It’s hard to quantify the number of books that have been written about successful entrepreneurs, the traits that supposedly got them there, and what you can do to get on the same track. It’s even harder to guess how many millions of articles have been written that regurgitate the same ideas over and over, each time claiming to be the original “thought leader” behind them. You too can be Steve Jobs, just follow this arbitrary set of rules and dogmatic principles and you are golden!

When in reality, there is only one universal trait all great founders have shared throughout all modern history. It will stand the test of time and remain a truth, no matter the amount of technological development or cultural changes around entrepreneurship that are to come.

It’s not sexy to talk about. It won’t move a 100,000 copies on Amazon. Only pure luck can account for its absence. It’s unbiased in that it applies to our most beloved founders and the biggest asshole entrepreneurs as well. It’s located in great founders in every corner of the planet. It’s found in every race, gender, ethnicity, income, or social status. When you deconstruct the 100 most successful entrepreneurs of the past century to their core elements, it’s the binding fiber that everything they accomplished was based off of.

This trait is perseverance.

It’s the ability to not give up when it’s the 300th day in a row of things going wrong and you have to wake up regardless and do the work. It’s keeping your head held high when peers, partners, employees, investors, or family no longer believe in you. It’s the strength of will to stand strong in your convictions when compromises tempt. It’s knowing that no matter how far your competitors go, you are always willing to go farther. It’s where patience and courage meet.

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” ― Abraham Lincoln