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To Be a Successful Entrepreneur, You Need These 4 Characteristics Becoming a successful entrepreneur takes more than just a great idea. It also requires having these four characteristics.

By Roy Dekel Edited by Chelsea Brown

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With an eye on the next big thing and an insatiable appetite for success, entrepreneurs are a special breed. They're also willing to take risks, experiment with new ideas and give it their all in pursuit of their dreams. But what is it that separates these people from others? Do they really seem so out of touch? Here are the four key characteristics you need in order to become a successful entrepreneur:

1. Grit

Grit is defined as persistence and resilience. It's the ability to persevere through tough situations and bounce back from failures. Many people believe that working hard will inevitably lead to success. There is, however, a catch: You have to remain focused on your goal regardless of the obstacles you encounter. You need grit so you can keep going even when it seems like there are no options left for you.

Unlike other forms of intelligence, grit is a trait that can be learned. It's about having the perseverance to keep going even when you don't feel like it or when something gets hard (like Elon Musk keeping Twitter alive).

Having grit means being persistent through all kinds of challenges — and having resilience so that when something does go wrong, you can bounce back quickly instead of letting it stop your progress.

Related: Key Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

2. Progression

You can learn a lot from your mistakes. Learn to bounce back after failure, and you'll achieve breakthroughs more quickly than if you were always doing everything right the first time around.

Persistence and determination are the keys to success, but perseverance might just be an even more important quality. When people fail at something, they often give up immediately or blame someone else or their circumstances, which is not a very productive attitude! Some people who have failed in one endeavor go on to succeed wildly in another because of this "failure" mindset: They take time out after failing so that when trying again, there's no way — they will NOT fail twice.

Remember to keep setting goals. It is crucial for success because it gives us a way of measuring our progress and motivates us to keep going when things get tough.

3. Self-awareness

Every entrepreneur needs to be self-aware. They must know their strengths, weaknesses, what they want and don't want out of life — and how these will impact all facets of the business. Self-awareness is also important because it helps you understand which tasks are best suited to you so that you can focus on those projects that align with your interests and abilities.

If, for example, you have the drive to succeed but are unable to prioritize your tasks because they all seem equally important at the moment — a situation that may arise when starting your own business — then perhaps now is not the right time for you.

Instead of attempting this at a time when your mind is filled with infinite possibilities, take some time off; spend some time alone or with loved ones (or both), and think about what makes each one of us unique. What makes us happy?

Related: 12 Character Traits Exceptional Entrepreneurial Leaders Have In Common

4. Empathy

Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person, is one of the most important traits anyone can have.

In business, empathy enables you to understand your customers and create products they will love. It also allows you to empathize with employees, making their jobs more fulfilling — which results in retention rates that are better for everyone involved.

Whenever people make big decisions about their businesses, empathy comes up a lot. It is likely that leaders will miss out on critical insights if they lack empathy or do not show much interest in listening to other perspectives or ideas before making important decisions.

Key takeaways:

Throughout your entrepreneurial journey, it's important to keep these traits in mind:

  • Grit: the ability to persevere through failure, setbacks and challenges.

  • Progression: the desire and drive to continually improve themselves as entrepreneurs.

  • Self-awareness: a strong sense of self-awareness allows you to maintain perspective on yourself, your strengths and weaknesses as a leader and businessman/woman, which helps you grow into being better at what you do every day.

  • Empathy for others (including customers): When entrepreneurs understand how their customers think, they can create products or services that resonate more with their audience.

Related: 7 Traits Shared by the World's Top Entrepreneurs

Becoming a successful entrepreneur takes more than just a great idea. It requires grit, self-awareness, empathy and progression. These traits will help you get through difficult times and find success.

Roy Dekel

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO of SetSchedule

Roy Dekel, an American-Israeli entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist, co-founded and invested in numerous business, including SetSchedule, Rentastic, and Taskable. With unwavering commitment, he pushes tech innovation boundaries, redefining possibilities in enterprise and consumer spheres.

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

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