13 Qualities Successful Entrepreneurs All Share

Entrepreneurial qualities13 Qualities Successful Entrepreneurs All Share


Do you consider yourself to be an entrepreneur? Perhaps you aspire to be one?

Whatever you may label yourself, there’s certainly something to be said for living a life without the middle-man figure of a boss, where you’re joyously and freely interacting directly with clients or customers.

When you work for yourself, you are privileged with many freedoms; on the flip side, of course, you’ll also face much more responsibility than the average employee.

How do you deal with these responsibilities? This is often a sticking point for many new
entrepreneurs, especially ones who formally worked for other people. It’s hard to shake the training wheels sometimes, but having the kind of character that embraces these temporary discomforts in times of growth is often the difference between a success and a failure.

In fact, there are quite a few traits that nearly all successful entrepreneurs have.

Let’s examine 13 of these critical qualities:

1) Willingness to take calculated risks.Calculated risks

Most people with the “employee mindset” will argue that they won’t start a business because it’s “too risky.”

This just shows that they either don’t understand what a business is, or they don’t understand risk, since, chances are, they already work for a business and are subjected to all its risks—they just have way less control over them! After all, when you work under others, you have to put up with all of their decisions over your own, even the bad ones.

An entrepreneur sees the world differently. Starting a business is a calculated risk to him. If he runs the numbers and sees that diving into a certain venture is worth it, he will; if he sees that it’s not, he won’t. All of life is risky, and an entrepreneur knows that running a business isn’t particularly riskier than anything else if it’s done right.

2) Willingness to take responsibility.

When we work for someone else’s company, we can often fade into the background or shift blame to others when the going gets tough. We can just sit there and complain when things beyond our control make work difficult for us.

If you’re trying to launch your own business, though, all of the responsibility is squarely on your shoulders. You are the Atlas of your own little universe, and everything depends on your ability to carry your own weight.

This is a scary proposition for some people, and an exciting one for others. Regardless, entrepreneurs need to be willing to take 100% responsibility for their lives—even for the things they can’t control—if they want to succeed.

3) Willingness to know the truth at all costs.truth about business

When we don’t need to take responsibility, we can afford to turn our heads away and not examine the hard realities of our situation sometimes.

If we’re running a business, though, this will simply lead to disaster. Comfortable lies do not serve a true business person.

4) Willingness to act in the face of fear.

The outside world can sometimes be a scary place, but running a business is about action, not fearful paralysis. In spite of all the doubts, an entrepreneur has to be able to see past the fear and look to the reward at the end of his hard work.

5) Willingness to never make excuses.

In business, as in nature, there are no excuses—there is only results or lack of results. An entrepreneur realizes that these are his two universal choices and that excuses are not part of them.

6) Willingness to see the world from another’s perspective.the world of business

To be able to serve customers, and truly understand them, you must become them in your mind, or at the very least, be able to imagine having their needs as your own.

7) Willingness to see one’s faults without taking them personally.

The key to growth is to be able to see your own flaws and to fix them. This does not mean being harshly judgmental of oneself, but it does mean being able to view oneself and one’s business in a more objective light than most people can.

8) Willingness to grow and change.

A successful entrepreneur knows that without progress and growth, there is death and withering of a business.

He knows that making any particular aspect of the business part of one’s identity, an unmovable thing that resists change is a fool’s errand.

9) Willingness to listen to feedback.

The customers will not always be able to tell you what they want, and often don’t even really know themselves what they truly desire, but they are almost always good at telling you what they don’t want.

A successful entrepreneur knows to read between the lines and figure out what his customers’ truly need.

10) Willingness to be optimistically realistic.Get real with business

Negativity has never gotten anyone anywhere, but, on the other hand, neither have delusions. A good entrepreneur knows that he must keep his head up high, keep hope alive, and keep moving—but he also knows that he needs a realistic plan if his dreams are to come true.

11) Willingness to innovate.

Sometimes being the first is a risk, and occasionally an entrepreneur may find that he needs to take a shot in the dark in order to see what might work. Part of the glory is going where no one has gone before and creating something that previously only existed in

Part of the glory is going where no one has gone before and creating something that previously only existed in one’s imagination.

12) Willingness to go against social conventions.

By and large, we live in a society made up mostly of employees. As we start out in life, unless we had a privileged upbringing, most of our friends and family are employees, and they feel comfortable (though maybe not exactly happy) with their situation.

Many times, these are the people who will, in subtle or overt ways, fight a person who attempts to go into business for himself. A successful entrepreneur has to be willing to ignore this peer pressure.

13) Willingness to accept failure.accept failure

Ironically, to be a true success—barring a huge stroke of random luck—one must be willing to fail many, many times.

