Being a successful entrepreneur is never easy, yet with good personal characteristics, you will be able to achieve success and meet all your goals. This is why today, we are going to show the main 34 characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.
Even if there’s no such thing as “one size fits all” theory when it comes to entrepreneurship, there are some guidelines that can help you become successful entrepreneurs. Whether you build a startup from scratch or just manage a successful business, you will need some traits and skills.
To be one of the successful entrepreneurs in the industry, you should develop or must have particular characteristics and these include the following:
Entrepreneurs are optimistic, future-oriented, and enthusiastic. You need to know that successful entrepreneurs have high-energy levels. They believe that they will be successful and willing to risk their resources to get profits and/or to help people. They also have high level of energy and are often impatient. They also think about their business and ways to increase their market share. If you want to be successful, are you motivated enough to do this? Or can you stay motivated in the long run?
Motivation is one of the main characteristics of successful entrepreneurs but passion is needed. Passion always comes back when we talk about entrepreneurship, no matter if we talk about entrepreneurial DNA, the characteristics of an entrepreneur or the anatomy of an entrepreneur: passion is always there.
Indeed, if there is one word that describes the fundamental trait in an entrepreneurship, it’d be passion. Your demonstration of motivation and passion will determine your success in your entrepreneurial venture. From implementing and building a prototype to pitching ideas to venture capitalists, success is a function of determination combined with passion.
#3 Persuasiveness and Creativity
Being persuasive is one of the leadership skills you need to grow your business. Successful entrepreneurs have creative capacity to pursue and recognize opportunities. They possess strong selling skills, are both persistent and persuasive. You also have to take note that there are others thinking of the same thing as you. To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to always be creative. Creativity is what pulls everyone to them and distinguishes them from fellow entrepreneurs.
Persuasiveness and creativity are characteristics of successful entrepreneurs that are often forgotten but they are essential. A good example is Walt Disney. Because of his creativity, he blasted all of his competitors and made it big from scratch.
Every successful entrepreneur is an organized individual. This organization is basically the key to getting the job done. You might have fewer resources, yet these are properly organized and as results, these are used optimally. Poor organizational structure doesn’t only hinder the growth of a business, but it also makes the business venture less scalable. A good environment can make wonders in terms of attracting customers. You need to know that the best entrepreneurs stay organized.
#5 Being Ready to Take the Exit
Not each attempt will result to success. The entrepreneurial venture’s failure rate is extremely high. At times, it’s fine to take the exit route and try something that’s new rather than continuing to make sunk cost investments in the same old venture. A lot of (Actually most) famous entrepreneurs were not successful the first time they try ventures.
However, they had the foresight and serenity to know when to reduce their losses, pivot or restart something from scratch. If you're seeking for a business exit, you need planning in order to avoid critical mistakes.
Usually, company workers depend on colleagues or staff to provide support or service. As an entrepreneur, you will begin doing everything solo, which only means that you’ll be on your own for quite some time. You might not have the budget to hire staff at first. So, you’ll end up wearing some hats including bookkeeper, secretary, and many more.
You have to be prepared mentally to take on all such tasks from the start. Being versatile and having the ability to multitask is one the most important characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. We can ensure you that you will not be doing only 1 thing and you will learn every day.
It’s necessary for entrepreneurs to lead from the front. Entrepreneurship is essentially about problem solving. Most successful products are focused on solving several particular problems (Or at least one. If you don’t solve a problem, you won’t succeed!). Therefore, a problem-solving instinct is one of those crucial qualities for entrepreneurs.
The moment you get rid of depending others to solve problems you’re facing and trying to resolve them on your own, you start your journey towards becoming a problem-solver. Also, sooner or later, you will be able to start creating solutions for the problems that you observe upon launching your service or product.
#8 Superb Business Skills
Having super business and financial stills is one of the main reasons why entrepreneurs succeed. Even if many people think you need to have a lot of capital to start a business, it's not always true. Nowadays, you can start your own business for under $1,000.
Entrepreneurs are capable of setting up internal systems, processes, and procedures necessary to operate a business. They are also focused on sales, cash flow, and revenues at all times. Successful entrepreneurs depend on their business skills, network, and know-how. Assess your current talents as well as professional network. Will your contacts, skills, and experience readily transfer to the business ideas you’d want to pursue?
By having outstanding business skills as an entrepreneur, you will help your startup avoid failure and be on the right path to success.
