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What Sets Successful Entrepreneurs Apart?

What Sets Successful Entrepreneurs Apart?

What Sets Successful Entrepreneurs Apart?

What truly sets successful entrepreneurs apart from the rest? To gain insight into the key factors that differentiate the best from the rest, we asked 15 successful entrepreneurs to share their thoughts on the one specific thing that sets them apart. From cultivating resilience to humility, these entrepreneurs reveal the essential qualities that have driven their success.

In this article, we delve into the unique characteristics that these 15 entrepreneurs believe are crucial for success in the world of entrepreneurship.

  • Cultivating Resilience for Success
  • Embracing Diverse Perspectives
  • Competitive Spirit Drives Growth
  • Unwavering Belief and Determination
  • Discipline: Clarity and Consistency
  • Capitalizing on Hidden Opportunities
  • Taking Action, Actualizing Ideas
  • Pursuing New Ventures Continuously
  • Confidence: Inspiring Trust in Others
  • Anticipation and Foresight Mastery
  • Willingness to Learn and Adapt
  • Maintaining Concentration and Drive
  • Capacity for Flexibility and Adaptation
  • Mental Toughness in Entrepreneurship
  • Humility: A Key to Success


Cultivating Resilience for Success

Resilience is a crucial attribute that sets successful entrepreneurs apart from those who struggle to achieve their goals. The world of entrepreneurship is fraught with challenges, obstacles, and uncertainties, making resilience an indispensable quality for navigating the turbulent landscape. Resilient entrepreneurs possess the ability to bounce back from setbacks, adapt to changing conditions, and maintain a solution-oriented mindset despite adversities. 

This unwavering determination fuels their progress, enabling them to learn from failures, iterate on their strategies, and ultimately propel their ventures to new heights. By cultivating resilience, entrepreneurs can unlock their full potential and transform challenges into opportunities for growth and success.

Adrian Tamminga, Co-founder, Business Manager, Iron Embers


Embracing Diverse Perspectives

Having perspective, being able to see other perspectives, and being able to shift between perspectives is key for an entrepreneur to find success. 

To achieve this type of perspective, it’s important for an entrepreneur to surround themselves with all different types of people and ways of thinking. There are so many different people in the world with so many different backgrounds and unique viewpoints that without vast perspectives, it’s easy to miss the mark. Having perspective means allowing yourself to understand things on different levels and becoming a more well-rounded person and thinker.

John Berry, CEO and Managing Partner, Berry Law


Competitive Spirit Drives Growth

Throughout my experience working with entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed a common trait among the ones who achieve immense success: they’re not afraid of competition. Rather than viewing competitors as a threat, these individuals see them as an opportunity to improve, innovate, and grow. They use competition as motivation to push their limits and come up with creative, unique solutions that set them apart.

On the other hand, those who struggle to succeed tend to shy away from competition, fearing it will hinder their progress or reputation. The most successful entrepreneurs I have met embrace competition, learn from it, and use it as a driving force to continue pushing boundaries in their industry.

Antreas Koutis, Administrative Manager, Financer


Unwavering Belief and Determination

Successful entrepreneurs possess a unique mental edge, one that sets them apart from those who struggle to succeed. For instance, successful entrepreneurs have an unwavering belief in their ability to reach their goal—whatever the odds. 

This confidence allows them to remain determined when faced with disappointments and failure; instead of giving up, they simply find a new way forward. In short, this ‘never give up’ attitude is what gives successful entrepreneurs the power to face adversity and adapt in order to eventually emerge triumphant.

Tasia Duske, CEO, Museum Hack


Discipline: Clarity and Consistency

What sets a successful entrepreneur apart from those who struggle is discipline! Discipline includes clarity, consistency, and consequence. Although it is quite a simple concept, most entrepreneurs need more discipline. 

Most entrepreneurs need to be clearer on what they want, and they need clarity on what is required to get what it is they want for their business. Those who have figured out what they wish to do sometimes need more consistency in their day-to-day actions of the tasks that will move the needle. 

In conclusion, lack of clarity and consistency in character has consequences, and too often, most entrepreneurs need more accountability, so they continue to struggle.

Amore Philip, Director of Public Relations, Apples & Oranges Public Relations


Capitalizing on Hidden Opportunities

Successful entrepreneurs can identify and capitalize on opportunities that others may not have noticed or acted on. Even on the smallest, slightest of scales, they’re able to recognize and act quickly on opportunities. 

For example, they may spot a gap in the market or an untapped customer segment and use that to their advantage. Or, they may see the potential of a technology or solution that hasn’t been explored yet, like what Elon Musk did with his companies. Capitalizing on these opportunities gives them the edge over their competition, allowing them to create and grow their businesses.

Justin Thomas, Founder and Lead Consultant, JourneyEngine


Taking Action, Actualizing Ideas

I’ve been a serial entrepreneur for 25 years. I’ve also been part of the Entrepreneur Organization for more than a decade and have served as the EO ambassador for NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship).

There is one common issue that I see in so many entrepreneurs, both successful and wantrepreneurs: ending the analysis and stepping into action.

