15 Fundamental Traits to Being a Successful Entrepreneur

15 Fundamental Traits to Being a Successful Entrepreneur

The American Dream is the goal of being able to provide a better life for our children and the philosophy that anyone can achieve success if they work hard enough. However, the extremely high rate of business failures shows us that hard work and desire are not enough. As an entrepreneur you must be able to innovate and lead your company to success. Based on my life experiences of running multiple companies (I’m currently running ten business ventures simultaneously) and consulting hundreds more worldwide, I feel the following fifteen traits are essential to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

01. Confidence

Confidence is the corner stone of being an entrepreneur. You must absolutely belief in yourself, your abilities, your company, your products and services. There should be no doubts whatsoever about what you are doing, the benefits you provide, or the price you are charging. Side note: Many entrepreneurs undervalue themselves and charge too little. This is a deadly mistake.


02. Courage

Being courageous means doing something despite being fearful. Fear paralyzes people and companies. You must be proactive in overcoming fears to take action. Whether it is picking up the phone to call a prospect, negotiating with a vendor, speaking in public or having to let go of an employee who is not performing. The best way to get past your fears is to take them head on and without thinking.

“A coward dies a thousand deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”

03. Action-Oriented

You have to be willing to take massive and consistent action on a daily basis to achieve your goals. Having a strong work ethic is an absolute must and your success is directionally proportional to the level of action you take.




04. Perseverance

The majority of businesses fail because the entrepreneur gives up. There will always be very difficult challenges that come up. You have to realize that even if the worst happens it is not the end of the world and you must have the attitude of never giving up. This was a trait I developed through my martial arts training as a child. It is one of the most powerful attributes a person can develop.

The only way I will absolutely give up on a task I truly want is if I am dead.

I have been in so many situations where everyone thought it would be impossible to make it through but not only did I persevere, I gained immeasurable knowledge from finding the solution, power, self-esteem and even more confidence in myself.

05. Passion

You have to love what you do down to your core. You have to love it so much that you don’t see it as work. You have to develop such excitement about what you are doing that you don’t want to waste time sleeping or watching hours of television a day. And even when you are sleeping you are dreaming about it. Your passion is contagious. It will fuel your organization and those around you. If you don’t feel that level of passion about what you are doing, you are doing the wrong thing or you don’t genuinely believe you will achieve it.

06. Optimism

Entrepreneurs are by nature optimistic – look at the positives in everything, learn from your mistakes and dream big. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard what I want to achieve is unrealistic or that I have my head in the clouds. Now ironically these same people come to me for advice.

I will never ever let anyone tell me what I can or cannot do.

Unfortunately it is often our closest friends and family that try to bring us down. This generally isn’t done in malice. Most often our actions are making them feel inferior and they don’t want to be left behind or lose you. Since it is easier to bring someone down then uplift themselves they generally go this route.

07. Gratefulness

Always be thankful for what you have right now. Often we lose perspective in life. The average person in the world only makes $2.00 a day. By having a foundation of gratefulness, you train your mind for abundance instead of scarcity, which opens you up to limitless possibilities. The best way you can become grateful when you aren’t feeling it is to help someone who is in need. See how it makes you feel afterward and how it realigns you.


08. Visionary

Have an absolute clear vision of who you want to ultimately become in life, your purpose in life, your personal and business goals. Having a clear idea of what you want and where you are headed makes you much more efficient and productive. You can then identify the projects and tasks you need to focus on that will be the most beneficially for you to achieve your goal rather than waste time on less important tasks that are not 100% necessary for you to get your result.


09. Adventurous

You have to be willing to take risks, go out on a limb and try things that take you out of your comfort zone. It is the only way you grow and is actually fun at the same time.





10. Empowering

By being empowering you inspire your partners, employees, vendors and clients. They respect you more, they feel better about themselves and they gain pride in your company and you as a boss. You also can’t do everything yourself and you must delegate tasks otherwise you will never make it past a very basic level and financial income.



11. Focused

Identify which tasks are the most important for you and your team to work on. Then you must be able to stay on track and limit distractions and interruptions. Delegate whatever you can and focus on the parts of the business that will make you the most money. This is generally the systematization and optimization of your business rather than actually working “in” the business doing work an employee could do.



12. Flexible

Things happen. You must be able to adapt to survive. Darwinism at its finest. Those who can’t adapt will be weeded out. You need to be able to identify and quickly react to challenges, competition, changes in the market and new technologies otherwise you can find yourself out of business pretty quickly. A recent example is Border’s bookstores. They failed to create a significant online presence and offer their own e-book reader like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Blockbuster’s late reaction to Netflix is another example as well.


13. Proactive

Being reactive means you have lost control and are being controlled by others. It also leads to an enormous amount of stress. Be proactive in everything you do both personally and professionally. Innovate, systematize, forecast challenges and find solutions before they happen. Your overall life satisfaction will be much higher.

It is better to blaze a trail then have to be stuck putting out fires.

14. Balanced

Take care of your health and relationships not just your career. Take a day off each week, go on weekend getaways each quarter, and take a one or two week vacation once a year. This prevents you from burning out and fosters your relationships with loved ones.

There is no use having lots of money without being healthy enough to enjoy it or not having anyone to share it with.

This is one of the most dangerous aspects of being an entrepreneur. A key moment that sticks out in my mind is when I was in my early 20’s and I spoke at a millionaire’s boot camp. In the speakers lounge all the other speakers were in their 40’s and joking about their ex-wives. The event really illustrated to me that we can’t neglect or even just try and maintain our relationships – we must find a way to grow them while taking on the demands of running our business.

Be aware – often times the entrepreneur will be shocked and find it is too late to repair the damage that was caused by being solely focused on their business. “I was working so hard for us” is a hollow excuse. Don’t neglect any area of your life.


15. Curious

Always be willing to learn and grow. View the world with curiosity. Find out why something works, analyze what other industries are doing and if you can bring the same techniques to your business. Continually learn and optimize every aspect of your business. Small changes in company procedures, marketing and sales can have exponential results in income.



Bonus Success Tip:

The more you do something you fear, the more confidence you build, the more empowered you feel, the more courageous you become, the more action you take, the more results you get. You will also be more likely to tackle your next fear more quickly. The beauty of this is that it is cumulative and fully transferable to every aspect of your life.

  • Marsha

    I like this post a lot! Great list of things to keep an eye on for anyone who wants to be successful, regardless of their profession

  • Pingback: Achieving Financial Success and Abundance – It is not really about the money | Becoming Legendary

  • Salena

    We sometimes lack these things in life and still wonder why things are wrong. Great article!

  • Jordan Pinney

    I loved reading this article, its some of the most positive criticism on people today. I have made many mistakes that your articles discus, but the only way to improve yourself is to take advice like this from others and implement it into your daily life. I’m only 22 but i can’t wait for an opportunity to take on the world. Keep doing what you do best, helping me towards Progression in my life.

  • Anonymous

    great article! I enjoyed reading it! I personally agree with you! Those 15 traits are absolutely necessary to becoming a great entrepreneur these days. Qualities like passion, optimism, ambition and perseverance also helped successful entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg achieve success in their business and life. I really appreciate these great men!

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