What it Takes to be a Successful Entrepreneur

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Startups are unpredictable. Becoming an entrepreneur is no rocket science and with the market flooded with venture capitalists ready to invest, entrepreneurs today have never had it easier.


But, why do some entrepreneurs go on to greatness, while others wither away into oblivion? There is no “one” guaranteed formula to success.

I believe, the following 8 traits are what make an entrepreneur successful:

Go with the Gut

Entrepreneurs do not necessarily know whether a particular idea or innovation will successfully work out.  Successful entrepreneurs trust their gut instincts and know that their instincts will hold them in good stead. Going with your gut also means you are able to make quick decisions rather than the long-drawn process of market research.

Laser Sharp Focus 

Entrepreneurs focus intensely on opportunities, helping them to filter out non-strategic activities and distractions.They are able to focus on the important, and not just the urgent. When mistakes do happen, they focus on the opportunity to learn and do better next time, rather than cry over spilt milk. True entrepreneurial success comes from superior execution – doing a great job of “blocking and tackling.”


Every entrepreneur has to be agile, continually learning and adapting as new information becomes available. To succeed in business, you need to keep an open mind and be quick in thinking. If things go awry, entrepreneurs are not afraid to switch tracks and do something else.

This may come across to employees as being fickle or changing your mind often, but I think it is better to realize mistakes, if any, and correct them now, than be set in your ways and rue them later.


Even the most successful company in the world won’t stay #1 if it rests on its laurels. In an organization, stagnation by lack of innovation is a death knell and the risk-reward equation rests heavily on the side of innovation. There is no denying the accelerated, frenetic pace of innovation right now and it is embedded into our culture. To ensure you don’t see a downfall, it is important that you have a freshness of thinking that is critical to create change.

Understanding your eco system

What are you in the business of? What pain point of your customers do you address? Do you know who the other players are? Who are your potential investors?Who do you go to in case you want to exit? Understanding your ecosystem could increase your company’s growth trajectory tremendously.

Entrepreneurship does not happen in a vacuum and there are many role players who have an influence on a startup in its life-cycle. Understanding this complex ecosystem is directly proportionate to an entrepreneur’s ability to solve problems.

Money Management

A successful entrepreneur needs to be prudent with money. Money is what keeps a business venture afloat. It is an essential part of buying inventory, paying employees, marketing the business, buying or repairing business tools and paying your own salary, From the very beginning, it takes dedication and self-control not to make a wrong fiscal decision or prematurely spend company money, especially in a lone venture.

In addition, it’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.

Big on Delegating

Stop thinking you can do it all! As entrepreneurs, we tend to always have a full plate and feel that we can take on any task. In reality, if we keep adding to the already-full plate it is eventually going to collapse and create a mess. Don’t let your stubbornness prevent you from asking for help. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to an experienced member of your company that has the ability to get tasks completed; probably a lot better or faster than you can!

The Right Support System

Many entrepreneurs hire people who are like themselves. The trick is to find people who are not like you but who are good at what they do, and what you can’t do.

Having a professional network of industry veterans helps too, when you’re stuck in a rut or need to discuss things. Treat people well – you never know when you will run into ex-colleagues or bosses and might need their help. Networks are important for a high growth start-up. After all, it’s not who you know — it’s who knows you.