10 Surprising Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

10 Surprising Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs



1. They are Not Team Players.


This is not to say that they don’t work well with other people, they just usually prefer to think and do things their own way.  A lot of the time they start businesses because they either find a void in the market based upon their own preferences or because they do not enjoy working with others.


They usually crave control. Control over the what they work on, how they work on it and most importantly over the way that they get to live their lives This is actually one of the more common challenges that entrepreneurs face once there are trying to manage and work with their employees.


2. They are Able to Deal with Delayed Gratification.


Entrepreneurs need to be able to make immediate sacrifices for future rewards.  Any self-made person will tell you that their success was achieved through a whole lot of hard work and a series of sacrifices. I do not believe that you can become a successful entrepreneur without this trait.


Our society and especially our generation is conditioned to expect instant gratification in all that we do. It is the single most powerful deterrent in building any admirable trait, skill or business. You have to want it so baldly that you will focus a disproportionate amount of time and effort on your business in order to hit your goals. There is very little luck involved.


3. They are Extremely Self-Disciplined.


The best and worst thing about being an entrepreneur is that there is no one to set or enforce deadlines besides yourself. I am often asked how I work from home all day without just wanting to sit on the couch all day and watch tv. The truth is that that thought hardly ever crosses my mind. Most days I get so into what I’m working on that I forget to eat!


However, if you are not as intensely motivated it is imperative that you develop strong skills in self-discipline. In order to be as strategic and effective in your work as possible you must learn how to train yourself into becoming as efficient as possible. 


4. They are CRAZY Motivated.


They have a hunger for challenge and success beyond the average person. An entrepreneur will stay up all night, work during their vacation and love every second of it. We have an abnormal desire to achieve what everyone else says we can’t, take something where it’s never gone before and create lives for ourselves that others are too afraid to even dream of. 


In order to put up with all of the setbacks, tolerate all the frustrations and work as hard as necessary you have to possess very high levels of motivation. You have to have something inside you that drives you to work longer, harder and smarter than everyone else. You will never met a lazy entrepreneur who is successful. In fact, after they get one idea to take off they usually start on a new one. Thus how “serial entrepreneurs” are born.


5. They are Confident – In Themselves and Their Ideas.


An entrepreneur needs to be able to believe in their success even when everyone tells them they’re crazy. Best or worst intentions, most people will not have the vision that you do for your business and your life. Entrepreneurs need to be confident enough to ignore all of the naysayers and not let doubt get the best of them.  


People will assess you and your business based upon your level of confidence.  As an entrepreneur, you must allows remember that you are a direct reflection of your brand. When presenting, negotiating, or doing anything related to your business people will look to you as the strongest representation. Use that as a tool instead of an obstacle.


6. They are Not Afraid to be Different.


As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to think for yourself and be prepared to live a life very different from everyone you know. You will think differently, make different choices and view things from a different perspective. Nothing about you or your business should ever be status quo.  You can no longer blend in or follow the crowd.


Most people highly value other people’s opinions of them and their actions, but you must be able to take it all with a grain of salt in order to break away from an average existence. If you want a life different than everyone you know you will also need to be very different from everyone else around you. One is not possible without the other.


7. They are Solution-Oriented.


Everyone else looks for reasons why things can’t be done. There is an excuse for everything and it’s always someone else’s fault.  Entrepreneurs are forced to find and create solutions. It doesn’t matter who messed up, the fact is that as the owner you have no choice but to find ways to make it work.


The single most important lesson that I have learned as an entrepreneur is not to take “no” for an answer.  I know that it sounds trite, but it is the truth. “No” is the easy way out. But if you try there is almost always an answer or a solution if you think hard enough. You have to train your brain to look and think about things in a unique way. Best way to acquire this skill? Stop accepting “no” and the final answer.


8. They Love to Network.


Your experience and your influence can only extend so far. To take their success to the next level entrepreneurs understand the importance of building relationships and creating communities.  There are so many benefits to networking in general. You can make connections and partnerships that allow you to stand on the shoulders of others accomplishments and lift up others who can benefit you’re your success. You may be inspired to look at your business in a whole new way and discover invaluable opportunities.


In addition, there is no one who can understand your struggles and help you find solutions to your problems like your fellow entrepreneurs. They will share your sorrows, celebrate your successes and tell you the truth when you need to hear it.


9. They Take Action.


In my opinion, the strongest indicant of a successful entrepreneur is how fast they take action. My all time favorite saying is that “There is no such thing as a million dollar idea, only a million dollar execution.” Having the next multimillion-dollar idea translates to nothing unless you have a plan on how to act on it.  Don’t be intimidated if you don’t have the best idea in the world, if you have the tenacity to act on it and the gumption to stick with it you are already miles ahead of a “million dollar idea.”


Putting yourself and your idea out there is one of the hardest parts about being an entrepreneur. Taking action either leads to success or failure, and both lead to growth. Inactivity is the only true failure.


10. They are Resilient.


Most assume that successful people never fail, when actually they usually fail more than anyone else. Failure is a frequent stop on the path to success. Not only do entrepreneurs refuse to let the fear of failure hold them back, but they also waste little time wallowing in frustration and disappointment.


Failure should be viewed as an opportunity to reassess, learn from mistakes and then press on more empowered and knowledgeable than ever.



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  1. Straffesager says:

    What a fantastic post, appreciate it very much

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