Published 16 October 2017 Category: Entrepreneurs, SMEs, Business, Workplace

Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

What are the traits of successful entrepreneurs that set them apart from everyone else? What trait do entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Henry Ford, Mike Adenuga, J. Paul Getty, Lawrence Ellison, Lakshmi Mittal, W. Clement Stone, Richard Branson and Aliko Dangote have that the ordinary entrepreneurs don’t?

Here are 12 traits that successful entrepreneurs have that make them a class-apart from the norm.

Successful Entrepreneurs are proactive learners
Entrepreneurship is a lifelong process and successful entrepreneurs know this. Things change so fast in the business world; you could be an innovation today and become obsolete tomorrow. To stay on course and adapt swiftly to the ever changing trend, successful entrepreneurs keep studying and learning. They read industrial journals, books and magazines. They attend seminars and update themselves regularly with the latest industrial trends. Successful entrepreneurs know that their cup is never full.

“To succeed in business, to reach the top, an individual must know all that is possible to know about that business.” – J. Paul Getty

They thrive on risk
There has never been an entrepreneur who rose to the pinnacle of success without a measurable amount of risk. Successful entrepreneurs are risk takers; they risk their time, energy and resources with the hope of building a successful business. If they fail, they risk losing everything they’ve ever owned. Risk is the main reason many employees fail to start a business.

“In today’s rapidly changing world, the people who are not taking risk are the risk takers.” – Robert Kiyosaki

They work for free
Working for free is one trait of successful entrepreneurs that set them apart from others. It’s hard to find individuals who will be willing to work for free, without pay for many years but successful entrepreneurs do this. They work on their business for many years without pay.

“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not get paid for it.” – Oprah Winfrey

They work longer hours than employees
Successful entrepreneurs are known for their extraordinary resilience and long standing commitment to the course of building a business. Building a business is never easy and it requires time and dedication. Entrepreneurs are known to work for 70 – 80 hours per week while average employees work less than that.

“I have no complex about wealth. I have worked very hard for my money; producing things people need.” – J. Paul Getty

Successful entrepreneurs learn quickly from mistakes
Many individuals shy away from the game of entrepreneurship because of the fear of making mistakes. They perceive mistakes as bad because mistakes sometimes cost money and pain; so they avoid it like a plague. But successful entrepreneurs see business mistakes as a learning tool; they see it as an opportunity to learn something new.

“Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement.” – Henry Ford

They have the ability to run on debt
As a rule of life, we are all indebted to someone in one way or the other. With respect to building a business, I have never seen a successful entrepreneur that hasn’t been in debt. Everyone owes but successful entrepreneurs know how to use debt to their advantage, they know how to use debt as an instrument and leverage to build a business and get richer.

“If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” – J. Paul Getty

They are accountable and responsible
Successful entrepreneurs are accountable and responsible for the failure or success of their business. They shoulder the responsibility of piloting the business through its trying times. If they succeed, it becomes a plus to them but if they fail, they will be held responsible.

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln

They thrive on criticism
Another trait successful entrepreneurs share in common is the ability to forge ahead in the face of criticism. Building a business comes with its own challenges; as an entrepreneur, you are bound to be loved and hated by the public. But successful entrepreneurs always devise a means to use every bit of criticism to make themselves better and stronger.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford

Successful entrepreneurs are ambitious
Ambition is one of the traits of successful entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs think big and do things big. They are never satisfied with their current achievement; they believe there is always room for constant improvement and they go for it.

“I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.” – Donald Trump

10. They are opportunists
This is another trait of successful entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs share a common ability to see opportunities, where others see problems. They know that behind every problem lies an opportunity. Successful entrepreneurs are the drivers of creativity and innovation even in the midst of adversity.

“The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets.” – John D. Rockefeller

They are great leaders
Successful entrepreneurs are great leaders with a well thought leadership strategy. They possess the ability to bring out the best in their employees. They inspire creativity and foster innovation. They also have the ability to hire and lead smarter individuals.

“Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” – John D. Rockefeller

Successful entrepreneurs are team players
Successful entrepreneurs know that entrepreneurship and investing are team sports. So they never work alone, they join forces with other entrepreneurs and professional advisers to build a successful business.

“Individuals don’t win in business; teams do.” – Sam Walton

In conclusion, successful entrepreneurs were not born with these traits, they developed them over time. Developing these traits takes resilience, determination, a positive mindset and above everything else, a belief in yourself.