What Are the Ten Most Important Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur?

Successful entrepreneurs like their work.
Successful entrepreneurs like their work. (Image: Dynamic Graphics/Creatas/Getty Images)

Along with having a good idea for a unique product or service and the desire to have your own business, success as an entrepreneur requires more. Before you can make your business successful, you need to have certain business, work, personal, ethical and innovative skills and characteristics that can help you when the going gets tough.

Passion and Confidence

A successful entrepreneur loves what she does. Whether she loves what her business does or just the idea of business itself does not matter, but a good entrepreneur must enjoy and be fulfilled by her work. She must feel like what she is doing is confirming her strengths and helping to improve her weaknesses. A successful entrepreneur's passion should shine through in her level of confidence. Successful entrepreneurs are confident that their businesses will do well and are not afraid to promote themselves. They take their businesses seriously and see them as an investment opportunity.

Organization and Dedication

Owning your own business is about more than just marketing a great product or service. It's also about the little details -- legal paperwork, hiring employees, finding someone to clean your office and creating invoices. For this reason, you have to be so dedicated to your business's goal that you are willing to dedicate time for everything in your business, even minutia that seems unimportant. In addition, you must be able to manage your time well so that you have the stamina to take care of everything on your plate. Organization plays a major role in this -- you must make sure you are able to access what you need at a moment's notice so that you won't waste time and energy.

Communication and Competition

Successful entrepreneurs are good communicators, whether they are talking with employees, customers or a bank representatives who might give them a loan. To successfully start a business, you must know how to communicate effectively in a variety of situations. For example, you must know how and when to promote your business, as well as understanding how to motivate employees. While keeping your communication civil, professional and polite, you must also be competitive to be a successful business owner. You must be willing to advocate for your business and to make changes that will outshine your competitors.

Creativity and Innovation

Entrepreneurs are successful because they know how to provide products or services that customers or clients need and that are not currently available. To do this, you must be creative and innovative, never happy with the status quo. While your idea might be similar to someone else's, you must be prepared to make your idea stand out. Your idea must provide something that the other person's product or service does not. For example, if you want to start a small bakery business in a small town with a supermarket that already has a bakery, you might want to offer specialty breads and cakes that the supermarket does not have. You could open a sweet shop that offers comfortable chairs, used paperbacks and free wifi in your bakery, or have kids' baking classes on weekends.

Focus and Balance

As an entrepreneur starting a small business, it easy for you to quickly get caught up in every aspect of your business, from making sure the floors are clean to ensuring the products go out as planned. While you may have to devote your attention to these things when your business is new, when it grows, you must learn to delegate work and focus on the problems of your business that only you can handle. In addition, you must learn to balance your work life with your personal life. Even when all the focus is on you as the business owner, you must still take time for yourself. Otherwise, you will be distracted and frustrated, unable to give your best efforts to solving problems at work.

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