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30+ Surprising Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs

In this article we are going to talk about the best qualities of successful entrepreneurs.

When you start a business, it’s almost impossible to predict if it will succeed or fail. Because there’s no secret formula or shortcut to real, long-term success.

However, if we take a closer look at successful entrepreneurs, we will notice they tend to have in common some traits.

And these characteristics can often tell us whether someone can be a successful business owner or not.

Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs

What follows are some of the best qualities successful entrepreneurs tend to share.

To write this article and provide you with a complete list of characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, we have interviewed more than 30 business and entrepreneurship experts.

1. Determination

As Edward Mellet, Director of WikiJob, mentions, in business, as in life, you will encounter numerous obstacles, and it is crucial that you have the determination to overcome them.

Being a successful entrepreneur is not a walk in the park; there will be times when you do things wrong perhaps horrifically wrong but you must persevere and maintain a positive mindset.

If you allow your failures to deter you, you will miss out on your huge triumphs.

Indeed, setbacks should be viewed as learning experiences that strengthen your resolve to achieve.

As CEO of Discount Reactor Andrew Priobrazhenskyi explains, entrepreneurs stay resilient when times are difficult. They are not easily defeated.

They are able to accept criticism and are eager to learn from their mistakes. And they are able to adapt and adjust their strategy in order to achieve future success.

2. Excellent work ethic and professionalism

According to Tim Davidson, President of Car Title Loan Lenders, a strong work ethic is one of the most common qualities of successful entrepreneurs.

It’s possible that your natural skills will take you only so far, but a strong work ethic is what will propel you to the next level.

“Professionalism is a trait that all entrepreneurs should have,” says Steve Andreson, CEO of Junk Yard Near Me.

The conduct of an business leader with their workers and clients contribute significantly to the development of the organization’s culture.

Professionalism is accompanied with reliability and discipline.

Self-discipline assists an entrepreneur to meet goals, stay organized, and set a good example for others.

Reliability leads to trust, and for most businesses, faith in the entrepreneur is what keeps employees engaged and eager to give their all. 

Recommended read: How to Start a Business Online, from Home

3. Passion

As CEO of Abrams Roofing Kim Abrams explains, if you don’t have a burning desire to succeed in your business, you’re doomed from the start.

You can’t succeed until you’re all in and ready for the ups and downs, disappointments, and obstacles.

Also, as Alex Uriarte, Personal Injury Attorney at 1800 Injured Care, mentions, doing something you don’t enjoy every day is difficult, and that’s why you need to discover strategies to reignite your enthusiasm for your work. 

4. Vision

As Head of Marketing at at Psychometric Success Robert Smith mentions, successful entrepreneurs have a clear vision of what their business will be and can express its purpose, objectives, and market position in a simple manner.

They have determined – and can concisely define – the who, what, where, when, and why of their organization.

5. Confidence

As Brady McAninch, founder of HM Attorneys, mentions, successful business owners have confidence in themselves and their business.

They need to have faith in their ability and their concept.

Every entrepreneur will suffer rejection at some point, and successful entrepreneurs are those who have the confidence to persevere and recover from failure.

6. Flexibility

“Things do not always proceed as planned, in my opinion,” says McAninch.

A successful entrepreneur is flexible. They learn from their mistakes and are adaptable and willing to adjust as they go.

They are receptive to input from others and willing to attempt new techniques.

Recommended read: What Is Bad Bunny’s Net Worth? (2022)

7. Ability to sell

As Abdul Saboor, Full Stack Developer at The Stock Dork, explains, a successful entrepreneur must be at ease with selling.

Even with a sales team, a business owner must be good at networking and able to market themselves and their business to financiers, customers, suppliers, and employees.

Honestly, I couldn’t agree more with that!

8. Willingness to work long hours

As William Kemper, Owner of Kemper DMD, mentions, being an entrepreneur is more challenging than working for someone else.

To be successful as an entrepreneur, you must be ready to put in the necessary amount of time and work, sometimes in the beginning for very little or no money at all.

