Every entrepreneur has their own story — but the successful ones typically have a few things in common. Certain traits and characteristics can help entrepreneurs persevere in the face of adversity and keep new business ventures afloat.
These six traits are some that almost all successful entrepreneurs share. Finding ways to cultivate them in yourself will be essential if you want to succeed in building a business.
For entrepreneurs, confidence means a willingness to take risks and move forward even when they aren’t certain about the potential effects a decision may have.
This doesn’t mean moving ahead without research and investigating possible options. But it also means moving even if there’s no way to be sure an option will work or not.
An effective entrepreneur will need to observe all possible options and pick the one that’s most likely to lead to success — not the one that’s least likely to fail.
Building confidence will mean learning to be comfortable with some level of risk. You’ll need to be able to keep moving, even when you want to stop to spend more time gathering information or seeing how a situation will play out.
Entrepreneurs don’t just have a vision — they’re also great at convincing other people about that vision. Many entrepreneurs are very persuasive. This characteristic is excellent for convincing investors and experts to hop on a new business venture.
No matter what project they’re going to pursue, they’ve thought long and hard about how to sell it — not just to customers but also to business contacts.
Cultivating your own persuasiveness can be challenging. A good place to start is by learning more about marketing and building confidence in your vision. The time you spend honing your ability to persuade, however, will almost always pay off.
Often, curiosity for entrepreneurs means being interested in your customers and what they want, rather than guessing and charging ahead with what the entrepreneur thinks they want.
It’s common business advice that you should understand your market before starting a business. This can mean hours of research and reading. Curiosity and a willingness to learn more about running a company will be necessary here. It will help you push through frustration or tedium during these early stages.
Similarly, entrepreneurs are also lifelong learners. Most are always willing to gather more knowledge about their particular niche and business in general. Pursuing knowledge — both directly related to your work and not — is a great way to develop a unique perspective that will help you find new business opportunities.
Passion or drive is essential for a new business. Successful entrepreneurs usually have a great deal of energy for their business, their customers, and the people who work for them. They’re driven to succeed and willing to work hard when necessary. Often, they also enjoy what they’re doing — which will be important when they have to work late nights or early mornings to squeeze in an important meeting or get a headstart on some task.
If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing — including what your business sells and what it claims to stand for — you can run into trouble. The stress of running a business is usually worse if you’re not enthusiastic about your niche and the work you do. Burnout can come much faster, and your employees and business contacts may notice that you’re not too excited about the work you do.
Passion can be cultivated, often by finding the right approach to business or even the right niche. Once you find a style of business management that works for you, you may find yourself driven to work harder, even under challenging circumstances.
If there is one constant to running a business, it’s probably change. The conditions you’re working with are changing all the time. Your customers change, your suppliers change, and the economy changes. More importantly, you don’t know what’s going to happen next.
A successful entrepreneur learns to balance confidence with adaptability. If a plan isn’t working out, they’re ready to try something new. They may also change up their strategy as they learn more about the market and their work.
Ideally, the entrepreneur will also help foster a sense of agility and adaptability in the people they work with. This will help a business build a culture that can respond quickly to changes and take advantage of opportunities on short notice.
6. A Talent for Money Management
Money is what makes a business work. Even with great products, an outstanding team, and a solid brand, any business can be sunk by poor money management.
For example, if cash flow is too slow, a business may not survive regular operating circumstances. Major expenses can come at a bad time, resulting in a successful business going into debt anyway.
Entrepreneurs are almost always good money managers. They know how much money they have to spend and how best to spend it. While they may make mistakes, they’re also constantly learning more about the best ways to allocate funds and cut down on unnecessary costs.
Often, this means drawing up financial plans or maps that help guide their business spending decisions. They use these plans as a guide to help keep their spending on track and inform stakeholders — like managers, investors, and shareholders — of how they plan to proceed with business funds.
What Successful Entrepreneurs Have in Common
Every business has its own story, but successful entrepreneurs typically have a few things in common — including a good idea and a desire to succeed. Many also have similar traits, like characteristics that helped them persevere in the face of adversity and bring their products to market.
If you want to succeed, work to cultivate these traits in yourself. They’ll help you weather whatever comes, build strong goals and workflows, and focus on the fundamentals of solid business leadership.