Entrepreneurs are often admired for their high intelligence. However, raw intelligence is not enough to thrive in the business world. Equally crucial is smartness, the ability to apply intelligence in various contexts, largely in the context of dealing with people. Think of it as the bridge between raw intelligence and tangible results.

The ability to comprehend complex issues, make strategic decisions, and understand intricate people dynamics is vital to successful entrepreneurship.

Smartness encompasses emotional intelligence, the ability to take action, effective communication, and more. Successful entrepreneurs don’t merely possess high intelligence; they deploy it effectively in various situations, leading to greater business success.

Some entrepreneurs have smartness challenges but don’t know how to identify them, how to mitigate them, and whom to turn to for confidential guidance and mentoring. If you don’t know your smartness enablers and disablers, how will you know what to leverage more and what to mitigate?

Enablers are the entrepreneur’s current traits, skills, or behaviors that amplify their effectiveness and facilitate the full deployment of their intelligence and smartness. These may include empathy, innovation, or persistence. Many people fail to fully leverage their enablers, instead focusing on their disabler.

Disablers are traits, skills, or behaviors that can limit an entrepreneur’s effectiveness. For example, an entrepreneur’s inability to delegate can impede team effectiveness and outcomes. Going to a training class on delegation is often useless, as it usually fails to bridge the knowing-doing gap. How much money have you wasted on those approaches?

Entrepreneurs should identify and comprehend these traits, endeavoring to maximize their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses. Look closely at entrepreneurs who succeeded and those who didn’t, and you’ll find one thing:

Most entrepreneurs fail not because of a lack of enablers (strengths) but because of their disablers (weaknesses). The enablers are what brought them to this point. The disablers are what will hold them back from progressing higher. We have data from hundreds of assessment takers that clearly show a strong correlation between disablers and a lack of business success, and that less successful people have more disablers than more successful people do.

 Entrepreneurs who grasp the importance of high intelligence, smartness, and the management of traits become more proficient at leading their ventures (others like working with these entrepreneurs), solving complex problems, and achieving better outcomes while nurturing an environment that encourages creativity and collaboration… and achieve greater entrepreneurial success repeatedly.

 In the dynamic, demanding world of entrepreneurship, intelligence is only the starting point. Smartness, understood as the strategic application of intelligence, is what turns ideas into realities and startups into successful companies. By recognizing and managing your unique combination of enablers and disablers, you can set yourself on a path towards entrepreneurial excellence.