30 Entrepreneurs Explain The Most Important Traits To Be Successful as an Entrepreneur

If you’ve been an entrepreneur for a while, you must have observed that you need some elements to be successful in business or be close to success. Some of these factors go beyond the financial capability to include the willingness to be persistent on the path you decide to take. It could also include the capability of the team you hire to help you achieve your business goals. In some cases, you need to be innovative to do more than what everyone else around you is doing or rather do it differently.

We asked entrepreneurs and business owners what they think are the most essential factors to be successful in entrepreneurship and here are the responses.

#1- Conscious

Photo Credit: Lindsey Wander

A successful entrepreneur must not only be competent but must also be conscious. Possessing the knowledge and skills relevant to the field are one thing; having the self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and growth mindset to be able to effectively inspire others is quite another. “Knowledge is power.” And with that power comes heavy responsibilities to society that only conscious leaders can wield successfully. Since entrepreneurs are leaders of their staff, as well as of their clients and community, it is essential that they have the right mindset in order to become truly successful.

Thanks to Lindsey Wander, WorldWise Tutoring LLC!

#2- Confidence and telling your story!

Photo Credit: Priscilla Von Sorella

My best advice to entrepreneurs is to stop thinking with limitations. The most important trait in my business is knowing I deserve a seat at the table and to be a part of the conversation happening at the epicenter of my industry. I am unafraid to email anyone because I know I have a voice that needs to be heard. Tell your story to as many people as possible, because you tell it the best. You also sell yourself the best. Be confident, but humble. Be willing to learn endlessly and most importantly, build strong relationships.

Thanks to Priscilla Von Sorella, VON SORELLA!

#3- Persistence

Photo Credit: Sir Sanju Ganglani

By far, the most important trait for entrepreneurs and business owners is persistence. Most business owners tend to give up too easily or not want to do what it takes at times to cross the line to success and growth. As an entrepreneur you're always 3 feet from gold, don't give up.

Thanks to Sir Sanju Ganglani, gang&lani media!

#4- Tenacity and the confidence to dig deep

Photo Credit: Sharon Haver

I’ve been an online business owner and entrepreneur since I bootstrapped FocusOnStyle dot com back in 1999. Frankly, through the tech changes and re-branding there have been insanely high points and times where I thought I must be out of my mind to ever spend another day dealing with a virtual business. The truth is that the benefit and rewards far outweigh those random hellish days. The best trait that any entrepreneur can have in order to successfully thrive is tenacity and the confidence to dig deep and be unstoppable. You got this!

Thanks to Sharon Haver,!

#5- Having a growth mindset

Photo Credit: Miron Lulic

This is the belief that you can succeed at practically anything as long as you put in the work. Entrepreneurs with this attitude don't avoid mistakes; they welcome them as an essential precursor of growth. This mindset not only creates a passion for learning and personal development but also provides the resilience and self-belief entrepreneurs need to deal with criticism and adversity.

Thanks to Miron Lulic, SuperMoney!

#6- Humble confidence with a strong dash of persuasion

Photo Credit: William Schumacher

The entrepreneur must be able to make a vision in the mind's eye into a reality that people can buy into before it exists. One must exude confidence in their convictions so that others will follow yet at the same time have the humility to adjust the vision or the steps to get there as the market clarifies the details of the path.

Thanks to William Schumacher, Uprising Food!

#7- GUTS

Photo Credit: Casey Halloran

I've not met many successful entrepreneurs who didn't have this trait. One needs to be willing to take risks and lose, to be wrong, to be ridiculed and from time to time, double down when it's all on the line. This takes steely resolve that many smarter, more talented people just don't have. It's what separates those who seize opportunities in tough moments from those who say things like, I had that idea!. Lots of people have good ideas, but successful entrepreneurs seize the moment and ACT. Choosing to move forward at the moment of truth takes GUTS.

Thanks to Casey Halloran, Costa Rican Vacations!

#8- Empathy

Photo Credit: Sam Harper

Empathy is the most underrated trait when it comes to entrepreneurship. If you can deeply empathize with customers, employees, and vendors, you're always in a strong position to meet their needs and form mutually beneficial relationships.

Thanks to Sam Harper, Hippy Feet!

#9- Strong work ethic

Photo Credit: Jordan W Peagler, Esq

Having a strong work ethic is the most important trait for successful entrepreneurs. Working hard and diligently will not only give your clients confidence in you, it will often lead to positive results that make you stand out. Plus, clients will see the effort and pride you take in your work, leading to priceless word of mouth referrals.

Thanks to Jordan W Peagler, Esq., MKP Law Group!

#10- Grit

Photo Credit: Jason Wong

Developed by Angela Duckworth, the psychologist, and researcher who coined the term: Grit is passion and perseverance for the long term and meaningful goals. This is especially important in the entrepreneurial journey as there are always going to be curveballs and unexpected difficulties along the way of achieving business and personal goals, and being able to withstand that and power through is a trait that I see every successful entrepreneur to have.

Thanks to Jason Wong, DoeLashes!

