What Are Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur?
From resilience to decisiveness, here are 21 answers to the question, “What are the most powerful traits of a successful entrepreneur?”
- Appreciative of Failure
What distinguishes successful entrepreneurs from the failures? Resilience. The ability to stay resilient in the face of adversity is a crucial trait for anyone who wants to succeed as an entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur, you need to accept that things won’t always go as planned. You’re going to have days, or even weeks, in fact, when it seems like nothing is going your way, and you want to give up. But, you know what? A successful entrepreneur doesn’t back down in the face of a challenge. They press on with their goal in mind, bouncing back from setbacks and nimbly finding alternative paths forward when unexpected obstacles pop up.
Linda Scorzo, CEO, Hiring Indicators
A successful entrepreneur doesn’t just have a strong desire, but a strong sense of self. They all know what they do best and they double down on all of their strengths. They know not to expose their weaknesses and delegate those jobs they don’t want to do or can’t do well.
They’re self-motivated and self-confident—and they know specifically what they do best. The very best entrepreneurs are imbued with so much confidence that it motivates others to not only follow them but lead alongside them.
Rachel Blank, Founder and CEO, Allara
One trait of a successful entrepreneur is the willingness to take risks and fail. If you ask any successful entrepreneur, they will tell you that being bold and taking action (even when you don’t want to) is key to building a business that gets results. Think of all the great entrepreneurs out there; risk-taking is definitely a shared trait.
Mary Jurgensen, Community Outreach Director, Gary and Mary West PACE
Tenacity is one trait of a successful entrepreneur, and it’s crucial because it allows them to persistently reach for their goals, despite failure and obstacles. It helps them stay motivated in the face of adversity, enabling them to keep pushing forward and persevere in the face of the many setbacks they will undoubtedly encounter while building their business.
There will be countless learning opportunities that will push your venture toward even bigger possibilities and opportunities.
Victor Mathieux, Co-Founder and CEO, Miracle Brand
The biggest criterion for a successful entrepreneur is having creative solutions to problems. As an entrepreneur, you’ll face problems and obstacles left, right, and center. Being able to dodge problems, come up with innovative solutions, and turn an obstacle into a positive result instead is the best recipe for success.
Having problem-solving abilities allows entrepreneurs to deal with financial crises such as recession and inflation, deal with economic and global issues such as the pandemic and other unforeseen circumstances, and gives them the ability to overcome problems and obstacles.
Denise Hemke, Chief Product Officer, Checkr
Entrepreneurship is often a solitary journey, and it requires a considerable amount of self-awareness and determination. The road to success can be long, challenging, and discouraging.
However, the most crucial quality of thriving entrepreneurs is empathy. The ability to understand and relate to the needs of their customers, employees, and co-workers is the driving force behind their business ventures.
By putting themselves in others’ shoes, successful entrepreneurs can create innovative solutions and cultivate a positive work culture that yields long-term success.
Adit Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Leena AI
Sure, you want to run your own show, but a successful entrepreneur is coachable and knows when to seek help. No matter how much you think you know about business or your industry, it’s still important to keep an open mind, seek advice, and deliberate other people’s feedback.
Being coachable allows you to gather more learnings from others, collaborate better, increase your self-awareness, and amplify your performance.
Mark Damsgaard, Partner and Head of Client Advisory, Global Residence Index
Any successful entrepreneur must have reliable procedures in place. A process in the world of business is a repeatable sequence of procedures that aids employees in finishing important tasks.
By putting processes in place across the board, business owners may reduce waste and expand their operations. Additionally, business leaders who have established repeatable procedures may quickly educate new team members to carry out crucial tasks without compromising quality or timeliness.
Matthew Appleton, E-Commerce Manager, Appleton Sweets
Entrepreneurs who can apply their professional self-awareness to achieve business success. When an entrepreneur is self-aware, they can admit their business-related strengths and limitations.
Because of this insight, individuals can focus on the activities and aspects of operating the firm where they thrive and are more willing to delegate the ones where they fall short. Being self-aware also improves a person’s capacity to provide, accept, and implement valuable feedback.
Leonidas Sfyris, CTO, Need A Fixer
A business’s beginning and operation are not simple tasks. Being an entrepreneur requires the capacity to hold oneself accountable when there is no “boss” to do so, in contrast to a typical position where upper-level management often drives business objectives and keeps one accountable.
Those who can design and execute processes, even when no one else is holding them responsible, have an advantage over competitors in business. Self-disciplined business owners can control their procrastination tendencies and respond quickly when necessary.
Nick Edwards, Managing Director, Snowfinders
Appreciation of Failure
The absolute most important trait to have as a successful entrepreneur is the appreciation and expectation of failure. You cannot succeed without failing. The sooner you accept and plan for this, the sooner you can recover and continue building your business.
Remember, every failure contains a valuable lesson. These lessons can effectively grow your business more efficiently. Anticipating failure as part of the path to ultimate success really takes the fear, and thus the hesitancy, out of trying, which lets you get on to improved things.
