fresh ideas or products. We developed Nexba into a challenger brand by seeing a gap in the Australian market for better-for-you beverages.

Rather than dive into the saturated (and fast declining) carbonated soft drink market, we focused on creating natural, low sugar products and being different to the big players.

Be Accountable

You’re often told that the secret to being an entrepreneur is determination, stamina, and the ability to move forward at the critical point in time in which you would prefer to crawl into a pile of blankets and escape.

As a business owner there is 100 per cent accountability and zero places to hide. You are responsible for the highs and lows of your business, so being accountable is paramount.

Businesses often fail from within, so as a leader you need to be accountable to your team, as you will ultimately want your team to be accountable to themselves and your brand.

Be a Change Maker

Nothing is ever certain in the game of business, so becoming an expert change maker is essential to long-term growth. By change maker, we mean someone who is able to create a Plan B

We learnt the importance of this early on at Nexba. In the year we launched, it actually was recorded as one of Australia's worst summers in history (rain, rain and more rain); not ideal for beverage sales.

We responded to this by stepping it up a notch. If rain meant per account sales were less, it simply meant we have to focus on attaining more accounts.

Always remember, while life as an entrepreneur can be exhausting it's a game you'll be proud for having turned up for, and one you will likely win if you are committed to giving it your best.


Nexba is available nationally in Coles supermarkets.

Follow Nexba Beverages on Linkedin for more small business advice.

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Drew B
Drew B