Get All Access for $5/mo

How Many of the 4 Essential Entrepreneurial Traits Do You Have? Successful entrepreneurs can have different backgrounds or strategies, but many share these four traits.

By Dhaval Patel

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Westend61 | Getty Images

What makes someone an entrepreneur? Some think entrepreneurs are born, others believe successful entrepreneurship comes from years of education or being lucky enough to have an influential mentor.

The truth is that entrepreneurs come in all different personality types, and come from all walks of life. There isn't one simple way to determine what makes an entrepreneur. But, many entrepreneurs do share particular characteristics, regardless of their personal style or their business type. How many of these four important traits of entrepreneurs do you share?

1. Vision

Entrepreneurs see things others don't. No, not in a sixth sense kind of way -- rather, entrepreneurs see opportunities and and potential solutions where others have not. To an entrepreneur, the fact that something hasn't been done before doesn't discourage them, it excites them. And when they have an idea or a concept that forms in their mind to fill such a niche, they have the vision to see it through.

Because of how clearly entrepreneurs see their vision, they are willing to put in ridiculous hours and energy into their project. They become obsessed with making their vision a reality. They can go deep into the process and can come across as being very intense. Entrepreneurs might go through trials and tribulations, but their unshakable vision keeps them going.

This goes beyond merely having goals and wanting to realize them. It speaks to having a purpose and being able to follow it through.

2. Self-possession

Someone who is self-possessed isn't to be shaken easily. They are secure in who they are and their ideas.

Self-possession is an extremely important trait of entrepreneurs, because they will be faced with many obstacles on their journey. Usually, entrepreneurs are creating solutions or businesses where they have not existed before. As such, it can be difficult to obtain funding, to compete in different markets or even to gain the unwavering support of family and friends. That's why having a strong sense of and belief in the self is vital to the entrepreneur's success.

Does this mean entrepreneurs are self-obsessed? Sometimes, sure.

3. Drive

Entrepreneurs always seem to have more energy than the average person. Part of this is the vision discussed above, part of it is drive. Not only does the entrepreneur have the ability to generate an idea and believe in themselves enough to see its validity, but they have the inner drive to put in the work necessary to make it happen.

An entrepreneur doesn't need a boss looking over their shoulder or a manager telling them what to do. They have an inner sense of purpose that propels them forward. This allows them to work tirelessly toward their goals.

This drive can help create a movement around their work. The intensity that entrepreneurs feel for their passion projects can inspire passion in others too. Moreover, this added help and support from others can be part of the fuel that makes their vision a reality.

4. Flexibility

An entrepreneur has a vision, and they have the ability to see it through. But they also have the ability to be flexible and alter their vision to make it align with reality.

Entrepreneurs may have their heads in the clouds, but their feet are on the ground. They understand that to make their vision a reality, they need funding, assistance and any number of other resources. As such, they must be adaptable to working with others and adjusting their vision to suit these real world considerations.

While entrepreneurs are dedicated to their dreams, they can also see the benefits of changing it to be more inclusive or to improve the final product, service or business. They are open to hearing ideas and feedback and are able to use criticism in constructive ways.

It's a simple fact that entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes and styles. However, in spite of these differences, they do tend to share certain inherent traits. Do you want to gain more of an entrepreneurial spirit? Cultivating these traits will help you on your journey.

Dhaval Patel

Entrepreneur & Marketing Consultant

Dhaval is an entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. He helps companies improve their revenue and accelerate their content marketing efforts. Dhaval has also worked with celebrity brands from Hollywood to Bollywood.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

'We Pulled Off An SEO Heist': Entrepreneur Stole 3.6 Million Pageviews From Competitors — And Your Business Could Be Next.

This has huge implications for businesses that rely on Google's organic traffic for revenue.

Business News

Wells Fargo Reportedly Fired More Than a Dozen Employees for Faking Keyboard Activity

The bank told Bloomberg that it "does not tolerate unethical behavior."

Starting a Business

Spend Less Time Worrying About Your Company's Runway — And More Time Rethinking Your Strategy. Here's How.

Perceived short runways leave founders in angst. It does not have to be this way; the best way to extend the runway is the right strategy.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.


7 Ways You Might Be Damaging Your Credibility as an Entrepreneur

Here are seven credibility killers entrepreneurs need to be aware of.