Ever since Freelancers Union reported that 53 million Americans are freelancing, the second decade of the 21st century has been marked as the era of entrepreneurship. Freelancing, consulting, starting a business are easier than ever, and a good percentage of the world’s population has been actively involved in running a business on the side or quitting their jobs in order to start the “Next Big Thing”.

Successful entrepreneurs and renowned founders of reputable organizations have been featured in TV shows, online magazines, and various outlets as role models and respectable figures. People around the world are dreaming about working for themselves and starting their own venture, but often hesitant to quit the safety of their full-time job. Often, the reason is the gap between their day-to-day and the habits of successful people, neglecting the oddities that many successful entrepreneurs shine with.

If you believe that entrepreneurs are born under a lucky star, living in the right place, or being a general exception to the rule, here are 7 common unexpected traits that many successful business owners share and turn into their advantage while building a career for themselves.

Endless Curiosity

Watching a TV interview with a multi-millionaire may leave you with the impression that they have been working on the very same thing over and over, merely repeating the same activity with perseverance by adding their secret sauce to the recipe. In fact, almost all entrepreneurs out there are extremely curious, always reading about their surrounding world and various aspects of the business ecosystem.

Running a business entails a large set of activities accompanying the skill that they know the best. They also need to be proficient in sales, understand human psychology and user experience, excel at marketing, figure out the best opportunities given their target market, find out a legal way to innovate and handle accounting on the way. Handling all activities at once depends on extreme curiosity and constantly following dozens of information streams, be it social networks, online magazines, user groups, or brainstorming with fellow entrepreneurs.

Constant Fear

Being a successful entrepreneur requires a healthy amount of paranoia on a daily basis. The tough competition online and the rapidly changing environment don’t allow profitable businesses to stay in their comfort zone for too long. One wrong move may very well lead to a wrong turn, thus changing the course of the profitable revenue curve.

Entrepreneurs tend to be fearful on a regular basis, often mildly obnoxious for their colleagues and peers. Being extra cautious and reading people carefully is essential for building a stable and profitable company. While fear and paranoia are often perceived negatively, extra attention can be quite enlightening for finding new business opportunities and defining a stronger unique selling proposition for one’s business.


OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is a well-known chronic condition where people tend to be oddly engaged in certain repetitive activities or “rituals” when it comes to organizing their desk perfectly, arranging their tasks in their management system in a very specific and unique manner, or simply have notable quirks that they defend at all costs that seem irrelevant or pretentious to others.

Together with the Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), those medical disorders have been marked as dangerous and concerning from early age by teachers and medical professionals, and kids are often taught that they should behave “normally” as per the norm.

In the entrepreneurship world, OCD and ADHD have been indicated as advantageous in certain cases. The maniacal ordering and repetitive state is useful for quality control or better file organization in the work environment, together with placing certain policies in order. ADHD and its hyperactivity trait allow entrepreneurs to work faster and multitask between several complex tasks while being able to keep some balance between different activities.

Even if OCD and ADHD are generally believed to be mental disorders, they can be utilized in a business environment as a beneficial trait by smart and ingenious entrepreneurs.

Solo Players

Being a team player is a requirement in a large corporation and working with other people in the workplace. But this could be challenging for introverts or other personalities who tend to think differently and have a hard time conforming with others’ ideas.
Some entrepreneurs have started as solo players, building a profitable business from the ground alone, before hiring partners or employees in their team.

Being a solo player or a great expert who can’t translate their ideas to others isn’t necessarily a drawback. If you can implement your idea and prove the market without additional help, people will come to you and join your team given the successful business model that you have designed yourself.


Family values or religion may be teaching humility and obedience as required personal traits. But competitiveness is one of the prerequisites for building a successful and profitable business model.

Tom Brady has said:

A lot of times I find that people who are blessed with the most talent don’t ever develop that attitude, and the ones who aren’t blessed in that way are the most competitive and have the biggest heart.

Building a new venture is challenging, and can be overwhelming at times. There are already business players with established reputation and a large customer base. If you have an idea that’s worth pursuing, use your competitiveness as a fuel, build a suitable alternative and clients will come over.


Persuasion is often confused with the figure of a car salesman who’s pitching a useless car at an unreasonable rate. In reality, persuasion is merely the process of sharing your beliefs with someone else – be it a potential client, a business partner, or an investor.
Reputable entrepreneurs are living within a future that utilizes their business idea.

They defend their idea religiously, and their passion is contagious. The art of persuasion is your biggest asset in marketing and sales, and generating some traction for your product at first will help you collect some reviews, testimonials, and case studies that would convince the next person to get onboard.


Being a part of the society may be hard if you tend to be a little bit different. But entrepreneurs are not afraid to share their eccentrism, and put it to use while building their successful venture.

Many millionaires and billionaires are looking for answers that are not obvious in today’s commercial environment. It’s not uncommon for great minds to travel to Nepal on a lonely expedition, join a monastery for a month, walk barefoot at their office, practice a new religion, implement feng-shui in their home, or collect ancient stones or historical sculptures.

Eccentrism could be an instrument for bringing a fresh flavor in your business model that would make it more intriguing and tempting for people to try. You don’t have to be an outcast if you combine your ideals within something that people need.

Successful entrepreneurs are regular people who are brave enough to start and leverage their personality. More than 40% of the Fortune 500 companies were found by immigrants who were stubborn enough to not give up on their dreams and ideas. The percentage of freelancers and small business owners is constantly growing, and given the opportunities of the digital world, this may be the best time to give your dream a try.