The characteristics of an entrepreneur separate the go-getters from 9-5 employees working hard just to get by. If you’ve stumbled onto this article, you probably want to know whether you’ve got entrepreneur characteristics before diving into entrepreneurship. The truth is, deep down, you know the answer. I can’t make you an entrepreneur. But if you’ve got some of these entrepreneur traits, I bet you’ll be able to work hard enough on your own side hustle to get yourself out of the rat race for good.

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10 Characteristics of An Entrepreneur Who Succeeds

1. Entrepreneurs Believe in Themselves

Nobody will stop entrepreneurs from reaching their goal. 

Your mom doesn’t believe in you? No problem.

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Your best friend thinks your business is a joke? You’ll laugh back soon enough.

Your boss keeps giving you a hard time? Well, it doesn’t matter because having a boss means you’re in the wrong place to begin with.

The most obvious entrepreneur trait is that entrepreneurs believe in themselves when nobody else does. 

And they have enough self-confidence to get themselves through some of the biggest obstacles. 

Their hunger and desperation for greater success keeps them motivated through every challenge.

You want to win championships, accomplish big things, and get yourself out of debt?

Start telling yourself, “I AM a champion. I AM a legend. I AM doing something to change my life.”

But you better be doing those things. Because all talk and no action has never resulted in a win.

characteristics of an entrepreneur believe in themselves

2. Entrepreneurs Know Their Worth

The biggest characteristic of an entrepreneur? They know their worth.

Want to know your worth? Take a look at your salary. 

You’ve traded your time for money and that’s the dollar amount of your contributions.

Scary, right?

Do you really think that amount you’re being paid is worth 2,000 hours of your time each year?

Those are 2,000 hours you could’ve spent with your family, pursuing your passion, or working on your dream instead of someone else’s.

Just got laid off and have a net worth of $0? You’re in a better situation than most. Maybe not financially but you’ve got an asset every 9-to-5er is envious of: time.

You have no choice but to build something to generate money. You’ve been kicked off the corporate ladder. And that loss of financial security can be scary. But if you play your cards right, you could look back at that moment one day and realize it was really a blessing. Don’t believe me? Then check out Harry Coleman’s story as after he lost his job he built up a network of three online stores that made $5 million in 2018.  It ultimately depends on what you do with this next chapter.

entrepreneur traits

3. Entrepreneurs Are Great Listeners

The ability to listen is one of the entrepreneur traits you need to succeed.

Most people aimlessly scroll through social media feeds, passively read emails, and scan headlines.

That’s not what a great listener does.

A great listener picks up on the tone of the posts, pulls out the emotion from the content, and objectively reads articles while trying to understand both perspectives. 

Then, after listening to what’s been said, what’s been felt, and what’s been heard, you take action to solve the issue.

Maybe after some reflection, you notice that people are struggling with loneliness even if they never explicitly say that. And you work on solving the problem of loneliness in the digital age.

You can create an app that facilitates in-person connections or focus on more team-building activities for your employees. But ultimately, listening helps you realize what steps you’ve got to take. 

entrepreneur characteristic

4. Entrepreneurs Are Resourceful

“Figure it out.” That’s the motto of an entrepreneur.

If you don’t know something, read a book about it.

If you aren’t good at something, outsource the task.

If you don’t have the time to manage everything, focus on the one thing that’ll have the biggest impact.

Einstein knew a lot, but even he didn’t know everything.

And no one expects you to be a genius know-it-all either. 

But you do need to have enough curiosity to learn so that you can help others while making a living from solving other people’s problems.

So read books, take classes, and learn quirky skills.

It all adds up to create a better you.

entrepreneur characteristics

5. Entrepreneurs Are Ambitious

Ambitious people don’t dream about climbing the corporate ladder.

Ambitious people dream of jumping off of it and building something of their own.

You can’t dream big if you’re living out someone else’s dream. You’ll never get their permission.

But if you go after your own dream and build your own something, you can steer in any direction you want.

And what you build is up to you.

Maybe you want to build a Fortune 500 company. Or maybe you don’t want that at all. You might want to have a small but successful company so you can have less stress in your life. You can even build apps or websites for fun so you make passive income in the long-term.

The most important thing to remember is that you should be living the life you want.

And if you can’t do that today, that’s okay.

But the work you do today, on the side, should help you get closer to achieving that tomorrow. 

entrepreneurs are ambitious

6. Entrepreneurs Are Hard-Working

One of the most common characteristics of an entrepreneur is how hard-working they are.

People like Elon Musk brag about 80-90 hour work weeks.

