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What makes them succeed? Characteristics of a successful entrepreneur

Updated on June 8, 2012

Entrepreneurs have one thing in common, drive. It’s rather difficult to define what the word drive means when applied to an entrepreneur, but it’s akin to looking at a problem as only a solution in disguise. There are many characteristics of successful entrepreneurs that are common denominators. An entrepreneur is not difficult to spot. When you meet someone who exudes sincere excitement at the thoughts of working, you will be in the presence of a truly gifted individual. Goal setting, lofty goals at that, is yet another of the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, they not only set these goals; they see to it that these goals are achieved regardless of the pitfalls that appear along the way. An entrepreneur does not see a big rock in his way. He simply sees an impediment to his progress; the rock is studied and the decision to go over it, under it or around is made. Once the rock is behind the successful entrepreneur, he continues on his way.

Characteristics of a successful entrepreneur

What makes entrepreneurs succeed, we examine what traits they have in common.
What makes entrepreneurs succeed, we examine what traits they have in common.

successful entrepreneur traits

Other successful entrepreneur traits are embodied in the individual’s opinion of himself. The successful entrepreneur exudes self-confidence and knows innately his own skill and abilities. Coupled with a very persuasive demeanor, backed up by assertiveness, the aura of power becomes evident. Not power in the perverted sense, but a firm understanding of his power over himself. He knows no boundaries, of the 25 common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs that we will discuss, the power that an entrepreneur holds within his hands, his heart and his mind, are by far the most important. Although it is recognized that all undertakings come complete with small details, the entrepreneur, during his quest to win, will set these aside. Constant focus on the big picture is another of the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

An entrepreneur very rarely rests. He is constantly looking for solutions to today’s challenge or looking forward to the next challenge. The outcome of an entrepreneurial idea is the results of thinking as a chameleon acts, changing colors to adapt to the environment, the entrepreneur changes as the demands on him change. This constant reinvention of him is what results in a successful enterprise, an enterprise where the surprises were pre thought and the answers were pre conceived.

8 characteristics of successful entrepreneurs

What else makes for a successful Entrepreneur?

There is an adage that is burnt into the minds of all entrepreneurs;

“The only constant is change”

An open mind is another of the successful entrepreneur traits. Although his nature makes him headstrong, you will not find a successful entrepreneur who displays a stubborn streak. There is nothing that we, as human beings can do about the sands of time and the changes that they bring in technology, techniques and concepts. When the focus is squarely on the only person that counts, the customer, the entrepreneur will adapt quickly, bring new ideas on board to allow him to adapt to this rapidly changing business environment we live in.

You will no doubt notice that another of the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs is their energy. The dynamics within the individual, his commitment to the goal, his unwavering belief is what makes the difference between success and failure. They always seem to be on the go, they run on overdrive continuously. Their unbridled energy is infectious; those around them become highly charged in their own right, adding again to the belief imbedded in the entrepreneur that he is on the right track.

You will never see an entrepreneur who turns his back on criticism. When an idea, a concept, a product or a service is seen through the eyes of others as having a flaw, the entrepreneur will stop immediately and listen to the comments. He knows that to hone his offering to cover the expectations of the broadest percentile of the target market is necessary, and he will take everything into account. As intelligent as the entrepreneur may be, he is the first to admit that he does not know it all, he is quite happy to bare his shortcomings if the result is continued improvement in his undertaking.

successful entrepreneur traits

One of the main characteristics is their love of work.
One of the main characteristics is their love of work.

Entrepreneur Characteristic Poll

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25 common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs

All the common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs boil down to the same thing. They wish to make money; they wish to be successful and to adequately cover the life that they envisage for themselves. It is all well and good to be a dreamer; it is the dreams that can be turned into reality that genuinely count. There are very few of us that can enjoy the luxury of brainstorming a fledgling idea, turning it into potential reality, and then walk away from it for fear of failure. Of all the successful entrepreneur traits, the total elimination of the fear of failure from his makeup is paramount. Once the development has been completed, the entrepreneur then turns to production, to the satisfaction of the market demand he knows lies dormant, just waiting patiently for his idea to be turned into reality. Many times, the need to go from concept to reality is one more hurdle that the entrepreneur faces, financing. As with everything else, his zeal and unabashed enthusiasm will put him in front of investors and venture capitalists that are waiting for marketable products to come their way.

I would like to summarize my enthusiasm for this topic by listing what I believe to be the 25 common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. These traits are in no specific order, but if you have them and you have an idea, then you are well on the road to success.

•Has drive and motivation.

•Loves to work.

•Exudes enthusiasm.

•Is goal oriented.

•Sees solutions, never problems.

•Has a high opinion of himself and his skill set.

•Is persuasive, assertive and powerful.

•Has total commitment in mind, body and soul.

•Focus on the big picture.

•Is hard driving and energetic.

•Has the ability to adapt quickly to changing scenarios.

•Is forward thinking.

•Understands what “The only constant is change” really means.

•Is headstrong but not stubborn.

•Focus on the customer and his place in the market.

•Is quick to adapt to new technology and concepts.

•Has unwavering belief in success.

•Accepts criticism, asks for opinions and is a good listener.

•Is a great planner.

•Is a wise money manager.

•Is an enthusiastic believer in competition as a means to drive constant improvement.

•Has passion.

•Has resourcefulness.

•Has determination and grit.

•Has the ability to evaluate risks.


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    • dipless profile image

      dipless 5 years ago from Manchester

      You are very welcome, I hope that they help you through. If you need any more advice or information don't hesitate to ask, also there is some very useful information at

      You definitely need determination to succeed that is a must. Good luck with your venture.

    • Karmallama profile image

      Doreen Lucky 5 years ago from St. Paul, minnesota

      I appreciate reading articles like these when I am in a tough sppot on my entrepreneurial journey. It provides a positive spin on the determination you have to possess. Thank you for your hub

    • dipless profile image

      dipless 5 years ago from Manchester

      Thank you very much, glad you found it useful. What industry are you in?

    • MsLofton profile image

      MsLofton 5 years ago from IL

      Being an entrepreneur myself, I have to say this is an article and insightful article!