This is simply how the game of life is played; you must pay your dues in failures before you have learned to succeed. Successful businesspeople know and embrace this. Failure is disappointing, but it certainly doesn’t have to be the end.

Keep these things in mind if you’re looking to go into business for yourself. It is an extremely rewarding endeavor, with much opportunity for growth, but it comes at the cost of having to build your character—which, really, is a cost most entrepreneurs should be willing to pay.



Photo via Visual Hunt
Photo via VisualHunt
Photo credit: The Shopping Sherpa via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

13 comments on “13 Qualities Successful Entrepreneurs All Share”

  1. David Reply

    You definitely find more out about yourself when you take that risk of becoming an entrepreneur. You might think that you were good at taking constructive criticism, adapting and growing, or being optimistic, but you never really know until you do it. There is definitely a steep learning curve and you have to be prepared for adversity. Good article, makes you do some good self-evaluation.

    • SJB Reply

      Hello David,

      I get the feeling that you are an entrepreneur and know exactly what you are talking about. I believe that it takes a certain type of person to start your own business. It definitely isn’t for anybody but I also believe that if someone wants it bad enough, it can be achieved! Thank you David.

  2. alex Reply

    hey there :). myself as first hand experiencer I know exactly what you are talking about. it is not easy and you need a lot of willing to do so and get there. multiple times I was about to quite doing or trying. but then I thing about working again away from my wife and kid all day long. and that is what is pushing me forward in my online business.

    • SJB Reply

      Thank you Alex. I am happy to know that you haven’t stopped trying. If this is what you truly want to do, you can do it. Just don’t give up! Ever! 🙂

  3. Wayne Reply

    you have listed a lot of good points for would be entrepreneurs and as I have worked for myself all my life I can see a couple that I need to start looking at also. Will be checking back periodically to keep myself refreshed. I like what you said about being able to take criticism and learning from it, so True.

    • SJB Reply

      Hello Wayne,

      Criticism isn’t always easy to accept but it’s so important. Thank you for taking the time to read my article.

  4. Jon Reply

    I love reading articles like this because it keeps me focused on my own qualities and where I lack. I find that every time I sit and think about it, at first, I am very lenient towards myself, “I do that”, “I’m good at that”, “I’m so great” but many times I try to ask people around me (and this is very hard to do) what they think of me. Whether in terms of something in particular or in general and many times they tell me things that really help me to work on myself! Things that are hard to hear at first but are necessary to grow. Its funny too because the more criticism a friend gives me the better of a friend he/she is. These 13 qualities successful entrepreneurs share are life qualities that anyone wanting to be a better person and grow themselves to reach their potential should embrace. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Nate Reply

    Hi SJB,

    This is an interesting post,I’m an entrepreneur myself and while we do have all of these characteristics to an extent I believe I have some far more than others.

    Any advice or anything you can point me to on how to successfully further develop some of these other characteristics.

    • SJB Reply

      Hello Nate,

      Well, it’s really awesome to know that you have confidence and that is very evident. That, in my opinion, is one of the most important traits that one can have, in anything for that matter. Perseverance, belief in yourself and the ultimate desire to succeed is the perfect recipe….don’t you think? 🙂

  6. Martina Reply

    Hey there SJB!

    This is an amazing post, and so so so true – I agree with so much that’s on here. I especially like how you explain that entrepreneurs have to be able to take responsibility all on themselves and never make excuses.

    This is something that I’ve found is difficult for people to transition to when they first start a business. It’s as if people feel that something or someone other than themselves is always to blame whenever anything goes wrong or if things get hard or if they able to put in the time required.

    I definitely think this is a post that everyone should read before embarking on their own journey to start their own business.

    Keep up these great posts – they are so motivational and I feel like anyone whose trying to start a business or who runs their own online business can very much relate

    • SJB Reply

      Hello Martina,

      Thanks so much for your comment. I have been working as an entrepreneur for 12 years now and I believe that I know how much work it takes to succeed on my own. However, it is VERY doable if you want it badly enough. This article was written from the heart! 🙂

  7. Jose Reply

    Hey, I am a young entrepreneur myself, and I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with all the qualities you sat a successful entrepreneur MUST have. I find the most important one is to be constantly growing and changing. Education, (not traditional school) is the most important asset an entrepreneur can invest in, the more you know, the more you earn.

  8. Ilias Reply

    Hi Sonia and thanks for sharing.

    This is a nice list. I think that most people already know how important is to have the right mindset and these qualities but it is not easy to apply them for yourself.

    If I had to choose one of them to improve right now, It will be to accept the failure and do not fear it.

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