#9 Risk Tolerance
Risk taking is also one of the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs that I’m sure you’ve heard before. But, how can we deny this? Entrepreneurs are basically risk takers and always ready to dive deep into the future of uncertainty.
However, not every risk taker is a successful entrepreneur (far from it). What makes a successful entrepreneur different from others in terms of risks is that they are willing to risk money and/or time on unknowns, yet they keep plans, backup plans and resources to deal with uncertainty. Being prepared and having calculated risks allow entrepreneurs to bounce back in case of failure.
#10 Understand Your Offering and Your Market
Launching entrepreneurial ventures is risky. You may reduce the risk through researching about your business concept, market, and industry. You may also test concept on small scale. Entrepreneurs are knowledgeable of their product offering. They also know the market as well as its dynamics. If you are unaware of the changing market needs, competitor tactics, and some external factors, this could bring great products to failure.
You are on the driver’s seat as an entrepreneur. Therefore, you should be proactive with your approach to every little thing. Determine if you are a doer or you hire others to do things for your business. Being a leader is one of the most important characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. "Passion and drive: it's what every entrepreneur needs to succeed".
#12 Networking Abilities
A lot of people look for comfort in commiseration. Neighbors, colleagues, and friends are happy to complain about you regarding the global slowdown, unfair competition or poor demand. Nevertheless, it will not boost the bottom line.
Successful entrepreneurs reach out to the mentors with more extensive networks and experience to seek valuable advice. Having networking abilities for an entrepreneur is one the top characteristics of every successful entrepreneur: “your network is your net worth”.
One of your duties as an entrepreneur and head of your business is deciding where your business must go and this requires vision. Without this, your boat will be lost at the sea. You don't just want to be a doer or an executor, you want to be a visionary as well. Having a vision and being able to look forward is of those skills you need to become a successful entrepreneur. Are you the kind of person who can see the big picture and look ahead?
#14 Not easy to be intimidated
Entrepreneurs don’t doubt themselves that much. You might ask yourself about you being an entrepreneur and this question will surely put you in doubts. Although you do not have the flair of Steve Jobs (Just guessing), if you are courageous to ask yourself some intimidating questions, you might have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Rather than worrying about fitting the image of the most ideal entrepreneur, check in with your guts.
#15 Money Management
It often takes time to acquire profits for any particular entrepreneurial venture. You don't need to be rich to become a successful entrepreneur but you need to be able to manage money. Capital is limited (Don't worry, there are many businesses you can start up with little capital) and should be used wisely. Successful entrepreneurs know the importance of money management to plan for future and present financial obligations. Money management skill is a characteristic that most successful entrepreneurs share. Even after securing funds or going operational, a successful entrepreneur keeps a complete handle on the cash flows as this is an essential aspect of a business.
#16 Being Curious / Asking Lots of Questions
Curiosity is a must-have characteristic for an entrepreneur. In fact, curiosity might be the most important trait an entrepreneur can have. Small business owners have to ask questions in a constant manner. They have to ask questions when starting a venture and when determining the ways to enhance their businesses. And they’ll never stop asking some questions. The best solution for this is not to get overwhelmed by such questions.
You have to remember that a great way for a business to improve is through asking countless questions and you must never be satisfied as the market changes on a constant basis. You need to be curious and ask questions to clients, friends, family, investors, fellow entrepreneurs, influencers…
#17 Open-Mindedness and Flexibility
While every entrepreneur requires a steadfast direction and vision, he or she will face lots of unknowns and uncertainty. You will have to be prepared to tweak any initial strategies and plans. Better and new ways of doing things might come along as well. It is great to be passionate or be stubborn about what you do.
Nonetheless, being inflexible about the market or client needs can lead to failure. Keep in mind that an entrepreneurial venture isn’t only about doing what you believe is good. It is also about making a successful business. The market requirements are dynamic as changes are basically a recurring phenomenon.
Successful entrepreneurs also welcome all suggestions for customization or optimization that enhances their offering and satisfies market and client needs. The best entrepreneurs remain open-minded. The product you develop for yourself alone might qualify as a hobby, yet a product for the market must satisfy the market needs.
#18 Stable and Strong Leadership
An entrepreneur can hardly be successful without being a good leader. As an entrepreneur, there are many leadership challenges to overcome to make your businesses a success.
