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11 Mindset Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs Do you have an entrepreneurial mindset?

By Kate Hancock

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If there's one thing the pandemic has taught us, it's that there's no certainty about the time that we're employed. I've seen companies shut down while others were forced to let go of even their most valuable employees to keep the company alive.

But at the same time, being out on your own and starting your own small business is more than just saying "I'm running my own business and being my own boss." You need to have that entrepreneurial mindset that will allow you to succeed in this day and age.

And no, you don't have to graduate from a fancy business school or attend seminars and conferences to have that growth mindset. You just need to reflect and get to know yourself first.

How do you know if you have that entrepreneurial mindset to be a successful entrepreneur? If you have more than one of these entrepreneurial skills, then you might have it.

1. The ability to maintain a positive attitude

When it comes to running a successful business, it pays to have a positive attitude. The way you act around challenges and obstacles will reflect on the way you conduct business. This also affects how your employees will see you.

If you fall apart the moment you face a setback, your employees and the people around you will not have that much confidence in you. Having a positive attitude allows you to tackle problems and obstacles head-on without the clouded judgment brought about by negative emotions.

2. Openness to anything

Running a business is unpredictable, just like life. You have to be prepared for what's to come, even if you think certain situations are unlikely to happen. As a budding entrepreneur, you need to be able to take everything in stride and roll with the punches. In entrepreneurship, you need to be able to adapt to the changing environment of businesses. A good example here is being able to transition to an online business model to continue selling your products amidst a crisis.

3. The curiosity of a child

Businesses run on intricate cogs and wheels, and it's always a wonder to see how different parts of the business work. When you investigate how things work and use critical thinking to look at things from a different perspective, you tend to become curious and inquisitive. This curiosity and sense of inquisitiveness will allow you to come up with varying solutions to your business problems and mistakes, even before they happen.

Related: 10 Ways to Develop a Success-Oriented Mindset

4. Persuasion comes naturally to you

Being able to persuade people into buying your products is one thing, but persuading your employees that your creative solutions are effective is another.

That's why it's important for any entrepreneur to have the ability to persuade people, regardless of if it's about a sale or proposing a solution to a problem. You see, the key to persuading people is to be an effective communicator, and it's more than just selling to people.

When you're an effective communicator, you know how to drive your point across. You know how to deliver your message on more than one platform, be it on your social media page, your YouTube channel or even your blog.

5. You're creative

In line with problem-solving comes your ability to come up with ways to solve a problem from more than one angle. But creativity is also an important factor in how you innovate your products and services.

When entrepreneurs are creative, they go way beyond what they want to sell or what they want to solve. Remember, some of the most successful businesses and companies in the world didn't start out from just one product.

6. You're motivated on your own

One of the best examples of a motivated entrepreneur is Elon Musk. Apart from having all of the signs listed above and in this article, he's known to be a highly driven entrepreneur, so much so that he works long hours during the week to get things done. Look at how SpaceX and Tesla have rebounded from one failure to another and still managed to become successful.

Being hardworking isn't enough, but as an entrepreneur, you need to be self-motivated even when all seems lost. Self-motivation is also affected by your positive entrepreneurial thinking. The more you think that you can power through the problem, the easier it is for you to motivate yourself.

Related: 8 Mindset Shifts Entrepreneurs Must Make to Achieve Their Ultimate Goal

7. Resiliency and tenacity

Every business sees times of hardship and difficulties, especially during a global pandemic. There will always be days where all seems lost, but if you think about quitting — don't.

Take the time to rest, recharge and get back on your feet to try once more. Tenacity and resiliency in the face of adversity are your two biggest driving forces to succeeding in any industry. Just look at entrepreneurial leaders like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Ray Kroc. If they gave up at any point in their entrepreneurial process, they wouldn't be the household names they are now.

8. Taking ownership of everything that happens

Accountability is often a trait that gets ignored or forgotten by a lot of business owners. As a business owner, you have to understand that everything is, and will be, your fault.

It's you who's going to give the go-signal to do this and that. It's you who's going to decide what to do and what not to do.

Ownership of your actions means you're not only taking possession of the business, but also the responsibilities that go along with it. It drives you to make your business more successful.

9. Receptiveness to anything

It's tough persuading people about the vision and idea for your business, but it's another thing to be receptive to ideas from other people. As an entrepreneur, you have to be receptive to feedback and criticism about your business.

A good entrepreneur is always open to new ideas and criticism because they want the business to succeed. They won't always figure things out on their own, so it pays to have a few people from the outside looking in providing feedback.

10. Passion

I have never met a business owner who isn't passionate about their business. In this day and age, it's all about being able to help people and make a difference in their lives. When you are passionate, you are genuinely motivated to come up with solutions and ideas for your industry and for the people around you.

When your business is built around passion, then it will continue to use that as its fuel to continue. So long as you're driven to make things work in order to pursue the greater cause, your business should do fine.

11. The ability to walk in another person's shoes

Empathy is often a trait that gets overlooked by business owners. I've met a handful of them who don't really know what's going on within their workforce because they don't take the time to do so.

I remember one story about an HR officer reprimanding one of the employees for not performing as expected. Every week, this HR officer called this employee for a meeting and reminded him about his shortcomings. He never came up with a solution to help this man because he didn't take the time to do so.

It was only when another HR officer stepped in and handled this crisis that the company finally knew why this man was doing terribly. It turns out that this man lost his wife in divorce and kids in a custody battle. He was also homeless and living in a friend's house. The HR officer then recommended that he take a few weeks off to sort things out, and he came back with a renewed vigor to work.

You see, business owners who are empathic about their employees will never go under because this is a passion of theirs. You just can't expect your business to survive if you don't help your employees.

The bottom line

Times are tough for any entrepreneur, and one of the keys to surviving is having the right mindset. If you think you have any of these signs within you, then you're going to be a fine entrepreneur. If you have the passion and drive to become better and help people become better, then your business will continue to thrive.

Related: The Mindset That Sets Apart Great Leaders

Kate Hancock

CEO of Bintana Sa Paraiso

Kate Hancock is a serial entrepreneur and international TEDx speaker. She started her first business with $20 and grew it to over $1 million in one year. She is the host of the TV show Founder's Story and Meta Talkz.

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