17 Traits That Entrepreneurs Possess

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor
Co-Founder of inventRight; Author of One Simple Idea Series
3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Being a successful entrepreneur requires possessing many traits. Some are more important others. Some can be learned -- others are more innate.

It’s not about being the smartest person in the room. After mentoring and coaching thousands of would-be entrepreneurs, I think I have a good idea of what those traits are. Does anyone possess all of them? I doubt it. That person would be insufferable!

To be honest, you may only need to possess a few. But if you’ve been wondering if you’re cut out for a life of entrepreneurship, this list is for you. At the end, I’m going to share the one quality I believe entrepreneurs must have.

1. You’re motivated by fear.

Related: 15 Signs You're an Entrepreneur

2. You hate being told no. When you are, you work harder.

3. You thrive on uncertainty. The unknown excites you. You’re unafraid to carve your own path, because you prefer it that way.

4. You’re willing to take responsibility. You want to take the last shot. When everything rests on your shoulders, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

5. You’re committed to your business with your heart and soul.

6. You’re passionate. Your business is the only thing on your mind. You think about it when you’re eating and when you’re sleeping.

7. You understand that you’re not defined by your job, because you can see the big picture.

8. You’re curious. You like to ask questions. You look at all the possibilities.

9. You have vision. You understand that if you dream about it, you can realize it.

10. You’re flexible. Turning on a dime is no problem for you.

11. You’re disciplined. You know that to be successful at anything, you must dedicate your time and effort. 

Related: 50 Signs You Might Be an Entrepreneur

12. You’re focused. After all, that’s the only way you’ll be able to complete each task before you!

13. You often feel impatient with those around you. It seems like everyone else is standing still. What you want, you want now.

14. You’re persistent -- to a fault.

15. You have confidence. Surrounding yourself with competent, smart associates is no problem for you, because you’re secure in your strengths, and you know what your weaknesses are.

16. You’re insecure. Your self-doubt motivates you to reach for more.

17. You believe that failure is not an option. If you want to take the island, burn the boats. (I love that quote.)

Possessing these traits will help you to be a successful entrepreneur. However, there is one trait that I think is the most important: the desire to be your own boss. I do not want to work for anyone else. I want to call the shots. For me, that’s simply the way it had to be.

That’s not to say I don’t see value in working for someone else. I’m doing that right now. I’m happy to learn new strategies and tips to reduce risk and increase my chances of success. But at the end of the day, I want to be the one that’s responsible.

Related: The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

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