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 August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.


I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.


As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.


1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.


As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via


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