7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs (And 3 of the Most Successful Ones)

We read about the successes of superstar entrepreneurs in the news every day. In industries ranging from microbiology to space travel, successful entrepreneurs continue to capture our imagination and fuel our dreams and desires for becoming wildly successful – and maybe even rich – one day.

Business researchers, sociologists and armchair pundits have all studied the behaviors of these successful entrepreneurs in order to discover the secrets of their successes. They have classified these into traits seven traits that every successful entrepreneur exhibits. Mastering these seven traits will give you the tools you need to start succeeding with your own ambitions. In addition, there are three traits that put the best of the best entrepreneurs over the top. Want to know what these traits are? Read on!


Entrepreneurs can and will talk about their passion to anyone who will listen. They know everything there is to know about their industry backwards and forwards. The details about the most minute elements of their business are available without any hesitation.

They care about their business and its success more than anything else in the world. Everything they do, every person they talk to, every decision they make is always viewed through the lens of “how will this help my business?” They are so busy making their businesses succeed it seems like they really don’t have time for anything else.

A passionate entrepreneur tends to be emotionally invested in his or her product, and its successes and failures. Successes are celebrations, while failures can often be taken on a deeply personal level. They are physically invested as well, working long after everyone else is asleep in their beds. They are almost always invested financially on a personal level. Successful entrepreneurs tend to be perfectionists, always looking for the best way to achieve their goals, and constantly look for new ways to make their business better without sacrificing the quality of their product or service.


There is no one more certain of their product’s success than an entrepreneur. They have a confidence that borders on religious faith. There is no room for negativity in their thinking, and potential obstacles will never shake a successful entrepreneur’s belief that what they are doing will ultimately succeed.

Attitude is everything. Entrepreneurs who succeed leave no room for doubt in their business. They make decisions based on the absolute certainty that whatever they decide will ultimately benefit their venture. Once they make a decision, they stick to it.

Being doubtful or second-guessing yourself is a path to failure. Entrepreneurs know this instinctively and have no room for it in their path towards success. Their confidence inspires confidence in others. One example of an entrepreneur with extreme confidence is Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. He began his life as an entrepreneur at age 12, selling garbage bags door-to-door. In college he owned a bar (briefly), then launched his first software company. It didn’t matter what industry he was in, Cuban approached it with confidence (and passion), and literally turned nothing into something.

Risk-Taking Tendencies

One of the benefits of being entrepreneur-level confident is that they aren’t afraid to take risks. That doesn’t mean they’re reckless; rather, they are willing to try new approaches to old problems in an effort to find innovative solutions. Just look at Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who dropped out of college to start his company. Not exactly a path that most parents would encourage, but his risk paid off!

Not every new idea is successful, but that won’t deter a dedicated entrepreneur from trying new things in the hopes that they can learn something valuable. Even in an unsuccessful venture, there are many lessons that can be taken away from it that can help in the future. At the very least, taking risks teaches entrepreneurs what to avoid in the future.

Taking risks – to an entrepreneur – means doing things that other people haven’t tried before. Or that they’ve tried one way unsuccessfully but weren’t sold on the results. Whether it’s trying a new business model, a new product line, or a new technology, entrepreneurs go places that others haven’t even thought of, and try new things that seem improbable, because they can see themselves achieving their goals when no one else can. They always challenge the status quo.

Successful entrepreneurs don’t look at things the same ways as other people. Just because something has never been done before is precisely the reason why entrepreneurs are so successful. They create new markets, new products, and new ways of doing business by taking risks that others haven’t.


For an entrepreneur, success is the ultimate goal. They may crave a new success every year, but they never demand anything less than success. It is the focus on succeeding that motivates an entrepreneur to achieve their goals.

They throw themselves into their work and won’t quit at the first sign of trouble. Challenges are seen as things to go over, around, or through. It would never occur to an entrepreneur that anything exists that could derail them from their goal.

The tunnel vision that entrepreneurs have helps them avoid distractions and keep them focused on their goals. Words like “can’t,” “won’t,” or “don’t” are some of the strongest motivators for successful entrepreneurs.

But being determined doesn’t mean ignoring reality. It means being able to keep focused on the goal while navigating the day-to-day problems in order to reach their goal.


Being an entrepreneur means being a pragmatist. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned in business – and in life. For ordinary people, a minor deviation may seem like can be a catastrophic obstacle that can throw their business into chaos. Once they have a plan, they stick with it until something happens that makes any further progress impossible.

Sometimes, the market will shift, and that means the goal might have shifted as well. Think about Amazon.com. At first, they sold only books. Now they sell millions of products in hundreds of categories. Their customers wanted the Amazon.com shopping experience for all of their online purchases, and Jeff Bezos was listening. That’s why he’s the richest man on the planet.