Nearly every entrepreneur I speak with has great ideas. The crazy thing is, most of those ideas have been living in their head for a long time. They are just waiting for the right time, the right opportunity, for the stars to align, or for someone to just do it for them and give them all the credit.

I use the phrase, “Just NIKE—just DO IT.” I don’t mean they need to drop everything and only focus on the idea. I mean they simply have to stop the analysis and make concrete steps toward actualizing the idea.

I believe most great ideas never see the light of day because they eventually pass on to their hosts.

Jeremy Shepherd, CEO, Pearl Paradise


Pursuing New Ventures Continuously

Among the five businesses I initiated, only one truly succeeded. I was on the brink of taking a salaried position, but my faith in finding my niche kept me going.

Over the past two years, I’ve invested $323,000 into new ventures, only to see it all vanish. I’m often questioned about why I chase new opportunities when I already run a prosperous business with a team of 50+ employees.

I fully understand that the market is always in flux, and my existing business could eventually falter. That’s precisely why I continually put effort into building new enterprises.

Dmytro Sokhach, Founder and CEO, Admix Global


Confidence: Inspiring Trust in Others

A key thing that I think sets apart a brilliant entrepreneur from an amateur one is one of the obvious traits–confidence.

It’s almost impossible to get people to believe in your ideas and business if you don’t believe in yourself and it will be difficult to inspire people to work for you, get customers to buy your products, and get investors to put money into your ideas. So you need to firmly believe in your skill set and the idea of your business.

When people trust what you are doing and your capabilities; they will stick by you, and be likely to partner with you, which in turn builds strong relationships and networks for your company which is essential for meeting business goals.

Alexander Burgemeester, Founder, Ireland Wide


Anticipation and Foresight Mastery

Anticipation is a crucial quality that distinguishes successful entrepreneurs from those who struggle. It involves the ability to perceive and forecast potential opportunities and threats before they arise, allowing entrepreneurs to prepare and respond strategically and effectively proactively. 

Successful entrepreneurs possess a keen sense of foresight, constantly scanning the business landscape for emerging trends, changes in consumer behavior, technological advancements, and market shifts. They use this insight to stay ahead of the competition, identify new opportunities, and mitigate risks.

Ajay Prasad, President and CEO, GMR Web Team


Willingness to Learn and Adapt

One specific thing that sets successful entrepreneurs apart from those who struggle to succeed is their willingness to learn and adapt. Successful entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to improve their business model and are open to feedback and new ideas. They are not afraid to take risks, but they also know when to pivot and change direction if something is not working. By continuously learning and adapting, they can stay ahead of the competition and capitalize on new opportunities.

Additionally, successful entrepreneurs are often very resilient and persistent in the face of setbacks and challenges. They do not let failure discourage them, but see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. They can bounce back quickly from setbacks and use their experiences to inform their future decisions and strategies.

Brenton Thomas, CEO, Twibi 


Maintaining Concentration and Drive

Entrepreneurs who achieve success possess the skills to maintain their concentration and drive, even in challenging circumstances. They exhibit a distinct purpose, an unwavering commitment to hard work, and the capacity to persevere through obstacles. Additionally, they formulate effective plans and recognize the significance of assuming well-considered risks.

Farhan Advani, Co-founder, Hair Extensions Advisor


Capacity for Flexibility and Adaptation

I think one thing that sets successful entrepreneurs apart from those who struggle to succeed is their ability to adapt. Specifically, this involves the entrepreneur’s capacity for flexibility in responding to market changes and embracing new opportunities.

For example, when experiencing setbacks or facing unexpected challenges in your business, it’s essential not to see them exclusively as roadblocks. Instead, view them as potential avenues for growth or learning experiences. This perspective allows you to overcome obstacles and capitalize on circumstances that may open doors previously unknown.

If we consider today’s changing digital landscape with technologies such as AI and automation transforming industries worldwide, being agile has become more critical. Successful entrepreneurs continually update their strategies by evaluating emerging trends (for instance) rather than stubbornly clinging to traditional methods that are no longer effective because they’ve “always done well.”

Stewart Dunlop, Founder and Chief Strategist, LinkBuilder.io


Mental Toughness in Entrepreneurship

The one factor that sets successful entrepreneurs apart from those who struggle to succeed is mental toughness. It’s the ability to stay focused, remain resilient, and persevere through the challenges of entrepreneurship. Those who possess this trait can overcome setbacks and use them as opportunities to learn and grow.

Alfonso Colasuonno, Co-founder, Real Unicorn Apparel


Humility: A Key to Success

There are many characteristics that set apart successful entrepreneurs from those who struggle to succeed. But if I were to pick one that goes unnoticed, I would say “humility.” Successful business owners have the humility to reflect on why things might not be going as well as they should.

So often, our desire to be seen as successful by others leads us to panic and to cover up or ignore when things are going wrong. Having a humble attitude allows us to slow down, analyze, identify potential problems, and search for a solution. 

For example, if website inquiries aren’t coming in as they should, it takes humility to think that there may be a problem and to listen to third-party advice about what might need to change to make things work well, particularly if you spent a long time developing your brand, website, or offer.

Matthew Conway, Managing Director, NDT Group


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