What Are the Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur?

Traits of Successful EntrepreneurA successful entrepreneur is not just business savvy but also a success in other areas of their lives because they apply the same characteristics.  It is a pattern that, once recognized, can be seen everywhere and in everything that you put your hand to. Here are a few examples of behaviors exhibited by successful entrepreneurs:

Setting Goals

Goals are the benchmarks we use to judge our success or failure.  An entrepreneur will have a history of goal setting and achievements. Setting goals keeps you from quitting.  It is easy to become overwhelmed with a large goal.  The goal is more manageable when it is taken in smaller steps.

How do you set goals?  For a business, you’ll need to write them down.  Writing your goals down makes them concrete. Start with the main goal of your business.  What is your vision statement?  What do you hope to accomplish with this business?  From that first statement, you can then list what needs to be done as general categories and break down each category into smaller goals to be accomplished over time.

Avoid setting unrealistic goals.  This happens when you expect too much in too short a time.  Successful entrepreneurs are not above revising their goals to avoid biting off more than they can chew and stalling the project.  Determination will get all of the goals met.


Self-evaluation is a tool of the successful entrepreneur. Make a list.  A successful entrepreneur has no illusions about themselves.  Strength doesn’t make them an automatic success but it also is something that they can build a firm business foundation upon.  Weaknesses are opportunities waiting to be exploited.

Successful entrepreneurs are not above becoming the student once again and learning under someone who knows more than they do.  They find the “guru” and learn about website design, internet marketing, etc.  To an entrepreneur it is new and exciting instead of foreign and scary.  With knowledge comes power to do what you want with your business and your life.

Attention to Customer Service

Any business that wants to stay in business knows that they would be nowhere without their customers.  These are the people that have taken a chance on the business and put their trust in the product or service.  It is only right for the business owner to show their appreciation for those customers.

Customers provide the basis for viral marketing.  It is their glowing testimonials that will keep you in business.  Customers know that some businesses are not above saying anything in their advertisements to draw people in.  Hearing good things about your business from a current customer is a bona fide truth measure.

Successful entrepreneurs know that keeping their customers happy is the name of the game.  Entrepreneurs refuse to set the bar lower for their customers than they would for themselves. Businesses can reward their customers with referral programs, free coupons, discounts on new products and prize giveaways.  A successful entrepreneur knows that you have to spend money to make money.  Giving away items and rewarding customers will always pay off in the end.  Treating people like they are special earns their trust and a good name for you.

Know Your Trade

A successful entrepreneur is one who knows the ins and outs of their trade. They have researched each nook and cranny of their business.  Often, the business venture that you choose to pursue is one that you are familiar with and passionate about.  To that end, you will know all about the product, the market and any new advances in the area.  It is hard to convey your passion and excitement if you don’t know what you are talking about.

Part of knowing all about the business requires knowing all about the competition.  Successful entrepreneurs study the competition to see what they are doing right and what can be improved upon. Only a foolhardy person ignores the opportunity to evaluate others in direct competition with them.

Vision for the Future

Too often businesses fail because the owners have no plan for the future. Successful entrepreneurs avoid that mistake with a business plan. The business plan is a blueprint for the direction of the business.

A successful entrepreneur looks at the big picture.  Growing a business takes time and patience.  Can you be patient while you build a customer base and a profit?  Depending on your enterprise, it may take a couple of years to turn a profit.

Those who look for a get rich quick scheme are often disappointed.  The real world of business doesn’t work that way and a successful entrepreneur realizes that.


Think outside the box.  Finding a new niche in business is not about reinventing the wheel, but about making it more aerodynamic so it will go farther.  A successful entrepreneur builds upon the principles that have been established to carve out a new place for their business. Many of the tried and true practices of modern business came into existence because someone tried something different.

Along those same lines, use the creativity of your staff or freelancers.  Surround yourself with people who have the creative spark.  Encourage participation in the business by your employees.  Also solicit customer suggestions to enhance your business.  Growing a business is a collaborative effort and successful entrepreneurs welcome creativity in themselves and others.

Seize Opportunities

To find opportunities you have to be in the right place at the right time with the proper attitude.  That attitude involves keeping an open mind and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Doing something you’ve never done before, like starting an online business can be scary.  Fear has kept a lot of budding entrepreneurs from realizing their dreams.  Fear can be debilitating if you let it.  Instead face it and do what you need to do.  Constantly facing your fear makes it disappear.

Successful entrepreneurs realize that even setbacks can be opportunities for growth.  Through trial and error, you find what will maximize your profit.

Balancing Business and Family

This is perhaps the hardest ability to cultivate.  In the beginning of any business venture, you work long hours.  The family, particularly if you have children, can feel a bit neglected at times.

Before beginning a business venture, it is important to talk to your family.  Some business owners give up their jobs or decide to work fewer hours in pursuit of their new business.  This affects the family finances.  A successful entrepreneur makes sure that their family is on board with their new pursuit.

The support of your family is crucial.  As you weather the ups and downs of business life, you’ll need the emotional support and stability your family can provide to you.   They can keep you accountable when you are going overboard with work.


The business market is ever-changing.  New marketing techniques enhance business and make some others obsolete.  Customers change their tastes at the drop of a hat.  What is popular this year may not be in style next year.  A successful entrepreneur knows how to adapt. 

Flexibility begins with not holding on to any idea too tightly.  While you are working on promoting one product, you still entertain ideas that can be useful down the line when you are ready for them.  As times change, you will have an arsenal of other ways to adapt and continue to grow your business.


How long will you stick with a business if you don’t love what you do?  Every setback will be like a knife in your side and every long day turns into a headache.  The successful entrepreneur has chosen a niche of business that coincides with their personal interests. As a rule, it is important to love what you have decided to devote your life to.  Entrepreneurship is a choice and to be a wise choice, it needs to integrate well into your life.  That means governing your business venture with the same principles and convictions that you use for all other areas of your life.

So how many of these qualities do you possess? Do you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? Can you think of any other traits an entrepreneur requires to be successful? Please share your comments below.

entrepreneur, successful traits, small business owner, solopreneur, goal setting, work life balance, achievements, business plan

pin it later

Please Share Your Thoughts