12 Entrepreneur Personality Traits That Makes You An Entrepreneur

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Starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur may not be easy. In fact, you have to have the entrepreneur personality traits to become a successful entrepreneur. These entrepreneur personality characteristics help you build a profitable business in no time.

While hard work is often considered a contributing factor to success, one’s level of output doesn’t always determine success in their field—entrepreneurship being no exception.

Various factors play a role in an entrepreneur’s success during the launch, operation, and scaling of their business. These factors encompass the timing of their business launch, the competitiveness of their market, the reliability of their supply chain, the amount of capital they can secure, and the prevailing economic climate.

Beyond these elements, there are several common traits shared by successful entrepreneurs that significantly contribute to their business success. Let’s explore what these entrepreneur traits are.


12 Successful Entrepreneur Personality Traits

Successful entrepreneurs often share key traits that set them apart. Firstly, resilience plays a crucial role as they navigate challenges and setbacks, bouncing back with determination.

Effective communication skills are another vital aspect, enabling them to convey their vision clearly to both team members and stakeholders. Entrepreneurs also exhibit a strong sense of adaptability, embracing change and staying agile in dynamic business environments.

A passion for continuous learning drives their quest for improvement and innovation. Finally, successful entrepreneurs possess a keen ability to take calculated risks, making strategic decisions that propel their ventures forward.

12 Entrepreneur Personality Traits:

1.  Discipline

2.  Creativity

3.  Self-Awareness

4.  Resourcefulness

5.  Process-Oriented

6.  Empathetic

7.  Communicative

8.  Self-Motivated

9.  Confident

10.  Flexible

11.  Risk-Taker

12.  Resilient

1. Discipline

Embarking on and running a business is undoubtedly challenging. In contrast to a conventional job where upper-level management typically steers business objectives and ensures accountability, entrepreneurship demands the ability to be self-accountable in the absence of a traditional “boss.”

Individuals capable of devising and implementing plans autonomously, without external pressure, gain a competitive edge in the business realm. When entrepreneurs possess self-discipline, they can resist the temptation to procrastinate and make decisive moves when necessary.

Renowned three-time entrepreneur Bill Aulet emphasizes the importance of focus and discipline for startup success, a central theme in his book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship. Aulet asserts that “disciplined execution” is the key to entrepreneurial success.

His book outlines a 24-step framework for bringing products to market, drawing from his firsthand experience in building startups, securing capital, and delivering value to shareholders.

2. Creativity

Although creativity is often linked with artistic expression, it is a crucial trait for all entrepreneurs. Creativity goes beyond visual elements or branding; it is vital for entrepreneurs to creatively tackle problems and think outside the box when confronted with everyday business challenges. This ability allows them to swiftly pivot and implement necessary solutions that drive business growth.

Motivated by a financial guru and the steep cost of sweets in her locality, Mignon Francois transitioned from being a “household manager” to becoming the founder and CEO. She conceived the idea of hosting a daily bake sale while listening to a financial expert on the radio.

Managing a household with six children, she couldn’t afford the luxury of buying sweets for her kids due to financial struggles. Despite initially lacking baking skills, she practiced tirelessly after getting her recipes together, seeking help from her daughters and grandmother.

Through her hard work and ingenuity, she transformed a condemned home into a thriving bakery, turning her creative endeavor into a ten-million-dollar business.

3. Self-Awareness

Entrepreneurs who possess a sense of self-awareness can effectively apply it professionally to attain business success. When entrepreneurs are self-aware, they can acknowledge both their strengths and weaknesses in relation to managing their business.

This awareness enables them to focus on tasks and aspects of running the business where they excel, while also being more open to delegating responsibilities in areas where they may not be as proficient. Another advantage of self-awareness is its positive impact on one’s ability to give, receive, and apply meaningful feedback.

Gary Vaynerchuk, a lifelong entrepreneur and social thought leader, emphasizes that self-awareness is a trait deserving more attention in the business world than qualities like hustle or intelligence. 

According to him, self-awareness, at its best, involves accepting shortcomings and highlighting strengths. In his blog post on the topic, he suggests that the moment one decides to embrace self-awareness, “things will change.”

4. Resourcefulness

Many entrepreneurs encounter tasks and challenges they’ve never dealt with before. The ability to be resourceful is a mindset that empowers entrepreneurs to achieve ambitious goals even when the path to success is unclear.

When entrepreneurs approach their work with resourcefulness, they can adeptly tackle problems, foster growth, and scale their businesses without possessing all the answers or resources. Being resourceful demands a can-do attitude and a willingness to work creatively in managing a business, even without immediate expertise.

Entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban emphasizes that entrepreneurs need a “willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone.” While having access to money and resources can make a difference, a vital aspect of entrepreneurship involves cultivating those resources independently.

According to Cuban, “There are no shortcuts; you have to work hard and position yourself so that, if luck strikes, you can recognize the opportunity and seize it.”

5. Process-Oriented

Establishing solid processes is crucial for any successful entrepreneur. In the business realm, a process refers to a repeatable series of steps that assist individuals within a business in completing necessary tasks. 

Processes can be applicable to various facets of the business, such as sales, onboarding new team members, production, and product fulfillment.

Entrepreneurs with a process-oriented mindset can work smarter, not harder. Implementing processes in different areas of the business helps prevent waste, enabling business owners to scale and expand their ventures.

Furthermore, having repeatable processes in place allows business owners to easily train new team members to handle crucial aspects of the business without compromising time or quality.

Masaaki Imai, a management consultant and founder of the Kaizen Institute Consulting Group, emphasizes the significance of processes and systems with the Kaizen strategy.

According to him, “The message of the Kaizen strategy is that not a day should go by without some kind of improvement being made somewhere in the company.” This principle, known as Kaizen, advocates for continual improvement and is widely applied in lean business and productivity processes.

Its impact is evident in the snowball effect that incremental changes to processes can create, with notable applications at Toyota as part of the Toyota Way Fieldbook and at Trader Joe’s as one of the company’s core values.

6. Empathetic

Empathy stands out as a crucial trait for entrepreneurs. Whether steering a large team of employees or directly engaging with customers as a high-performing solopreneur, business owners must forge genuine connections with others.

Successful entrepreneurs have the ability to step into others’ shoes, considering the perspectives of both employees and customers when making critical business decisions.

In a business context, empathy can manifest as anticipating customer needs, empowering team members to take essential breaks for rejuvenation, and providing a space for both employees and customers to express their opinions and concerns.

Business owners equipped with the soft skills needed to connect with others may reap benefits such as heightened customer loyalty, increased customer referrals, and enhanced employee productivity.

Dharmesh Shah, co-founder of HubSpot, places such significance on empathy that he made modifications to the organization’s Culture Code to explicitly include it.

According to him, “Not too long ago, I found a bug in our Culture Code that needed fixing. We use the acronym HEART to describe qualities we value in our coworkers. For years, these qualities were: Humble, Effective, Adaptable, Remarkable, and Transparent. But something wasn’t right. HEART did not clearly capture one of the values that I think is fundamental and part of our core at HubSpot. That value is: empathy.”

7. Communicative

Research from Wroclaw University highlights the top three communication skills crucial for leaders: effective listening, conveying messages clearly and vividly, and providing supportive feedback.

These skills offer entrepreneurs a competitive edge. When a business owner can truly listen to their customers, they can incorporate valuable feedback to enhance their offerings.

Moreover, when business leaders demonstrate these skills with their employees and team members, they cultivate trust, leading to improved productivity and overall business performance.

Communication plays a significant role in Simon Sinek’s message to business leaders. In his TED talk, “Start With Why,” he delves into the topic, and it remains one of the most popular talks to date.

Sinek emphasizes, “Communication is not about speaking what we think. Communication is about ensuring others hear what we mean.” According to Sinek, this is a vital aspect of effective leadership.

8. Self-Motivated

In simple terms, being your own boss requires the ability to stay motivated for effective and consistent work. Entrepreneurs need to navigate creative ruts and moments of un-inspiration to keep their businesses thriving. This begins with understanding what fuels your drive and tapping into necessary inspiration when motivation wanes.

An excellent illustration of this is entrepreneur Noëlle Santos, who didn’t originally plan to open a bookstore—she worked in HR for an IT firm. However, the news of the closure of her frequented Barnes & Noble shook her.

As reading brought her immense joy, she felt compelled to take action.

“I was disgusted knowing that there was just one bookstore at the time. So that petition galvanized the property owners and Barnes & Noble and the politicians; they came to an agreement that they would extend the lease two years. So in my mind, I was like, ‘Okay, that means I have two years to open a bookstore.’ I took responsibility for it.”

Determined in her mission, she volunteered at other bookstores for free for two and a half years to learn the industry. Subsequently, Santos rallied community support and fundraised, ultimately bringing The Lit. Bar—a bookstore—back to the Bronx. The lesson here is that grit must be inspired by something.

