We earn commissions if you shop through the links below. Read more

5 Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

Written by:

Victoria is a business writer with a mission to help guide new entrepreneurs through starting and running their successful businesses.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

5 Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

For some reason, it’s often unsurprising for someone to reveal they’re an entrepreneur. Maybe it’s the confidence or charisma or the silver tongue, but by the time they’ve explained their vision and pitched their product, you’re just about ready to buy a dozen of them! 

You might be wondering, what are the traits that define an entrepreneur and can you acquire them? Countless skills and characteristics help entrepreneurs start and run their businesses, but this guide lays out the five most likely to ensure entrepreneurial success. 

1. Courage

businessman standing on the building rooftop

Striking out on your own to test a bold business idea takes a bit of courage, and most entrepreneurs are quite brave for eschewing the comfort of a secure job and livelihood. And as they run their business, they often need to be incredibly resilient to withstand the roller coaster of a new business venture.

It’s natural to have some reservations about jumping into the unknown, but an entrepreneur must overcome those fears if they aim to achieve serious success. 

2. Creativity

businesswoman working at home

By definition, coming up with a new business idea requires some creativity, especially if that idea leads to significant success. 

Unlike the small business owner comfortable in their tried-and-true pizza restaurant or corner store, entrepreneurs often dream of world-changing, market-creating innovations. Whether it’s a brand new product or a twist on something already available, entrepreneurism demands creativity in managing ideas, processes and resources to get the concept off the ground. 

As the business grows and expands, the entrepreneur will likely need to adapt to keep their product relevant – this could again require creative solutions. Creativity keeps a business fresh and agile!

3. Good Communication Skills

business people are talking in the office

If entrepreneurs are unable to explain their vision to others their chances of success are slim. Being able to communicate ideas, principles, instructions and guidelines is absolutely crucial to successful entrepreneurism, especially since entrepreneurs are rarely able to go it alone. They’ll likely need to find partners and investors and will at some point hire employees – and they’ll need to be able to communicate well with all of them to put their business on the right path. 

Over an entire career an entrepreneur will talk to countless people, from potential investors and manufacturers to local community and business leaders, and from various customer demographics to employees and executives. Effective communications will be key to nearly every relationship. 

Keep in mind that as the business grows mistakes will become more costly, so if they have any difficulty at the start, it’s absolutely crucial that an entrepreneur is able to improve their ability to communicate and explain their vision and expectations as the business moves forward. 

4. Determination

man with glasses in formal suit sitting at work desk

Every business faces setbacks, and new ventures tend to fail early and often. But whether it’s lack of funding, failing products, or flagging sales, an entrepreneur must strive again and again to get back on their feet and fight to make their dream a reality.

Unlike hobbies that can be put down and picked up at will, a business requires near-constant attention, if only because for most entrepreneurs all they own is on the line. At some the business is likely to stumble, and a real entrepreneur will not be deterred, but stay determined until success is achieved. 

5. Confidence

entrepreneur working in a modern workspace

Have you ever tried to convince people of something that sounds impossible? Similarly, persuading others to buy into an unfamiliar business concept requires the utmost confidence.

When an entrepreneur first pitches their idea, there will surely be doubters. But if entrepreneurs listened to naysayers, we would never have businesses like FedEx and Amazon, whose founders were told they were unfeasible. That’s why an entrepreneur has to be incredibly confident in their vision and their ability to achieve it. 

Similarly, as the business owner, the entrepreneur knows the business best and is possibly the only one who can see it from all sides. That means they’re the only one qualified to make the big decisions. 

Thus, when faced with tough decisions, the entrepreneur needs to trust their own judgment and think independently without second-guessing themselves. This, too, takes great confidence. 


A successful entrepreneur will most likely have courage, creativity, determination, strong communication skills and oodles of confidence. If you’re an entrepreneur and lack some of these traits, don’t give up. 

Instead, go through some training, take a few courses and read up to develop these characteristics over time. And of course, turn to successful entrepreneurs for tips. 

If, on the other hand, you see yourself in this list, you might have what it takes to succeed. You might want to check out Step by Step’s compilation of business ideas and follow our entrepreneurship guides to put yourself on the path to prosperity. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 Characteristics of an Entrepreneur