Successful business people are aware of the dangers involved and the amount of effort that will be required to accomplish their objectives.

9. Willingness to seek and acknowledge the assistance of others

Asking for help is not a weakness, it’s a sign of strength.

As Dan Close, Founder & CEO of We Buy Houses in Kentucky, explains, an entrepreneur has to be skilled in a variety of areas, but the most successful ones are also aware of their own limits, understand that they cannot do everything alone, and are prepared to delegate tasks to other people.

They are open to the idea of seeking assistance. When it is necessary, they look for and pay for the advice and help of specialists.

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10. A clear sense of direction

“All successful business people, in my opinion, need a strong sense of direction,” says Sep Niakan, Managing Broker of Condoblackbook.

Most business owners now operate day by day, almost like firefighters, due to the turbulence and rapid change in today’s economy.

The urge to generate short-term sales and profits has completely consumed their attention. They want to spend more time reflecting and making plans for the future, but they never seem to find the time.

For successful business owners, this is not for you. You must establish precise goals for every aspect of your organization and for yourself.

In fact, providing your team with a clear sense of direction for their work may be your most important duty to them.

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11. Relentlessness

According to Gary Hemming, Commercial Lending Director at ABC Finance, relentlessness is the key quality needed for successful entrepreneurs – everything else can be learned.

It’s often overlooked that no matter how great an entrepreneur is, mistakes will always be made and gaps in knowledge will always exist.

The relentless entrepreneur will be able to work around this by digging and digging until they find the information needed, or the tweaks to company processes to deliver success.

Building a successful company is rarely an overnight achievement – it takes time, experiments and consistent effort to build results over time.

When an entrepreneur is relentless, they’ll fail quickly, refine quickly and never stop until they get things right.

12. Frugality

Entrepreneurs are often lauded for their innovation, creativity and risk-taking.

But, as Sakina Nasir, SEO executive at Streaming Digitally, explains, one of the most important qualities of successful entrepreneurs: thriftiness.

For entrepreneurs, every penny counts.

They know that they need to reinvest their earnings back into their business in order to grow it, so they are always looking for ways to save money.

This can mean cutting costs wherever possible, finding creative solutions to problems and never wasting anything.

Being thrifty also allows entrepreneurs to survive tough times and unexpected expenses.

When something comes up that they hadn’t planned for, they have the financial flexibility to deal with it without putting their business at risk.

Recommended read: How to Achieve Financial Freedom with Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps

13. Consistency

As James Dyble, Managing Director at Global Sound Group explains, when examining people who have achieved great success, one trait they often have in common is the ability to be consistent.

Not to mention, constant effort toward tasks that move you closer to your goals eventually yields significant results.

This idea is based on the principle of the compound effect, which asserts that the more you focus your time and energy on something, no matter how small, the more noticeable the consequences become.

If one does not consistently act on one’s goals, it is easy to lose momentum, miss one’s targets, and ultimately never live up to one’s full potential.

14. Ability to take risks

As we said, being an entrepreneur takes a lot of hard work, dedication and passion.

However, as Luke Lee, Founder and Designer of Ever Wallpaper, explains, there are some qualities that successful entrepreneurs share that help them achieve their goals.

One of the most important characteristics of a successful entrepreneur is the ability to take risks.

Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks and exploring new opportunities. Without taking risks, it would be difficult – if not impossible – to achieve success.

15. Ability to persuade people

As Ricardo Pina, Founder of The Modest Wallet, explains, being persuasive can help you become a stronger negotiator, giving you an advantage while fighting for a desirable assignment, pay increase, or

You’ll encounter situations where you’ll need to persuade a customer, a coworker, or your supervisor to do anything, so you’ll need to be persuasive while expressing your point of view.

16. Ability to choose the right people

“Successful entrepreneurs often have a strong network of supportive people around them,” explains Marcus Astin, Chief Operating Officer of Pala Leather.

This network can provide advice, funding, and other resources that can help them to achieve their goals.