For entrepreneurs, having to change direction in order to reach their goal is just part of the process. And it’s how entrepreneurs turn adversity into opportunity. Keeping focused on the goal while being able to adapt and change course may seem like focusing on two things at once, but in reality, it’s only looking at two sides of the same equation, calculating the method to reach the solution.


Always asking why (or why not) and how things are done is the hallmark of how a successful entrepreneur thinks. Successful entrepreneurs will take the time to learn everything they can about how something is done, and then challenge every preconceived notion and idea related to that convention. They pick it apart trying to find out why things were done “that way,” and then start thinking about alternatives and improvements.

Entrepreneurs absorb information constantly and voraciously. They can study a new topic for days or even weeks in order to have a thorough understanding of it. They’ll track down experts and go to conferences, buy books and read them when everyone else has gone to bed. Entrepreneurs take their knowledge very seriously and will go to great lengths to ensure that they know everything there is to know, if it’s something worth knowing.

No one knows how inspiration works or how ideas form in the human brain. What is obvious though is that you can’t be inspired by something you know nothing about. That’s why entrepreneurs like learning so much. Every experience is a learning moment for the successful entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs know a secret about knowledge that others don’t: The more they know, the greater their chances are that two random bits of information can connect into new ideas in a moment of inspiration.

Networking Superstar

Successful entrepreneurs like connecting with people. They see every person they meet as having the potential to add value to their business. They know how to work a room, introducing themselves to every new face and reconnecting with people they’ve already met. Every networking interaction has the potential to solve a difficult problem or generate new ideas. Entrepreneurs know this and don’t let any opportunity slip by, however remote.

Meeting with new people lets entrepreneurs talk about ideas and helps them get feedback on any ideas they’re currently implementing. It also provides an opportunity to create interest and excitement in their project, by introducing it to people who may not have heard of it before now.

If you have all of these traits, chances are you’re already on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur. If there are any areas you need to improve, start working on them now. Search online for articles and courses on how to learn or improve them. Take online courses or check with your local colleges to see if they offer adult education classes. Each of the seven traits listed above is critical to your success as an entrepreneur.

For the superstar entrepreneurs, there are three additional traits that they have that sets them apart from the rest. Some of them have these traits naturally, others know that in order to reach higher, they need to learn how to do them successfully. Entrepreneurs apply the same determination and self-learning skills to these superstar traits.

Being a Money Manager

Sometimes being full of innovative ideas means there isn’t room to worry about anything else. It’s easy for an entrepreneur to find someone to partner with in order to handle the financial side of things while they take care of the business side. The disadvantage to that is entrepreneurs need to share the driver’s seat – and often the profits – with someone else. That doesn’t always work for everyone. Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States of America, was also one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the 18th century. Among other famous achievements, he coined the term “a penny saved is a penny earned,” broadcasting to the world his idea that solid money management is critical for long term success.

The most successful entrepreneurs have the additional ability to manage the finances of their own business while keeping their business growing and succeeding. Their control over the budget and spending for their own business means there’s no conflict in how money is allocated throughout the company. In addition, it means that they can perform a more intuitive cost benefit analysis when it comes to significant purchases.

Sales Ability

Selling is a skill that can be learned through experience and learning. For some people, it is a natural talent they can use effortlessly. The most successful entrepreneurs combine their passion and networking skills with the ability to sell their products and services to anyone.

A good salesperson knows how to present the value of the product or service they represent. A great salesperson will take the time to know their potential customer, learn what their needs are, then present the value of their product or service that matters most.

The most successful entrepreneurs have a natural flair for sales and can explain the value of their product or service to potential customers. Fortunately, sales is the most popular type of business training. If you don’t have confidence in your ability to sell your idea to everyone, a quick online course is selling is a great starting point for learning how to sell.

No Fear of Failure

Failure is frightening. Both the fear and the failure are normal. It shakes your confidence and introduces self-doubt, both of which can cause someone to lose focus. What’s worse, you’ll start to believe that you didn’t fail, rather that you are a failure. This kind of thinking is toxic, and the most successful entrepreneurs know this. That’s why they don’t allow themselves to think like that. For them, failure is an education, failure is an experience, failure is an opportunity. Failure can be seen as many things, but never as simply a failure.

Having determination and being willing to take risks is enough for some entrepreneurs to make their businesses successful. Truly outstanding entrepreneurs, have the ability to simply ignore any and all setbacks in the pursuit of their vision. They simply don’t let what everyone else calls “failure” stand in their way of achieving their goals.

Everyone dreams of making it big. For some, it’s only a dream. For successful entrepreneurs, the dream will include learning these ten traits so they are ready to face every hurdle, obstacle, or setback with confidence, determination, adaptability, and no fear of failure.

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