#11- Flexibility

Photo Credit: Helene Berkowitz

From canceled meetings to industry changes to new consumer behaviors, there is a constant element of uncertainty. Being flexible is a critical trait for an entrepreneur. You must be capable of adapting to new situations quickly. Just when you're preparing to roll out a new product feature or you're about to launch a new service, suddenly the market takes a different turn. It can feel like a sucker punch to the gut. Being flexible means you can readjust your priorities, make smart decisions, and ultimately find success.

Thansk to Helene Berkowitz, ReceetMe!

#12- Open-mindedness

Photo Credit: Daniel Snow

A leader in my opinion should be able to pivot quickly and efficiently when needed. When there are uncertain times, that's when you as a leader should be asking yourself what can I do to make my business as efficient as possible to get through these times, and are there any other opportunities that we can pivot to be able to capitalize on them. You want to keep an open mind about all of the opportunities that are out there. You don't want to miss anything especially if you are going through a hard time.

Thanks to Daniel Snow, The Snow Agency!

#13- Enthusiasm

Photo Credit: Eliza Nimmich

The most critical characteristic of a good entrepreneur might be enthusiasm. They really enjoy what they're doing and they're willing to put in the extra hours to expand their company. From their job, they get a feeling of happiness which goes beyond making money.

Thanks to Eliza Nimmich, Tutor The People!

#14- Understands that perfection does not exist

Photo Credit: Jessica Rhoades

Perfection is a trait among so many of us. So, many early entrepreneurs believe that every step they take must be perfect. However, perfection truly doesn't exist. We aren't going to be perfect as the world and business situations change. Every article you write, social media post, project you work on will be perfect. All you can do is be your best self and do your best. Keep moving forward towards progress and your vision. The idea of perfection can hinder it and be a mindset block.

Thanks to Jessica Rhoades, Create IT Web Designs!

#15- Being able to adapt

Photo Credit: Catherine vanVonno, Ph.D.

I would say that being able to adapt is probably the most important trait for a successful entrepreneur especially considering the current situation that we are in. You may have a vision and a concrete plan for the goals that you want to achieve in the next couple of years or so, but that may not be enough to ensure your success. There are certain circumstances that can derail you from reaching your goals. Your response to those circumstances can easily make or break your business.

Thanks to Catherine vanVonno, Ph.D., 20four7VA!

#16- Self-belief

Photo Credit: Katie Grimes

Believing that you are a successful business owner is key to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Before I worked through the logistics and truly figuring out how to run a business, I had to know in my core that I was a successful entrepreneur. I had to believe it. I worked to create so much confidence and certainty in myself before I could actually see clients come in. That work on my mindset paid off. Of course, there were moments of doubt, but I knew that if I kept believing that I had a service that could help people, that I would be successful in my business. Belief in yourself and your business is the most important trait that entrepreneurs have to have.

Thanks to Katie Grimes

#17- Storytelling

Photo credit: Michelle Knight

Sharing your brand story throughout your content is a powerful way to build a deeper connection and trust with your audience. Dive deep into your own personal journey and share where your business is headed. You can incorporate storytelling into your content in a variety of ways. Share your values. Share a behind-the-scenes look at your business. Share your client testimonials and transformations. Get to know your audience and craft your brand stories around their needs and desires. People need transparency and authenticity to help them make that emotional connection to decide to purchase from you. Storytelling is the path to doing that.

Thanks to Michelle Knight, Brandmerry!

#18- Having a ‘diverse' focus

Photo Credit: Richard Capt'n Henderson

The most important trait for successful entrepreneurs is having a ‘diverse' focus, where you are able to focus on all areas of a business. This means you do not go down ‘rabbit holes' in your company. On a daily basis, you must work in and balance selling, marketing, production, management, financials, IT, and more. If you aren’t focusing on these key areas each day, who is? An entrepreneur must keep it all in balance. One great way to do this is to stay organized. Review your priorities and tasks each morning.

Thanks to Richard Capt'n Henderson, Home Business Podcast!

#19- Ambitious and dream big

Photo Credit: CJ Xia

Successful entrepreneurs are the most ambitious people on the planet. They will not even stop at goals that are possible and go for goals deemed impossible by their peers. The thing that makes them successful is this drive for something gigantic. They dream big and work hard to make every dream of theirs a reality, no matter how unrealistic it may be. Even if that means they will never get there, they will still do their absolute best to get as close as possible to their gigantic goals.

Thanks to CJ Xia, Boster Biological Technology!

#20- Resilience

Photo Credit: Hayley Luckadoo

When you're the one making the decisions, you're guaranteed to fall flat on your face a few times. The successful entrepreneurs that you know of today are the ones who knew how to stand back up and keep going. Resilience is the quality that keeps you pushing forward during the learning phases, growing pains, failures, and pivots.

Thanks to Hayley Luckadoo, Luckadoo Media Co.!

#21- Ability to collaborate with others

Photo Credit: Sean Chaudhary

You cannot do everything as an entrepreneur and you need to work with experts who bring their own special skills. They’ll be able to jump in and help you reach your goals. If you only depend on yourself, you won’t be able to complete tasks as effectively as others, plus there are not enough hours in the day to handle all aspects!

Thanks to Sean Chaudhary, Alchemy Leads!