And it’s true that you need to put a lot of work into your business to make it a success.

But hard work isn’t always a time commitment.

It’s also about concentrated effort.

The reality is you could “work” 80 hours a week while only being focused for a small percentage of it.

I mean, let’s be real, who the heck can stay at the top of their game without burning out while working that much?

No one.

You’re human, not a robot.

If you find you perform at peak performance for three hours a day, then put your best work out in that time slot.

The rest of the time you can spend on education such as reading books to enhance your skill set. 

You can work hard without having to prove to everyone around you that you work harder than them.

The quality of your hard work matters more than the quantity of your hard work.

At the end of the day, are you really willing to sacrifice everything in your life for your business?

That’s not what entrepreneurship is about.

It’s about putting in the right work so you have more time to live life.

You don’t live to work, you work to live. 

entrepreneur traits

7. Entrepreneurs Are Givers

Some people take, but entrepreneurs always give. 

If you get yourself out of the rat race, poverty, or hardship, you have a duty to help others get out too.

True success comes from your ability to reach out and help people get out of their situation.

If you’ve figured out how to get out of a bad situation, you could improve so many lives by helping others out of theirs.

And when you reach that point – a self-reflective state that only very successful people reach – you’ll start to think about how you can do more good in the world.

You might decide to donate to charity or solve one of the biggest global problems.

Or you could share your expertise or do motivational speeches to help people through their tough times.

As long as you keep reaching back to pull people out and offer your helping hand, you’re an entrepreneur. 

givers characteristic of an entrepreneur

8. Entrepreneurs Are Not Extravagant

One of the most notable characteristics of an entrepreneur is how frugal they are.

A poor mindset will focus on spending every penny they earn.

A rich mindset will focus on living within their means.

Warren Buffett still lives in the home he purchased for $31,500 in 1958. And that guy’s got a net worth of $86 billion.

By living within your means and only spending on things you need, you give yourself an opportunity to accumulate wealth.

That $10 lunch you bought could’ve been invested into a high-interest savings account or stocks to allow you to live more comfortably down the road.

You don’t need to clip coupons.

But being mindful of how much you bring in and how much you spend can help you live the life you want.

If you spend all your money on luxury things, one day when money isn’t rolling in as hard as it used to, you’ll be selling those luxury things at a discount.

If instead you focus on spending less, one day you’ll realize that you never needed to buy expensive things to prove that you have money. 

It’s better to be rich and anonymous than rich and famous. 

entrepreneur trait

9. Entrepreneurs Act Like Owners 

There’s a massive difference between a self-employed individual and an entrepreneur.

This entrepreneur trait usually results in entrepreneurs acting more like owners than employees.

The real dream in life isn’t to be the person running the business, but the person owning it.

Being self-employed can cause a lot of stress. 

You work 80 hours a week, you stress about money, and you’re always on the verge of a heart attack.

True, that doesn’t happen to everyone.

But it happens a lot more than you realize.

When you work in your business, every obstacle hits you so much harder.

But when you act like an owner (or become an owner), you operate with a level of detachment that’s so important for your mental health.

Of course, you still care about the business and want it to succeed.

It just doesn’t eat you up inside when things go wrong.

Your health is more important than your business.

owner quotes entrepreneur trait

10. Entrepreneurs Don’t Give Up

The early stages of success don’t always look like the start of a success story.

It usually starts off like a sad story of someone who just can’t get things right.

Maybe everything in your life is going wrong.

And so you turn to building a business, to escape life’s craziness, to prove everyone wrong, and to create a world for yourself that you deserve.

Only you fail with that too.

You get stuck in this rut thinking, “When did I start sucking so much?”

And you beat yourself up for it.

But I want you to know, everyone sucks at the beginning. 


The only difference is that they push forward against all odds.

And if you want to be an entrepreneur…

Well, you have to too.

never give up quotes entrepreneur characteristics

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These are just a few of the characteristics of an entrepreneur. Some of these will resonate with you and others maybe not so much. The truth is, there’s no one size fits all formula for what makes up an entrepreneur. You might have other entrepreneur traits that’ll help elevate your own success. That’s cool. Every single person on the planet brings something to the table. And if you realize that maybe you’re not cut out for entrepreneurship or just aren’t interested in being one, that’s okay too.

At the end of the day, every decision you make in your life should be your decision. It’s not up to me (a complete stranger on the internet) to decide if entrepreneurship is right for you. Live the life you want to live. Be the person you want to be. Pursue the interests you want to pursue. In your life, you’re the boss. And as long as you’re calling the shots, I’m sure you’ll live a life you’re proud to call your own. 

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