14 Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 21, 2022

Published July 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Entrepreneurship requires a specific set of skills. Some of these skills are natural, and others require learning and development through careful practice. Therefore, it's essential to understand the skills you need to succeed as a business owner and entrepreneur. In this article, we cover some of the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur for you to gain and develop.

What are entrepreneurial characteristics?

Entrepreneurial characteristics are qualities entrepreneurs need to possess to achieve their goals. Entrepreneurship involves converting an idea into a reality. You may not be the source of the idea, but an entrepreneur takes action and overcomes challenges to turn it into a reality. Some entrepreneurial characteristics are part of an individual's natural personality. There are also technical skills you need to gain and develop through practice.

An entrepreneur is someone with the desire and ability to create and successfully run a business. Some types of entrepreneurs include:

  • Inventors: These are entrepreneurs who come up with a new product or service and sell it.

  • Small business owners: These are entrepreneurs whose businesses have less than 500 employees.

  • Online business owners: These are entrepreneurs who perform most of their commercial activities online. Examples include e-commerce owners and bloggers.

  • Home-based entrepreneurs: These are entrepreneurs who manage the operations of their business from home.

14 characteristics of an entrepreneur

The following are entrepreneurial characteristics you can gain and improve to succeed as an entrepreneur:

1. Motivation

Motivation is the will and drive to succeed in your entrepreneurship venture. Entrepreneurs may need to push themselves to overcome various challenges on their journey. To increase your motivation as an entrepreneur, it's best to start with small goals or break down big goals into milestones. As you surpass the small goals or milestones, you reach large ones in the process. You also feel encouraged to aim higher or set larger goals.

It's also important to celebrate your goals and reward yourself to ensure you stay motivated. Entrepreneurs face daily obstacles that make them prone to negativity. Adopt a positive mindset to overcome the negativity.

Related: 10 Key Entrepreneurial Skills You Need to Start a Business

2. Creativity

Entrepreneurship starts with an idea. Ideas present opportunities for entrepreneurship. Creativity helps to turn your ideas into a real business. A creative entrepreneur creates innovative ways to carry out operations and solve challenges. It would be best if you had habits that encourage a creative system, so find activities and projects that make you feel creative. Examples include listening to music, reading, meeting people, and exercising. It's important to have a specific time in your day to look for inspiration. During this time, do what inspires you and let your mind wander. Make a list of ideas and choose the ones to pursue.

Read more: 7 Steps to Improve Your Creative Thinking Skills

3. Passion

Passion motivates entrepreneurs to fulfil their goals. It's important to love what you do. Entrepreneurs with passion will invest the appropriate resources, such as time, in their ventures. To gain and maintain a passion for your venture, concentrate on the purpose of your work. Focus on the benefit you're offering to other people. If you understand the impact of your business, you can focus on the objectives more clearly.

4. Networking skills

Networking is a crucial aspect of entrepreneurship. Connecting with people exposes you to partnership and collaboration opportunities. It also facilitates access to useful business knowledge or resources. Networking also lets you meet new and potential customers. You may need to network often to improve your skills. Acknowledge the business goal in your mind and make it your mission to create a human connection.

Read more: Guidelines on How to Network

5. Self-confidence

Self-confidence is the belief that you can succeed and that it's possible to achieve your dreams. As an entrepreneur, you will face many challenges. Self-confidence helps you to persevere and be persistent. Confidence makes you ready to invest the resources because you believe in your goals.

Visualization techniques help entrepreneurs improve their self-confidence. Visualize the person you want to be and the success of your business. You can also use affirmations of uplifting statements related to your goals and achievements. These techniques help you create a positive mindset.

Related: How to Build More Self-Confidence (And Why It's Important)

6. Industry knowledge

Entrepreneurs need to know about the products or services they offer and the industry in which they operate. However, it's crucial to know the model customer or client for your business. Entrepreneurs need to understand their customers' needs and show them how the product or service provides value. They also need to understand that customer preferences change over time and prepare to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. Finally, entrepreneurs need to monitor and compare what their products or services offer to changing customer needs.

7. Vision

A vision is the big picture of what you want to accomplish as an entrepreneur. It fuels your efforts and motivates you to achieve more. A vision defines the purpose and culture of your business and gives it an identity. Entrepreneurs rely on their vision to motivate their employees and other stakeholders to work towards a shared goal.

8. Optimism

Optimism helps entrepreneurs stay positive and focus on progress. An entrepreneur's optimism supports their dreams and plans. It also fuels creativity as an optimistic entrepreneur focuses on finding new ideas to improve their products, services, and operations. If you want to develop optimism, view challenges as growth opportunities rather than as problematic situations. It's always important to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind. Learning from experience is a great way to maintain an optimistic outlook and continue developing your skills.

9. Risk-taking

One common characteristic shared by all entrepreneurs is that they are risk-takers. They make calculated decisions and plan for the unknown to launch and succeed in their business ventures. An entrepreneur with sound risk-taking abilities considers the journey as a learning process. You also need to acknowledge the possibility of failure and learn to use it as motivation to keep going. Therefore, it's important to persevere through various challenges and focus on your goals. Some risks give your business a competitive advantage and increase your chances of success.

Risk-taking is both a soft and technical skills. You need to develop risk-taking as a soft skill to feel comfortable taking risks and following your intuition. On the other hand, learning to conduct effective risk analyses is a more calculated element of risk-taking that requires training and experience.

Related: Understanding How To Complete a Risk Analysis

10. Goal mindset

Entrepreneurs have a goal mindset. They understand what they want, set goals, and work to achieve them. It's important to have determination because it inspires your colleagues' trust and helps you overcome potential challenges. To achieve a goal-oriented mindset, you must identify what you want to achieve and clarify your vision. Next, set goals with a timeline to help guide your operations. The goals help you monitor your progress and stay committed to your goals.

Related: How to Write an Action Plan to Help You Achieve Your Goals

11. Persuasiveness

Entrepreneurs have full knowledge about their businesses. Moreover, they know how to explain their respective business to the audience. Therefore, they need persuasion skills to convince the audience to believe in their business. Entrepreneurs improve their persuasion skills by learning about their customers and adapting to their needs and personality. For example, showing and trying to interact with your audience on an emotional level. People become loyal to your brand if they can connect or relate to it. Also, use facts to outline your accomplishments, support your arguments and persuade people to engage with your business.

12. Decision-making

Entrepreneurs are responsible for making decisions and taking actions that help the business to achieve its objectives. Sometimes you need to make quick decisions or decide under pressure. Entrepreneurs improve their decision-making skills by relying on actionable and reliable information. You need to have a better understanding of the problems you want to solve. Analyze the impact of potential decisions and ensure you take enough time to decide. Also, you can narrow your options to make the decision-making process easier.

Related: 4 Main Decision-Making Styles Explained (With Examples)

13. Money management

Especially when starting, entrepreneurs need an honest opinion of the financial situation of their business. Established organizations typically have a financial specialist, like an accountant, who manages the company's finances. Entrepreneurs and startups operate with a smaller team, so you likely need to manage the books yourself first. One of the best ways to improve your money management skills is to prepare a budget and respect it. Learn to invest any spare funds or profit back into your business to help it grow. You can take classes or training programs to gain more financial knowledge.

14. Adaptability

Entrepreneurs need to multitask, especially as they start a business. It's important to have a flexible mindset and schedule to prepare for any obstacles you face. Entrepreneurs increase adaptability if they have an open mindset. Be ready to change your ways and try new ones to see what works best. It's also crucial to be aware of and welcome new trends to keep your business thriving in the ever-changing market.

Related: 9 Adaptability Skills in the Workplace

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