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Jason Nissen on Three Traits Necessary for Entrepreneurial Success

Entrepreneurs today are constantly being reminded of the challenges they face in building a thriving business. The sheer number of factors that are at play are staggering, and a quick search will result in an endless stream of articles on how to navigate government regulations, economic recessions, competitive forces, and more. Indeed, entrepreneurs will inevitably want to be in control as much as possible, and these variables force them to be proactive in planning and yet reactive when the inevitable surprise comes our way. However, for every factor beyond influence there is one that a leader can and does control.

Often, there is a heavy focus within this category on ideas such as having a strong business plan, or ensuring finances are tight. However, a frequently overlooked and yet essential factor is the entrepreneurs themselves. For every compelling idea, there is an individual behind it that must lead the charge in transforming that idea into a successful business. The needs of every endeavor are going to differ greatly from the next, and as such there is no singular personality profile, type of individual, or background a person must have in order to successfully form and run a business. Nonetheless,  there are particular attributes and abilities that hold significant importance for entrepreneurs.

In this series, we’re examining these characteristics and skills by asking those who have navigated the path themselves. According to Jason Nissen, an entrepreneur who has founded several successful companies in the hospitality and ticket brokerage industry, the traits most important to successful entrepreneurship are creativity, networking, and perseverance. Nissen has been in the events industry for over 25 years, and is recognized as a preeminent within the space. Through his work, he has been involved in the sale of tickets and coordination of hospitality packages for numerous prestigious global events, such as the Super Bowl, the Olympics, Coachella, and Hamilton on Broadway.

About Jason Nissen

A born and raised Brooklynite, Nissen spent over a decade as chief executive officer for National Events Company, a ticketing brokerage business based in New York. In his time leading the firm, he was able to build the business into a global enterprise generating annual revenues upwards of $80 million. The company was able to negotiate and purchase some 160,000 tickets per year to some of the biggest events in the world, and sold them to individuals via the internet and in bulk packages to Fortune 500 companies and some of the world’s premier concierge services.

As chief executive officer for the hospitality firm World Events Group, Nissen established corporate partnership agreements with professional sports teams and organizations both in the United States and internationally. The agreements involved organizing hospitality events centered around the teams’ games, catering to the enjoyment of their fans and other corporate partners. The company specialized in delivering meticulous door-to-door service, extending its collaboration to NFL teams in order to develop fan travel programs centered around away games, including the Super Bowl.

Nissen also co-founded the Minus Zero Music Festival, running it as CEO between 2015 and 2017. A one-of-a-kind EDM festival that featured popular DJs performing for thousands of attendees alongside winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding, Nissen organized and managed the online system for marketing and ticket sales for the festival as well as its official merchandise. He is currently working to reboot the Minus Zero Music Festival under a new name for the 2024 festival season.

Approaching business with a creative mindset

According to Nissen, entrepreneurship differs from many other career paths because it requires a person to utilize both the left and right side of their brain. When one thinks of business leadership and ownership, one likely considers the necessity to be logical and analytical, but when you are an entrepreneur you must be able to think outside of the box. They must be able to see opportunities that others might overlook, and have a clear vision that can allow them to differentiate their products from competitors.

Approaching business with a creative mindset is a game-changer in today’s fast-paced and competitive world, says Nissen.When a leader exhibits and encourages a creative mindset, they are able to foster a culture of experimentation and risk-taking within the organization. It also influences how entrepreneurs approach challenges and obstacles. When faced with setbacks, those with a creative outlook view them as opportunities for growth and learning. They encourage their teams to brainstorm and collaborate, seeking alternative paths to success. This adaptability and resilience enable entrepreneurs the wherewithal to pivot swiftly and thrive even in uncertain times.

Forging connections that propel growth through networking

Nissen told a publication that in his experience, entrepreneurship can often be an overwhelming and isolating journey. It is difficult to truly understand the pressure and intensity that comes with starting and heading your own business if you have not done so yourself, and he credits meeting and forming connections with other entrepreneurs as essential to his success. Entrepreneurs who flex and develop their networking skills set themselves up for accelerated growth and success. It provides access to a large pool of resources, knowledge, and opportunities. By engaging with not only like-minded individuals, but also potential investors, industry experts, and customers, entrepreneurs can gain valuable insights and build a supportive community.

Nissen emphasizes that networking is not only a social activity; it is a strategic approach to business growth. Entrepreneurs who actively participate in industry events, conferences, and workshops are able to create visibility for their businesses and personal brands which increases credibility and fosters trust among potential clients and partners.It also helps entrepreneurs stay updated on the latest market trends and technological advancements, providing them with a competitive advantage. The connections made through networking often lead to referrals and word-of-mouth marketing, which can be incredibly valuable in generating new business opportunities, says Nissen.

Perseverance in the face of challenges

Even if you’re thinking creatively and networking your heart out, entrepreneurs will inevitably face roadblocks, challenges, and yes, failures too, said Nissen. At the end of the day, he posits that the difference between entrepreneurs who are successful and those who aren’t is simply whether they are able to persevere despite the hurdles. Those who cultivate their perseverance view failures as opportunities to learn and grow, taking what went wrong and building on rubble to create something better than before. By persistently pushing through difficulties, entrepreneurs increase their chances of finding the right solutions and achieving long-term success.

Perseverance empowers entrepreneurs to stay committed to their vision even when results take time to materialize. This is crucial when it comes to gaining the trust and support of others such as team members, investors, and customers. Nissen says that showing perseverance communicates to others that entrepreneurs are fully committed to their venture, fostering loyalty and confidence in their leadership as a result. It also allows entrepreneurs to pivot and adjust their strategies in response to market shifts and customer feedback. Rather than being deterred by unforeseen challenges, perseverant entrepreneurs view them as opportunities to innovate and stay ahead of the competition.

Entrepreneurship is hard. This is an undeniable truth, but there are certain traits that make the journey a bit easier. The good news is, Jason Nissen believes that all three of these traits can be developed. Creativity, networking and perseverance are skills, and with a little commitment entrepreneurs can cultivate them within themselves and make the road less traveled a little more smooth.