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Five Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

© 2009 by Zabrina Way

A successful person in any walk of life must have the right attitude and traits for that path. Entrepreneurs are no exception. Some people may be able to eke a living out as an entrepreneur, but they would never feel comfortable or happy doing so. Others thrive on creating multi-million-dollar empires from nothing and taking gambles with thousands or millions of dollars hanging in the balance.

When successful entrepreneurs’ thinking patterns and personalities are analyzed, generally they have the same set of traits. Entrepreneurs are:

1. Risk Takers

Unexpected problems and opportunities come up on a regular basis for entrepreneurs. They must assess the “risk versus benefit” of particular courses of action and then choose confidently within a limited time span. Gutsy people who can take risks when necessary are much more likely to succeed; however, like anything else, risk-taking must be moderated. Taking too many reckless risks that don’t pay off will kill a business, just like not taking enough of them.

2. Intelligent

While not everyone is a genius, entrepreneurs must be clever and charismatic enough to win respect from vendors, customers, and other parties they deal with on a regular basis. The sharper the entrepreneur, the more opportunities they will spot where others might miss them.

3. Leaders

Entrepreneurs have to learn to lead others, if they don’t already do so by instinct. The ability to influence people and direct them is quite valuable when it comes to small business. Leadership skills will help the entrepreneur when dealing with employees, customers.

4. Passionate

Often, the difference between failure and success is a true belief in and passion for what you’re doing. If entrepreneurs believe that they can make it work, and are passionate enough about seeing it through, often they will see the fruits of their efforts. If they don’t believe what they’re doing will work, they will lose motivation and give up at the slightest obstacles that a passionate entrepreneur would find a way to overcome.

5. Honest

All businesses rely on customers. They may be in the form of parents enrolling their children in daycare (and the children being enrolled), kids buying ice cream from an ice cream truck, businesses contracting a software programmer to modify some existing software, or hundreds of other types of customers. Regardless, they are the clients upon which the success or failure of the business rests. If customers or investors trust the entrepreneur, they are much more willing to give their time, attention, and money.

A successful entrepreneur will usually possess other characteristics, but these are the five most important personality traits that make or break entrepreneurs and their dreams.

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