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JD Miller On The One Trait Behind Successful Entrepreneurs

With a network of more than 600 professionals from every industry, the mentor program is the crown jewel of 1871. Every day, mentors dedicate their time and expertise guiding our members from issues ranging from legal to tech and everywhere in between, forming valuable relationships and producing concrete outcomes. This week, we say hello to JD Miller, Managing Director at BravoSolution.

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  • What skills do you think are the most important for an entrepreneur to have? 

More than just a good idea, successful entrepreneurs need to be able to apply a rigorous, repeatable process to their business that will survive and flourish - even if the individual isn't there to make it happen. Whether that's arming salespeople with a repeatable message, dealing with support issues, or something else, the entrepreneur's goal should be to minimize the number of things that "only he or she" is capable of doing.

  • What do you consider your greatest success?

With a long career in technology sales, I've led or participated in four successful sales transformations - including two PE-led mergers & acquisitions, and the largest tech IPO of it's time.

  • What did you have to learn the hard way in your professional life?

When you're a company with great aspirations, you're going to go through significant change - multiple times. There's a careful balance to be had between respecting the individuals who were critical to success for a particular leg of the journey and the long-range goals of the organization.

Now for the fun stuff... 

  • What do you like to do in your free time? I'm a long-distance athlete, and have completed three Ironman triathlons, and 24 marathons.
  • What is your personal mantra? Stolen from Dumbledore - sometimes you'll have to decide between doing what is easy and what is right. Doing the right thing is always best.
  • What is your favorite comfort food? Proscuitto and Mozzerella.
  • What book would you recommend every entrepreneur read? Though it's old, I am constantly referencing "Crossing the Chasm."
  • What hashtag best describes you? #Driven

Follow JD on Twitter @JDM_Chicago and connect with him on LinkedIn


Are you interested in becoming a mentor or teaching a workshop at 1871? Learn more here.  

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