Successful entrepreneurs aren’t just lucky or magically talented–they approach work and life differently than most people. There are countless problems and opportunities in the world today, and the human race relies on entrepreneurs for solutions and growth in every facet of life.

Although there is no “one size, fits all” theory for entrepreneurship, a few guidelines may help those with a good idea become successful entrepreneurs.


Here are the 10 characteristics of a highly successful entrepreneur,

1. Ambitious

And how could they not be – you have to have ambition (and bucket loads of it!) in order to be a successful entrepreneur.

This means that they actively seek out problems, and have the ambition to fix them. Doing so comes to them as a habit; it is their state-of-mind. Everyone doesn’t have this ambition, and this is one quality that defines an entrepreneur.

2. Risk taking

Entrepreneurs are risk takers ready to dive deep into a future of uncertainty. But not all risk takers are successful entrepreneurs. What differentiates a successful entrepreneur from the rest in terms of risk? Successful entrepreneurs are will to risk time and money on unknowns, but they also keep resources, plans and bandwidth for dealing with “unknown unknowns” in reserve. When evaluating risk, a successful entrepreneur will ask herself, is this risk worth the cost of my career, time and money? And, what will I do if this venture doesn’t pay off?

3. Self-belief, hard work & disciplined dedication

Entrepreneurs enjoy what they do. They believe in themselves and are confident and dedicated to their project. Occasionally, they may show stubbornness in their intense focus on and faith in their idea. But the flip side is their demonstrated discipline and dedication.

4. Proactively find and seek-out opportunities

One of the thing that defines an entrepreneur is his/her ability to search for potential opportunities. Because that is what being an entrepreneur is all about: finding potential problems and opportunities, and providing real, tangible solutions to these problems.

Identifying or discovering an opportunity comes naturally to them, and it is actually a big part of being an entrepreneur in the first place.

5. Adaptability and flexibility

It’s good to be passionate or even stubborn about what you do. But being inflexible about client or market needs will lead to failure. Remember, an entrepreneurial venture is not simply about doing what you believe is good, but also making successful business out of it. Market needs are dynamic: changes are a recurring phenomenon. Successful entrepreneurs welcome all suggestions for optimization or customization that enhances their offering and satisfies client and market needs. A product you develop for yourself alone may qualify as a hobby, but a product for the market should satisfy market needs.

6. Money management

It takes time to get to profitability for any entrepreneurial venture. Till then, capital is limited and needs to be utilized wisely. Successful entrepreneurs realize this mandatory money management requirement and plan for present and future financial obligations (with some additional buffer). Even after securing funding or going fully operational, a successful businessman keeps a complete handle on cash flows, as it is the most important aspect of any business.

7. Not afraid to make mistakes, and face failure

In fact, they understand that it’s all a part of the game, and they use each and every failure and every mistake that they make as a learning experience. You’d be hard-pressed to find even a single entrepreneur who hasn’t made a bucketload of mistakes! The cold, hard truth is that every entrepreneur will end up making mistakes – some small and some big – and will fail numerous times.

But each of these incidents will be a learning experience for a successful entrepreneur, and each of these instances will be an opportunity of him/her to emerge better and stronger.

8. Networking abilities

How do you tap your network for solutions? Many people seek comfort in commiseration: friends, colleagues and neighbors are happy to complain with you about “the global slowdown,” poor demand, or unfair competition; but that won’t improve the bottom line. What do successful entrepreneurs do? They reach out to mentors with more experience and extensive networks to seek valuable advice.

Having such networking abilities, including more experienced mentors, is a key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

9. Knows what it takes to be successful

They challenge themselves to learn more and do more. They understand that all businesses are affected by certain internal and external factors – some of which are out of their control or beyond their abilities.

They understand these limitations, and either build their own capacity so that they can get what they need, or work with people with different expertise and experience in order to overcome these barriers.

10. They are leaders

That is perhaps the simplest way to put it: successful entrepreneurs are natural leaders, and possess many leadership qualities. They are good at managing all aspects of their professional and personal lives. They have the ability to make big decisions, and the right decisions.

They can provide guidance and good opinions to others. They have good communication skills. They are people-oriented, and can get a group of people to work towards the attainment of a common goal while getting the best out of them. They are respected by their peers. They are self-motivated. Successful entrepreneurs are competitive.

About Author

Biplab Ghosh

Biplab lives his life around technology and is particularly keen to explore the intersection of technology and human behaviour. Always looking for new ideas, and ways that can make things simpler. He is a geek with the flair for travel and has great passion for music and theatres.

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