Maurice Harary, CEO, The Bid Lab
Achievement does not come easily. Successful business owners can move on from one setback to the next without losing excitement and, of course, passion.
Entrepreneurs have the extraordinary capacity to stand up after a setback and brush themselves off without giving up, even if the failure resulted from a desperate endeavor. They can reflect on their failures and determine what went wrong and what they must do to achieve future success.
Joe Troyer, CEO and Growth Advisor, Digital Triggers
Business is a naturally competitive environment, and though most involved will rise to overcome barriers, a trait that most successful entrepreneurs possess is that they relish the challenge of that environment.
So, whether it is creating a better product or beating competitors in their marketing efforts, entrepreneurs are always looking for that next challenge. An entrepreneur who does more than just look to overcome a barrier, but embraces the competitive spirit, will be more likely to see success that is prominent and sustainable.
Mackenzie Whalen, Marketing Director, E1011 Labs
Successful entrepreneurs are known for their hard work and dedication, but they also possess excellent people skills. They know how to be friendly and approachable to their customers, co-workers, and peers.
Being friendly and approachable helps them to be in tune with their stakeholders, customers, and employees, which helps them to create a culture of trust and loyalty within the organization.
Gary Gray, CFO, Coupon Chief
I’ve worked with thousands of entrepreneurs, successful and otherwise. The most successful were different, but the one way they were all the same was in their persistence. They knew how to be winningly aggressive. They were aggressive without appearing pushy. It’s difficult, but I’ve never known an entrepreneur with that ability to fail.
Barry Maher, Principal, Barry Maher & Associates
One key trait of a successful entrepreneur, and what sets them apart from their less successful counterparts, is a willingness to acknowledge that they don’t know everything and a willingness to ask for help.
This allows them to work through challenges more effectively because they will seek resources quickly to ensure that things can be resolved. Also, because they recognize they can’t do everything on their own, they are more likely to have an extensive support network of mentors, advisors, and peers whom they can reach out to for help whenever they need it.
Tom Golubovich, Head of Marketing, Ninja Transfers
All successful entrepreneurs are problem solvers. After all, entrepreneurship is about solving problems, whether it is within the business, industry, or the entire world.
For instance, managing businesses comes with a lot of problems. It can be anything from competing businesses gaining an edge, mismatches in demand and production capacity, or even meeting the “good old” project deadline. Thus, entrepreneurs should have the creativity and composure to navigate their businesses through these barriers.
Jonathan Merry, Founder, Moneyzine
As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to be an optimist because you should always think beyond your initial offering to go big. Movement and growth are essential for achieving business goals. And having an optimistic outlook allows you to identify new opportunities, learn from your experiences, and keep moving toward success despite any setbacks.
So, while your goal is to hit a million dollars, think about how it can expand beyond that. For instance, don’t just start a pizza stand. Strategize steps on becoming the next Domino’s and be persistent.
Optimistic entrepreneurs also attract more investors because ideas are rare these days. When investing in pre-seed and seed deals, the golden rule for venture capitalists is to love the entrepreneur, not hate the idea. And someone with a positive outlook will be more determined and resilient when running a business.
Brian Lee, Co-Founder and CEO, Arena Club
Some might call it a “vision.” But at the heart of every successful entrepreneur is a clear understanding of what they’re trying to achieve. This might build a certain business or solve a specific problem. But whatever it is, it gives them a clear direction to work towards.
This might seem like a simple thing, but it’s actually quite rare. Most people go through life without ever having a clear sense of what they want to achieve. They just float along, going through the motions and letting life happen to them. But successful entrepreneurs are different. They have to know what they’re doing, otherwise, they won’t be successful.
Gabriel Bogner, Co-Founder, Mate Fertility
With how fast-paced businesses are today, one trait that every successful entrepreneur shares is adaptability. The business landscape is constantly changing with emerging technology, new marketing trends, etc., and flexibility is a necessity. Only when businesses can adapt to new technologies, emerging trends, and changing market conditions can they stay competitive and continue to grow.
Successful entrepreneurs ensure that their company can adapt to these changes and pivot their business strategy in response. Entrepreneurs who maintain a more flexible approach to their business are also more resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks and can bounce back from failures.
By being adaptable, they can stay ahead of the curve, seize new opportunities, and navigate the ever-changing landscape of entrepreneurship.
Abeer Raza, CMO and Co-Founder, TekRevol
Being a successful entrepreneur requires more than just a good idea or a little luck. One of the most important traits of a successful entrepreneur is their ability to be decisive. No matter what challenges or difficulties they face, successful entrepreneurs can push through and find solutions.
They don’t give up and are willing to take risks and make sacrifices to achieve their goals. They also have a strong work ethic and are always looking for ways to improve and innovate. They have a never-ending thirst for knowledge and are constantly looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve.
Ray Schultz, VP of Marketing, Liquid Rubber
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