#22- Self-discipline

Photo Credit: Stuart Derman

A successful entrepreneur needs to be comfortable working while others are playing. You have to be willing to take phone calls when you don't want to. Sometimes you have to spend money on your business instead of using it to go on vacation. It's all about sacrifice. Nothing worth building is easy to build, and you have to be willing to lay down whatever is necessary. Though there are a few things that you can't sacrifice, and those are just as important. You can't sacrifice your integrity in order to succeed. It's never actually worth it. Similarly, if you harm your personal relationships, you might be able to buy a quick boost in the short run, but later on you'll be sorry you did.

Thanks to Stuart Derman, Epic Marketing!

#23- Leadership

Photo Credit: Tyler Forte

It sounds cliche but leadership goes beyond setting a strategy. Leadership is taking responsibility for motivating your team, customers, vendors, etc. Any CEO will tell you that it is not an easy path. Almost by definition, you are doing something that, in the beginning, very few people think will work. A successful CEO will assemble a team and motivate them to work crazy hours for very little, if any, compensation. A successful CEO will have to convince vendors or partners that they should take a risk and work with your company even if it means accepting subpar terms. A successful CEO will have to convince customers why they should part with their money to use your produce or service. None of these critical tasks can be achieved without a CEO at the helm who understands each stakeholder's motivations.

Thanks to Tyler Forte, Felix Homes!

#24- Two traits

Photo Credit: Brandon Monaghan

To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to have a great amount of internal motivation and passion for your craft. You have to be able to cultivate excitement and bring people together. Communication is key. Having a clear vision and developing that vision through motivating a team to work together at common goals is a beautiful yet difficult skill. At the end of the day, all the stress and long hours don't matter because you are truly passionate about what you're helping to build and you love every second of it. Secondly, having the ability to come to terms with failure, learn to deal with it, and move forward, this ability will distinguish you as a strong entrepreneur.

Thanks to Brandon Monaghan, Miracle Brand!

#25-Drive and the desire to succeed

Photo Credit: Dustin Singer

Drive and the desire to succeed have far outweighed any other traits that have allowed me to become a successful entrepreneur. Before I started the self-employed journey, having the freedom, and the ability to have unlimited income was just a dream. What made the dream a reality for me was that underlying grit, determination, and unwavering motivation to never give up until I accomplished my goals. My wife likes to call it a borderline obsession, and I don’t necessarily disagree. But it's the kind of drive one needs to take the risks, leave the security blanket of a standard 9-5, and pound the pavement day in and day out to accomplish success.

Thanks to Dustin Singer, Dustin Buys Houses!

#26- Constantly studying my craft and learning

Photo Credit: Christina Orso

Throughout my journey of being self-employed, I’ve found that constantly studying my craft as well as learning new skills greatly improve the overall success of my business. I own a digital marketing firm and with social media constantly changing, it’s extremely important for me to be learning about new trends, apps, and software. It’s also important to know that your business and its services may pivot from time to time, so having an array of skills and knowledge will help set you up for success.

Thanks to Christina Orso

#27- Self-awareness

Photo Credit: Steve Haffner

The ability to monitor and audit your own thinking, behavior, and decision making is critical to running a vibrant and successful business. For example, most people pay little or no attention to the hidden cognitive illusions that interfere with how they make decisions. By taking a moment to ask yourself, Does this option best align with my goals and values? you can avoid some of the impulsive negativity, fear, and resistance that maybe getting in your way.

Thanks to Steve Haffner, Steve Haffner – De-illusionist!

#28- The ability to listen

Photo Credit: David Brenton

As entrepreneurs, we can sometimes be closed-minded and set in stone in our beliefs. Taking the time to listen to your employees can provide you with invaluable knowledge about the inner-workings of your business that may not be apparent at the top. Additionally, it is important to truly listen to customer feedback as it allows you to make calculated pivots as a business and encourages leaders to brainstorm creative solutions.

Thanks to David Brenton, BluShark Digital!

#29- Objectivity

Photo Credit: Paul Franklin

There are many occasions where you’ll need a calm and considered approach to making decisions, especially where there is risk. Allowing your emotions to cloud your objectivity will result in decisions borne from an emotional rather than a rational place. This is not a skill that’s easy to develop though and it takes practice to step out of yourself and learn how to resist your natural emotional responses to situations that trigger them.

Thanks to Paul franklin, SideGains!

#30- Risk-taking capability

Photo Credit: Simon Lyon

One of the classic traits of a successful entrepreneur is their risk-taking capability. Successful entrepreneurs are adventurers, they know how to fight their fear demons and manage to take risks, and if something goes wrong, they struggle to fight the circumstances and rise with greater strength. They are aware of the fact that if they could be able to fight their fears, there will be no stopping. Sometimes the stress doubles up, and you need more strength to fight stress, anxiety, and fear. Sometimes, you need to make immediate decisions that can have an impact on your business. It's not always like they are all ready to fight fears. Sometimes they want to quit too, but they don't. They make conscious decisions that benefit them later, which makes them successful.

Thanks to Simon Lyon, The Sound Junky!

What is the most important trait for successful entrepreneurs? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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