Seven Characteristics of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 7:00pm by Site Administrator

A mental survey of entrepreneurs I’ve known or read about over the last 30-plus years brings to mind some of the characteristics exhibited amongst successful entrepreneurs. Here are some of the more prominent characteristics, clustered into seven categories. Some of the items overlap with the skills listed in Essential skills for entrepreneurs. The list below is less polished, a raw collection of thoughts.

  1. Be insightful.

    • Have a vision
    • Have a plan
    • Have a backup plan
    • Keep it to yourself.
    • Know when to call it quits. Or better yet, know when to get funded. If you do want to get
      at some point, consider ahead of time when, at what point, from where, and how:
    • Be observant. Don’t think linearly – keep your eyes and ears open for disparate ideas that
      can actually be tied together and be relevant to your goals. People who do this are later called visionaries, provided they not only eventually share their vision and become successful.
  2. Be frugal.
  3. Be a DIYer and recycler.
    • Leverage your talents to do it yourself (via Small Business CEO), when possible. But be smart and delegate/ hire when necessary – usually in the second phase of a business.
    • Build it/ code it/ write it yourself. This is sort of similar to frugality.
    • Reuse equipment, resources. Everything does not have to be new, though depending on your business, items shouldn’t look battered and beaten either – especially if clients will see. Have an office that clients visit? Maybe you can score nice furniture finds at flea markets and do some refinishing yourself.
  4. Be patience personified.
    Sacrifice some entertainments for later rewards. Be patient and persistent, to get where you want to go with your startup business.

  5. Be a risk taker.
    To be able to take risks, you need to be a decision maker. To make good decisions, you need to be intuitive and be able to calculate the risks and rewards.

  6. Be intuitive.
    Intuition is an often neglected ability. North American doesn’t exactly encourage it.
    This might explain why so many immigrants come here with a dream and do well when they pursue it: they aren’t inhibited by such “rules”. Trust your intuition, your gut feeling, but only once you’ve weighed out the risks.

  7. Be calculating.
    This doesn’t have to be a negative thing, since I mean it literally: take the time to make the necessary calculations for your business’ success.

    • Weigh out risks and rewards.
    • Don’t think linearly about ROI (Return on Investment).
    • Remember compound interest.
    • Reinvest profits.
    • Network with entrepreneurs who are in a similar business. Competition is healthy, but online, websites in the same niche should promote each other.

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Filed under: Entrepreneurship


  1. I’m pleased my post on risk taking at Home Biz Notes inspired you. You have a nice round up of success characteristics here.

    Comment by Mary Emma Allen — May 28, 2007 @ 11:12 am

  2. Hi Mary, thanks for the comment and for dropping by.

    Comment by Raj Dash — May 29, 2007 @ 4:36 am

  3. I’m pleased to see that you included risk taking and calculating to the list. I just finished a section on my site on taking calculated risk. The importance of being able to jump with the intention of landing safely is crucial. Great post!

    Comment by Ralph Jean-Paul — August 11, 2007 @ 1:20 pm

  4. Hi Ralph, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’ll check out your post.

    Comment by Raj Dash — August 11, 2007 @ 1:38 pm

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