Key Characteristics of an Entrepreneur. How Many Do You Have?

For many, entrepreneurialism is a way of life. It’s a means to putting food on the table and clothes on the backs of their families. Others have the luxury to decide whether being an entrepreneur or business owner is the right path for them, and then there are those that see a problem and long to make a difference by providing a solution. Either way the key characteristics of an entrepreneur are inherent within them.

Whatever the reasons or goals are, these are key characteristics of an entrepreneur:

Visualizing the Invisible

Success is a tangible quantity. Some say it can be measured by the number of wealth, yachts, cars or houses a person accumulates. Others say that success gives you peace of mind by knowing that you have achieved what you set out to achieve; whether that be building a multimillion dollar business, leaving steady employment behind, or helping thousands of people overcome illness through curing what was before an incurable disease.

All these things are invisible. At first you can’t touch them, see them or smell them and to many they are intangible because they are beyond reach. Not to the entrepreneur.

The entrepreneur has the ability to visualize and bring to life that goal, that level of success, chase down that image and turn it into reality.

Go with the Gut

There are and always will be risks to doing business but one of the key characteristics of an entrepreneur is having that gut feeling to know when something feels right or not.

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To be successful, chances have to be taken and gambles have to be made. It is about calculating those risks and in times of doubt, trusting that little feeling in your stomach to run with it or walk away!

It’s not always the right decision but once the decision is made that is it. Done! Move on without looking back!


Any list of the characteristics of an entrepreneur would not be complete without self-motivation. Successful entrepreneurs are all extremely motivated to reach their goals because it takes a very strong personal drive to do what is hard in life and to be the best in your field. Self-Motivation is key to overcoming whatever obstacles lie between us and what we want in life. And that leads me nicely onto…

Seeing Opportunity in Frustration

All successful businesses are grown out of providing a solution to a problem. Entrepreneurs have the ability to asses a situation and if it doesn’t sit right, to question why it isn’t working and look to change it.

The ability to challenge the status quo and to act upon it is pivotal to any business entrepreneur  

Staying Ahead with Personal Development

Characteristics of an EntrepreneurPersonal development is not something that can be scoffed at. In order to get better at something you have to take the time, invest in yourself and learn.

As a business grows so do the challenges that an entrepreneur will face. Having the right mindset to embrace and overcome those obstacles when they occur is more than half the battle.

The right mindset will also change your perspective on situations and increase the amount of value you can bring to others.

The Ability to Give

Knowledge is power; however if all that know how is locked away in the annals of your mind then it is no value to anybody. The most successful people in business share and teach others what they know; whether in a conference, workshop or webinar, or through mentoring, sharing is the key to overall success.

Empowering others encourages interaction and discussion on a deeper level. This debate can stimulate strategies, insights and problems as well as uncover opportunities that you did not know existed and would not have realized if not for the transfer of information.

Smart Networking

As an entrepreneur or small business owner you are your business. There is no one more passionate about its success than you. Shouting about it from the rooftops and telling everyone you meet what you do is great, but it is not smart.

Rather than blowing your own trumpet, listen and learn from other people about what they are doing. Understand what is frustrating them, build relationships rather than looking for your next sale. Ultimately, this will result in long term, profitable business relationships.

Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

Negotiation Skills

Employees want to do less and earn more. Customers want to pay less for your product and it to provide more for them. Everybody wants a piece of the pie. You have to know how to negotiate. Sometimes it’s just explaining the situation to gain advantage. Other times it’s playing hardball when negotiating rates, or keeping project creep at a minimum. Either way, negotiation skills are essential.

Know When to Recreate the Wheel

Entrepreneurs work on their business, not in their business. If a system in the business is not broken, don’t attempt to fix it – especially in the start up phase. Focus on revenue generating activities as without money your business is dead in the water.

You don’t need to recreate the wheel – you just need to know how to find and utilize the tools that are already out there.

Time Management

Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

The one thing that is constant throughout life is time. It can’t be changed, manipulated or created. That is why one of the key characteristics of an entrepreneur is knowing how to master time efficiently. And that is easier said than done.

Create goals and objectives with specific timelines aligned to them. Construct a daily method of operation and stick to it. Use checklists or set reminders on mobile phones. Whatever it takes to make sure that time is not wasted.

As an entrepreneur time is quite literally money. Time wasted is like throwing money down the drain.

Keep up with Business Trends

It’s essential that business owners and entrepreneurs keep up to date with the latest business news, changes in legislation and financial updates. Whether business is good or bad, whether the economic climate is optimistic or pessimistic, it is important to keep up with business trends.

Entrepreneurs are in business because they are passionate about their niche but more importantly that are passionate about business.

Taking Action

Finally, taking consistent and deliberate action can make or break business success. People are not going to do what they say will do, your blog will not create itself, your business will not promote itself, suppliers will not deliver on time, your products and services will not sell themselves and your customers will not pay you unless you taking action on a day by day basis.

These attributes I have listed are by no means exhaustive, there are many more! Each attribute removes another piece of complexity from the entrepreneurial jigsaw puzzle. However, if you find that you have a good mix of them, then either you already are an entrepreneur or you have sat down and said, “I think I would like to run my own business one day”. Hang on to your skills, develop them and take action because the characteristics of an entrepreneur are a very, very valuable commodity.

What other attributes would you add to this list?

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