Last Updated on April 1, 2021

13 Characteristics of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

13 Characteristics of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

Have you ever wondered what separates highly successful entrepreneurs from everyone else? Not every entrepreneur achieves success, but those who do possess certain characteristics of entrepreneurship that help them on their journey toward success.

Here are 13 characteristics of entrepreneurship practiced by highly successful entrepreneurs. See how you match up and use what you have learned to level up your performance.

1. Creative

The first characteristic of entrepreneurship shared by successful entrepreneurs is creativity. By nature, entrepreneurs love to create. Whether this means using their talents to invent some never-before-seen gizmo or finding a better and more efficient way to do something, these individuals have an innate ability to tap into the power of the imagination to make life easier, more enjoyable, or more prosperous for those they serve.

2. Passionate

Imagine having a deep burning love for something and wanting nothing more than to be surrounded by it every single day. To the regular onlooker, it may only be a casual service or simple product, but to the entrepreneur, it has become an integral part of life. Their first thoughts in the morning are about the “work” they will do that day and they go to bed thinking about ways to improve the following day.

Highly successful entrepreneurs do not even view their business as work in the traditional sense, hence, finding the word in quotations above. They love what they do. It is no longer work. It is fun. It is life. It has become a part of who they are at their very core. There is never a dull moment when you do what you love every single day.

3. Self-Motivated

In general, entrepreneurs are go-getters and achievers. Those that are highly successful epitomize this character trait. They are thinking big ideas, setting things in motion, and trying to make life better for those they serve. But they also realize that the only way their ideas will come to life is if they do the work to make it happen.

Highly successful entrepreneurs have a burning desire to get results and they can utilize specific drivers to keep going the extra mile. They do not require a cheering section to stay energized. These individuals allow their purpose and passion to fuel their actions until they claim victory.


Take these 8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times.

4. Specialized Knowledge of Product or Service

Stepping into the world of entrepreneurship means making the conscious decision to making your business the main part of your life experience. Successful entrepreneurs do not have the luxury of simply clocking in and clocking out each day, nor do they want to. To have a prosperous business, it is important to have specialized knowledge in your given area of expertise.

The most successful entrepreneurs immerse themselves in industry news to further their understanding, stay on top of trends, and get the edge over competitors. These leaders are always learning so that they can be of greater service and higher value to their customers.

5. Confident

Another characteristic of entrepreneurship is confidence. In many cases, especially with service-based businesses and solopreneurs, the individual is the brand. Regardless of industry, it takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there every day.

Consider these names: Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Martha Stewart. All have enjoyed incredible amounts of success. Each has received tremendous praise for their respective works.

But it isn’t always praise and accolades. These business moguls have also received their fair share of criticisms and hardships, especially earlier in their careers. Despite the many early struggles and conflicts, they kept going forward, and only after years of hard work were these leaders able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. If these individuals failed to have confidence in themselves and their ability, they might have given up and we would never have heard their names.

How to be confident? Try these 51 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence.


6. Optimistic

SmallBizTrends found that only 80% of all small businesses started in 2014 made it to their second year. This rate continued to decrease dramatically in those early foundation years and dropped to a staggering 56% survival rate by year five.[1] Considering these statistics, it is evident that there is no guarantee for business survival let alone achieving massive success.

Knowing that the odds are against them, how do the biggest achievers maintain such a high level of optimism? Whether innate or learned behavior, winners know that having an optimistic outlook will bring more opportunities and take them further than drudging in pessimism. They believe that things will work in their favor because they are confident in their skills and trust that they have the ability and resources needed to overcome obstacles that come before them.

7. Visionary

A defining characteristic of entrepreneurship that all highly successful entrepreneurs share is the ability to see with vision, not just sight. This means being able to peer into the future and clearly visualize what will be, seeing it in the mind as if it were already a reality.

Just as the master mason can visualize the magnificent cathedral while standing in front of blocks of stone or the artist who can see the beautiful portrait before the first brushstroke, the visionary entrepreneur can realize the profound impact of their work long before it comes to fruition.

8. Goal-Oriented

Successful entrepreneurs know the importance of focusing on their goals. They know how to set proper goals and they can channel their attention and efforts towards attaining them. This characteristic is not exclusive to entrepreneurship, all endeavors require you to be goal-oriented to be successful.

Every day we are bombarded by countless shiny objects and distractions trying to steal our attention. These entrepreneurs know how to avoid distractions and have mastered the self-management skills needed to be productive and get things done. When you are the business owner, achieving company goals is a primary responsibility. Realize that nobody is going to do it for you. If you want to succeed, then you must be willing to put the necessary attention and energy towards achieving your company’s goals.

9. Risk-Taker

Going into business for yourself is a risky undertaking because there are no guarantees. Even if your business is just a side hustle right now, there is a great investment of time, money, and resources that can strain personal and family relationships.


Despite the possible risks, entrepreneurs are willing to stay the course because they know that the potential for reward is that much greater. Some entrepreneurs even regard this as a thrilling experience in the way a rock climber might scale the side of a mountain.

Here’re 6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

10. Curious

Entrepreneurs have a desire to solve problems. They know that people have pain points and struggle in certain areas of life and are looking for solutions. It is a deep level of curiosity that helps entrepreneurs find these valuable solutions.

In addition to solving problems, entrepreneurs also want to help find better ways of doing things and design more effective methods that yield greater results. They study how things work and then dream up ways to improve them.

A few years ago, if you wanted to rent a movie then you had to get into your car and drive down to the local Blockbuster to pick one out. But then, a few folks got curious and wondered if there was a better way to rent movies. Netflix was born, and the rest is history.

11. Flexible

As noted above, there can be many uncertainties in business, so entrepreneurs need to be flexible in their approach.

Famed success author Zig Ziglar said,


“Be firm on principles but flexible on methods.”

Essentially, while it is important to be firm on what we want, we should also be flexible with how we attain it. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to adjust the course, take a detour, or try various approaches to find the best way to move forward.

12. Resourceful

Along with being flexible, another characteristic of entrepreneurship is being resourceful. Successful entrepreneurs can think outside the box to solve issues. These people are the MacGyver’s of the business world. They might not always have the exact tool for the job, but they will always use ingenuity to get the desired results.

13. Persistent

The last on this list of characteristics of entrepreneurship is persistence. Successful entrepreneurs do not let up, and they will never give up either. They will keep going until they win. Once they win, they will keep going until they win again and again.

The most successful entrepreneurs understand that it is impossible to win every time, but they continue to move forward because that is the only way to ensure future victories.

Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Final Thoughts

Take some time today to consider how these characteristics of entrepreneurship rank in your life. Can certain areas be improved upon and further developed? If so, determine how to advance these areas so you too can achieve greater successes in business and life.

MoreTips For  Entrepreneurs

Featured photo credit: Humphrey Muleba via


More by this author

Rich Perry

Rich is a Communication Strategist who helps entrepreneurs craft their message and empower them to deliver it.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!



That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.


The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.


You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.


Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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