Being an entrepreneur is not an easy task. Often times the media will only highlight accomplishments and successes of entrepreneurs, and while it looks amazing, they fail to show the struggle and hard work that allowed them to reach that result. The achievements and success are much more glamorous—nobody wants to read about 18-hour workdays, mounds of stress, and the personal sacrifices. They want to hear about financial gains and building a successful business.
There are specific traits that many successful entrepreneurs share. I have put together a list of eight that I believe anyone about to venture down the entrepreneurial path should become familiar with.
1) They have 100% confidence in themselves as well as their idea. Successful entrepreneurs understand that it is going to require a lot of hard work in the beginning. This doesn’t phase them at all, because they are completely confident that they have what it takes to succeed. They also believe in their idea 100%—their confidence combined with the willingness to work harder than anyone else is a major contributor to their success.
2) They understand that their own actions dictate success or failure. A lot of people like to blame others for their failure, or downplay the success of others—citing things like luck as responsible. Successful entrepreneurs understand that their hard work or lack thereof is responsible for the outcome, and don’t make excuses in the event that they encounter obstacles along their journey. Anyone that expects smooth sailing the entire journey is in for a rude awakening.
3) They set goals. All of the drive and determination in the world won’t do any good without clearly defined goals. A successful entrepreneur sets a long-term goal and then creates multiple short-term goals to help reach his or her ultimate goal. When you combine well thought out goals with the drive and determination, it will often result in a successful outcome.
4) They aren’t afraid to seek professional help. While most entrepreneurs will feel almost invincible at times, successful ones know when it is time to seek professional help for things outside of their expertise. When it came time to trademark my brand, Market Domination Media, I sought professional help. I knew I wasn’t an expert in trademark law, so I found someone that was. Part of being successful involves finding the right solutions to solve your needs.
5) They are willing to learn from others and work as a team. Look at some of the best spots teams—the Miami Heat won the NBA championship two times in a row during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons because they put together a great team of players. They worked well together and they reached their goal. The same applies to entrepreneurship. Successful entrepreneurs know they have to build a team of rock stars and the entire group needs to work well together in order to succeed. They also aren’t afraid to learn from others—ego’s aside, they understand that they don’t have all of the answers.
6) They stay focused on the task at hand. There are going to be distractions, and plenty of them, that come into play that could completely derail focus on the end goal. Successful entrepreneurs don’t lose focus on the end goal, no matter what is thrown in their direction. Being able to take care of slight inconveniences along the way is key.
7) They are great at building systems. Successful entrepreneurs build successful businesses. Some of the most successful companies were built on a set of systematized processes that allow them to operate precisely and flawlessly. Take for example any fast food chain—everything from the menu to the food preparation is exactly the same, regardless of if you are at a location in Miami or one in Los Angeles.
8) They make fast decisions. Sometimes a split-second decision can be a complete game changer. Entrepreneurs that know exactly what they want and how they are going to get it are able to make quick decisions, knowing how their response will impact reaching their goal. Decisions involving employees, marketing, partnerships, and growth strategy are just some of the things a successful entrepreneur has to be able to respond to in a very fast manner.
What are some other traits of successful entrepreneurs? Let us know in the comments below—we would love to hear your feedback!
Originally published Oct 28, 2014, updated Aug 22, 2021