While not all entrepreneurs possess this quality, those who do are more likely to find success in the business world.

17. Positivity

“A positive attitude is essential for any entrepreneur, especially for me,” says Maxime Legardez, CEO and Founder of Maki.

Things will go wrong and you will face setbacks, but if you have a positive attitude you’ll be able to overcome anything. You need to believe in yourself and your vision in order to make it happen.

18. Creativity

As Brandon Wilkes, Marketing Manager at The Big Phone Store mentions, creativity is important because it allows entrepreneurs to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems.

Without creativity, entrepreneurs would be limited to using existing ideas and solutions, which would make it difficult to succeed in today’s competitive business environment.

Creativity allows entrepreneurs to think outside the box. This is especially important in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business world.

By being creative, entrepreneurs can stay ahead of the competition and find new and better ways to do things.

Creativity is also essential because it helps entrepreneurs to better understand their customers and what they want.

By being creative, entrepreneurs can come up with new products that customers will immediately fall in love with.

19. Adaptability

“Business has a constantly evolving nature. Since entrepreneurship is an iterative process, there are always fresh obstacles to overcome and chances to seize,” explains Adam Fard, Founder of Adam Fard UX Agency.

One of the most important qualities of successful entrepreneurs is adaptability, as it’s practically difficult to be prepared for every single circumstance.

This is true for all entrepreneurs, who must evaluate situations and remain adaptable in order to keep their businesses moving forward despite any unforeseen developments.

20. Courage

“Being courageous is an important quality that every business leader should have in order to be successful,” says Joshua Rich, CEO and Founder of Bullseyelocations.

Entrepreneurs should not only be courageous enough to establish their business, but also to fight any start-up hurdles.

New business owners should be very confident and believe in success. They should understand that setbacks are common and that they need to stick by their initiative and make it work.

Entrepreneurs should know that there is always a way around and work with determination through all the obstacles.

21. Being process-oriented

As Dean Lee, Head of eCommerce at 88Vape, mentions, any entrepreneur should have reliable procedures in place.

A process is an iterable sequence of procedures that aids employees in completing important tasks in the corporate environment.

Processes can be used in a variety of company areas, such as sales, hiring new team members, production, and product delivery.

22. Ability to balance realism with optimism

As Steve Wilson, Founder of Bankdash, explains, the best business leaders are able to find a balance between realism and optimism.

They are aware of the need to be able to confront reality and base choices on evidence, but they also recognize the need for a healthy dose of optimism to encourage and inspire people.

Entrepreneurs who are very gloomy risk coming across as naïve or out of touch, while those who are overly realistic risk seeming pessimistic.

Finding the ideal balance between the two is crucial.

23. Willingness to grow, learn and improve themselves

As Wilson mentions, the best business leaders are committed to growing themselves and know there is always more to learn about themselves, their teams, the business, and other topics.

Entrepreneurs always looking for opportunities to learn and grow are considerably less likely to engage in harmful behaviors associated with inflated egos and are more likely to understand how much they can learn from their staff.

Teams find it tremendously motivating when their leader embraces a growth mentality; they frequently imitate this, creating a cohesive group of individuals thriving simultaneously.

24. Ability to communicate effectively

“Being an effective communicator and simply being a communicator are two different things. Entrepreneurs need to master the art of conveying their message in a way that paints a very clear picture and leaves no room for ambiguity or assumption — all without eating into an organization’s precious time,” explains Brian Casel, Founder at ZipMessage.

Young entrepreneurs often struggle with this and you’ll see them either dishing out too much feedback without a concrete goal in mind or simply not enough of it.

Needless to say, this only paves the way for miscommunication and unintentional friction between team members.

Having a deeper understanding of the people you’re working with and getting crystal clear on what you want to achieve out of every interaction is imperative for effective communication — something every successful entrepreneur is well aware of.

25. Self-responsibility

As Michael Culp, Founder of Ambition Yard explains, self-responsibility is one of the most important qualities of successful entrepreneurs, because failing to take responsibility and control equals failing to achieve any substantial success.