Related: 39 entrepreneur lessons

9. Confident

If you have an idea you want to bring to life and share with others, confidence is key to seeing it through. Whether you’re introducing a new product to the market or seeking outside funding for your business, being able to articulate what you offer clearly and confidently is crucial.

Successful entrepreneurs firmly support their ideas without letting concerns about others’ opinions hinder their progress.

Monica Eaton-Cardone, in an article on women entrepreneurs in tech, underscores the significance of confidence, even in the face of failure. “We fail our way to success. It means you had the courage to try, and there’s no way you can get to success without confronting failures.”

To Eaton-Cardone, failure isn’t a deterrent to confidence, especially when it’s vital for entrepreneurs to market themselves. Instead, failure can transform into strength.

Related: How to overcome business failure

She experienced such failure herself in her quest to revolutionize solutions in payment processing, and these challenges nearly led to her business collapsing.

On her website, she states, “Instead of folding up shop, I decided to dig myself out of this pit … I built an entire program based on every trial and error lesson I had learned — and it worked. Before long, the very same banks that had tried to shut down my business were calling and asking for my assistance.”

10. Flexible

For a business to be sustainable and achieve long-term success, entrepreneurs must be open to pivoting when necessary. Whether it involves refining a product to enhance its quality or adjusting a business strategy to stay competitive, entrepreneurs who are too inflexible and hesitant to embrace change put themselves at a disadvantage.

When entrepreneurs adopt a flexible approach, they can seize new opportunities as they arise, leading to potential long-term benefits. Business owners who resist adapting to change may overlook valuable chances to innovate and cater to their customers’ evolving needs.

The importance of flexibility became clear to entrepreneur Hyungsoo Kim during the development of Eone’s first product, a tactile wristwatch for the visually impaired. The initial version of the watch, relying on braille and lacking visual appeal for non-visually impaired individuals, needed a major overhaul.

During a focus group meeting, Kim and his team discovered that customers desired a product that would be visually attractive and inclusive for those without visual impairments. This was an aspect the design team had not considered, prompting them to go back to the drawing board.

“After that meeting, our concept prototype literally went into the trash bin. We were building something that we thought they wanted based on common misconceptions and stereotypes.”

This lesson significantly influenced their brand and its values. “We changed our name to Eone, which is short for Everyone.”

11. Risk-Taker

Possessing the ability to take calculated risks is among the most valuable skills an entrepreneur can possess. When business owners are open to taking risks, they gain valuable insights into the intricacies of business, contributing to their company’s long-term success.

Taking risks also enables businesses to discover innovative ways to distinguish themselves in competitive, saturated markets. Even if a particular risk doesn’t yield the intended result, entrepreneurs can still apply the lessons learned to inform future business decisions.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates is often credited with the quote, “To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.”

Throughout Microsoft’s history, Gates indeed embraced risks, with perhaps his most notable being leaving Harvard during his sophomore year in 1975 to establish the company.

His vision, “a computer on every desk and in every home,” was groundbreaking at the time. The risk he took to turn that vision into reality paid off, and today Microsoft’s value surpasses that of a Harvard degree.

12. Resilient

Last but certainly not least, successful entrepreneurs need to possess a sense of resilience. When running a business, it’s common for entrepreneurs to encounter closed doors and hear “no” frequently from potential customers and those they are approaching for funding.

Many entrepreneurs may find themselves launching multiple businesses if their initial idea doesn’t take off. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of small businesses fail within the first four years.

Some successful business owners may realize that their first few business ideas weren’t sustainable in the long run, but they can apply those learnings to new ventures. Whether an entrepreneur faces rejection in sales or opportunities or has to start from scratch, being resilient and innovative in the face of challenges is crucial.

Kimberly Bryant, founder and CEO of Black Girls Code, faced adversity in her career as a Black woman in electrical engineering and biotechnology. It was when her daughter expressed an interest in math and science that Bryant became an advocate for STEM education for young girls of color.

Despite facing opposition, she founded Black Girls Code, and even encountered resistance to the organization’s name. In an interview with Shondaland, Bryant explained how “People did not want to fund something called Black Girls Code (BGC) — they would try to get us to change our name. Even the few organizations that were doing something similar didn’t take us seriously.”

These obstacles didn’t deter her, and she funded the organization with her own 401k. Through perseverance and resilience, the organization gained momentum and became a voice for social activism.

These traits, combined with a vision for what you want to achieve, are paramount to your success as an entrepreneur. Once you internalize your drive, you can then start putting goals on paper and developing concrete action items to bring them to fruition.

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