You cannot grow multiple businesses without being able to lead people. While you may hire good leaders to handle a lot of aspects of growth, you have the ability to lead such executives. Leadership may be learned to a degree but we believe it is also a trait people are born with (Or learned when they are very young).
Along with such same lines, the serial entrepreneurs can adopt new leadership methods depending on the case. For instance, many entrepreneurs will use philanthropy to help them with business and leadership. What works with a business might not work for the next. Being able to shift the leadership styles without compromising morals is an exceptional characteristic to have.
Entrepreneurs do not have room for indecision or procrastination (Even if it’s easier and more and more tempting to procrastinate). Not only such traits stall progress, but also they can cause you to miss some crucial opportunities that might move you toward success.
During your venture’s course, sooner or later, you will arrive at a point where you need to make tough decisions. A characteristic that successful entrepreneurs share is that they are decisive in their actions and have to take important and stressful decisions without ever knowing what will happen.
#20 Good Planning Skills
Being able to plan ahead is one of those entrepreneurial skills and characteristics that you need to be successful.
Planning for tomorrow is an entrepreneurial habit that will make you more productive. Entrepreneurship is all about building a business right from scratch while managing some limited resources such as personal relationships, money, and time.
It’s a long-term commitment as well as attempting to plan as much as possible at the start is an impulse.
Besides defining a marketing strategy or a business plan, there are many other things to plan ahead. In reality, planning for having a prepared solution and everything for all possible risks might prevent you from even taking the initial step.
Successful entrepreneurs keep dry powder in reserve yet they keep a temperament and a mindset to capable of dealing with some unforeseen possibilities. Consider doing a feasibility analysis. Determine the capital and time thresholds and take a deep dive using your limited resources. If your thresholds are crossed, search for alternatives and be ready to take the next exit.
Another important characteristic to make a successful startup or business is confidence. The confidence in yourself, confidence in beating your opponents, the confidence in delivering the best, the confidence to make it to the top, and the confidence to achieve success, this fire must keep raging so you and your startup won’t stop evolving into something better, faster, and more. If you are a new entrepreneur, you need to find ways to build up your confidence.
Also, you have to bear in mind that if you do not believe in yourself, nobody else will. Confidence is your key to success, is one of the essential characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, especially during the initial stage of your entrepreneurial venture.
#22 Possess Knowledge (and Technical Skills)
All businesses require exceptional knowledge. Technical skills are often a plus even if they are not obviously a necessity for entrepreneurs. What you need the most is to be good at what you do so that your business will succeed. It often means getting additional training, education, reading books or blogs, going to workshops on an ongoing basis. Sometimes you might also want to obtain particular credentials like licenses and certifications.
#23 Time Management Skills
While this might not be the sexiest characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, great time management plays a crucial role in the ability of an entrepreneur to juggle different roles or ventures at once. Follow these productivity lessons from top CEOsif you want to be productive and manage your time the right way. If you do not have the ability to compartmentalize, tune out, tune in, and shift from a responsibility to another with less hesitation, you are not going to be capable of managing efficiently and growing different businesses or different parts of the same business.
If you are focused on your business, you should know your priorities instead of opening your Facebook app. This is a sign that you are managing your time well. If you schedule meetings without overlapping and compromising, you are also good at time management. So, for you to be a successful entrepreneur, make sure that you know how to use your time wisely as this can make a huge difference.
To help you, there are many time-management tactics to learn and we also recommend you to create a schedule: This really helps a lot. For instance, emails in the mornings, meetings in the afternoon, social media at night…
#24 Unwavering Optimism
You don't want to think negatively as an entrepreneur. We don't say that you want to ignore problems but that you want to look out for solutions rather than focusing on problems. It is simple to look at somebody like Richard Branson and think that he has truly made it. Nevertheless, the truth is that even the best successful entrepreneurs around the world have encountered setbacks and failures. No matter what companies you start and regardless of the amount of profits you earn, there will be cases that some things will look bleak. The best way to beat this challenge is by being optimistic.
Successful entrepreneurs are known for their unwavering optimism, which guides them through the lowest of lows and highest of highs. It is not to say that they are happy all the time, yet instead they do not allow circumstances dictate their goals in the future.
#25 Hard Work, Self-Belief, and Disciplined Dedication
Entrepreneurs love and enjoy with everything they do. They believe in themselves, are always dedicated and have confidence on their project. Occasionally, they might show stubbornness in their intense concentration and faith with all of their ideas. However, the flip side is their dedication and demonstrated discipline.