No one else on earth cares about your goals as much as you do, so, as an entrepreneur, it’s up to you to take ownership of your situation and make those goals a reality.

Your dream life will not just manifest out of nowhere, you must create it yourself.

The default outcome is not one of wealth and success.

If you do nothing, you get nothing. The sooner you take responsibility, the sooner you’ll be able to create fantastic results for yourself.

As an entrepreneur, you don’t have any structure to follow and you don’t have a boss telling you what to do, everything is up to you.

So, if you’re not actively building your business, the results will be far below compared to your true potential. 

26. Empathy

As Brian Hong, CEO and Owner of Infintech Designs, explains, empathy is the ability to understand the needs of others.

It is also about being able to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their perspective.

You definitely need empathy to be a successful entrepreneur because you need to be able to understand how your customers think and feel before you can help them solve their problems.

As Granger McCollough, CEO & Founder, Elite Patio Direct, explains, it’s essential to also have empathy for those who work for you.

Having empathy with your employees means finding out what makes them tick, and how they react to certain situations and changing your management style to fit that.

If you have empathy for your employees, they will notice that not only are they working for you, but you are trying to work for them, making your company the best it can be for them.

Knowing this, they will care more for you and your company, and want to do the best they can for it.

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27. Ability to execute

As Chad Brinkle, Owner and Founder of High Country Offroad states, one of the most important qualities of successful entrepreneurs is the ability to execute.

Even if an idea is important, it’s nothing unless it is executed.

It’s all about getting things done and keeping your eye on the ball at all times. It’s not easy, but you have to be able to pull things off and make them work.

A lot of enthusiasm, brilliant ideas, and an influential personality are not enough for success.

If you can’t get your idea to the market, it doesn’t matter how good your idea is.

If you’re building a product, you need to be able to build and distribute it.

And if you’re building a company, you need to be able to find funding and people who believe in your idea.

No matter how big the idea or how great the entrepreneur’s vision is, it will never become a reality if it is not executed properly.

Great entrepreneurs have the ability to execute and follow through.

28. Curiosity

As David Reid, Sales Director at VEM Tooling mentions, one of the most important qualities of successful entrepreneurs is curiosity.

The ability of an entrepreneur to stay curious allows them to seek out new chances regularly.

Rather than settling for what they believe they know, successful entrepreneurs ask questions and are not afraid of pursuing new paths.

29. Healthy naivety

“Naivety is defined as a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement and often deemed a negative trait, but we found hope, peace and humor in it as my co-founder and I grew our business,” says Claire Houston, Co-Founder at Houston & Ko.

“As first time founders, we approach many of our challenges creatively and without the limitations that come with experience – which allows us to think in ideals, rather than marginal improvements. If we had a firm understanding of the challenge we are undertaking, we would likely never have started in the first place,” adds Claire.

30. Problem solving

As Christy Pyrz, Chief Marketing Officer of Paradigm Peptides mentions, every entrepreneur needs to have strong problem-solving skills.

Companies and small businesses consistently face challenges as they develop over time – how a business owner responds to those challenges will determine a company’s success.

The most effective way to develop this skill is to educate yourself through courses, webinars, or a trusted mentor who embodies these skills.

Through leadership, networking, and problem solving, an entrepreneur can successfully lead and manage their company.

31. Having strong business acumen

As Marcus Clarke, Founder of Searchant.co mentions, a strong business acumen is one of the most important qualities of a successful entrepreneur.

You need to be able to understand and navigate the complex business world and be able to think differently from others.

This also means understanding how companies make money, what differentiates one company from another, and how people buy products.

Being a good judge of character is also important for entrepreneurs. You need to be able to spot liars and cheaters so you can steer clear of them.

In addition, having a vision and being able to see the big picture while working towards a common goal is also very important.

It also means being able to juggle multiple projects at once while staying organized and on top of things.

These are all things that can take time to develop, but it’s worth the effort.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto – Pexels

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