In a word, a good deal of narcissism. This may sound like a negative, and in many situations, it probably is. The American Psychiatric Association defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder as “a pattern of need for admiration and lack of empathy for others. A person with narcissistic personality disorder may have a grandiose sense of self-importance, a sense of entitlement, take advantage of others or lack empathy.” I am not a medical doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I have a huge amount of experience with entrepreneurs. I used to think the main thing they had in common was risk tolerance, until I met entrepreneurs who were not really risk takers. After careful observation, what I think virtually every successful business startup has is an individual who can suspend reality. They do not believe what others say about their chances of success. In their mind, it simply WILL happen. When things are not looking good, the successful entrepreneur can completely ignore or compartmentalize the facts that do not comport with their reality. A grandiose sense of self-importance to the entrepreneur is simply their worldview. What they have to do and accomplish is simply too important to fail. I have sadly met several entrepreneurs that suffer from many of the negative characteristics described above, but not universally. At the end of the day, the ability to successfully launch a business requires a person to be a little touched in the head. Whether that is actually Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or some yet unnamed malady, clearly you have to be a little crazy.