Once you have the passion for your work and a high level of confidence to achieve success, you have to be disciplined in your work. Successful entrepreneurs are known to be disciplined in terms of their work and their discipline when it comes to their chosen way may be seen to match military grade.
#26 Team Spirit
Entrepreneurship isn’t a one-man show (Even for solopreneurs). No matter how talented you are, you will need the backing of a talented and supportive team. The absence of a capable support team will make entrepreneurs lag behind the scheduled milestones. The support of competent and right team can be a decisive factor. Basically, successful entrepreneurs are known to start with any venture with a good team that helps them make a huge difference.
A team is not obviously employees or associates. This may be working with freelancers or an agency. The goal is to have the right people with you to support you and bringing you complementary skills. The recruitment of people and career of the popular Steve Jobs are enough evidence for a potent team’s criticality.
#27 Reactive but more importantly Always Proactive
Successful entrepreneurs are aware that there will be issues along the process. In fact, they already anticipated issues in advance and think of solutions to resolve these before they happen. If you will react to issues and problems as they arise, you might get overwhelmed.
An important characteristic for successful ventures is optimal management. Many ventures fail because of something to do with management. Whether it is the manpower needed to do the job or financial resources, management is very important to turn any business to a success.
For successful entrepreneurs, the competition is often the driving force. Modern business has turned into a never-ending and fast race. You may imagine it as a survival sprint with hungry lions chasing you and some entrepreneurs and you do not have to outrun the cheetah, but your competitors. If you lose your lead in the market or industry, you have to say goodbye to your venture unless you created something that will set you apart from your competition and would offer you an edge.
Since competition is necessary for survival in the market, successful entrepreneurs are pretty much always competitive and not willing to let some people take their mantle. Competitiveness is one of the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs where they will tend to ask themselves why would others do business with you. And the answer basically lies in their success.
#30 Excellent Communication Skills
Excellent communication is necessary for the reason that you should exchange information in an accurate manner, most particularly in the fast moving world with the use of different methods including electronic and interpersonal.
Majority of businesses have limited resources including time, information, and money. Successful entrepreneurs determine how to get the most out of such resources. They are also masters at stretching money and making some resources along the way to sustain their business needs.
#32 Being Objective
It is never simple to be objective when it comes to your business because you’re passionate about making it a successful one. Nevertheless, you have to be dispassionate and impartial in terms of making business decisions because bias, sentiment, and emotion may result to poor choices in the end.
Building a successful business requires commitment and high-energy levels. It takes tons of work and there’ll be times when you might become discouraged.
It’s during such times that you should be faithful, steadfast, and committed to your main goal and vision. If you are not fully committed to your business, expect that you will end up with failures. This is why it's often said that resilience is the main indicator to startup success.
There’s a strong relationship between the success of your business and your perceived reliability level. Your clients or targeted customers expect you to be trustworthy and will assess you on the extent to which you do what you promise or say you’ll do. Being trustworthy is key and as an entrepreneur, you should establish a positive reputation.
So, what are the main characteristics of successful entrepreneurs?
You do not actually need that many skills to start with your venture. Fortunately, the 34 characteristics we talked about are common traits we find in successful entrepreneurs but you definitely don’t need all of them to succeed. You will learn a lot of the things you need in the long run. For instance, if you are not a natural risk taker, this skill may be developed as you make your business grow.
If you have low self-confidence, there is nothing you should worry about.
The reason behind it is that your confidence will grow daily as you spend working on your business.
In other terms, there isn’t a list of prerequisites you should meet for you to begin with your business.
The main characteristics of successful entrepreneurs are that they have a lot of passion and commitment. The only thing you need is to be willing to do your best, work hard, and most of all, learn everything you need. The rest may be acquired or learned as you go.
Personal qualities, as well as a correct demonstration with the right employers, are the factors for failure or success as an entrepreneur. By evaluating yourself, you will be able to know the characteristics you have now and the other traits that you should develop for you to ensure your success in the world of entrepreneurship.
If you are just starting with your entrepreneurial journey, you may start by doing your homework first. Research for the things you need to understand and learn. In this way, you will know the things you should do and things to avoid. You may also ask for help from the renowned business mentors in the industry. More often than not, having sessions with business mentors and coaches may cost you a bit, but rest assured that it will be all worth it.
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