The Seven Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur

female entrepreneur wearing apron in retail shop

The Seven Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship, and more specifically being a successful entrepreneur, can be a joy and a heartache all in the same breath. Being your own boss, setting your own hours, choosing what work you will and won’t do is exciting.  But it isn’t for everyone. So, what does it really take to be a successful entrepreneur?

1. Drive, Determination, Discipline, Grit, Perseverance, Strong Work Ethic

The determination trait answers to many names, but essentially means you must be willing to roll up your sleeves, do the work, and persevere. You must be self-motivated. Because it isn’t always sunshine and roses. It isn’t always easy. But it can be super rewarding!

2. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Integrity

Integrity encompasses clear and honest communication, meaning what you say, and making good on your promises. Phoning it in or shining it on won’t make for a sustainable business. On the other hand, cultivating a reputation for being true to your word can take you a long way. Strive to under promise and over deliver!

3. A Learning Mindset

A successful entrepreneur has a learning mindset and the willingness to accept being a beginner, to seek help in the areas where your skillset is weak (or non-existent), and to continue learning every day. Taking your business seriously enough to hire help where needed – whether that is bookkeeping, legal, marketing, website development, or any other duck that needs to be put in a row.  As entrepreneurs, continual learning allows us to stay ahead of the game, figure out our next move, or just keep our business moving forward.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Stretch Their Resilience Muscle

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and failures and start over – because there will be setbacks and failures from time to time.  In fact, if you aren’t failing once in a while, it probably means you aren’t taking any risks and you aren’t growing as a person or as a business.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs Cultivate An Attitude of Gratitude

Acknowledging all the things that are good and right in your world is a fantastic way to keep your mindset positive!  At a networking meeting I attended, the speaker talked about the importance of feeling all the feels – not trying to pretend everything is okay all the time. And then trying to find the gratitude in the situation.  As Lauren said “There is no faster way to put on your positive pants than gratitude!”

6. Willingness to Seek Help

A successful entrepreneur usually has a tribe, group, team, mastermind, accountability partner (or whatever else you might call it) to support them, cheer them on, celebrate their wins, hold space when they are struggling, and lovingly call them out on their own B.S.  This can make a world of difference in the entrepreneur journey. Starting out as a solopreneur, the journey can be lonely and fraught with self-doubt and second-guessing. Having a place to bounce ideas, find answers, and hold yourself accountable to your plans brings a little community to an otherwise solitary journey.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate About What They Do.

Successful entrepreneurs carry a deep unwavering belief that they have something unique and powerful to offer the world – and they are truly excited about putting it out there and sharing their light.  Without passion, your business may be mere white noise out in the world.


I wrote a newsletter once about the qualities required of a successful entrepreneur because I needed to hear my own message! It’s true that teachers often teach what they need to learn. I needed to remember that I possess all of these traits and I’m excellent at what I do. I needed to remember how much I adore working with the unique and inspiring businesses for which I am privileged to provide business legal counsel.

So when (like me) you find yourself paddling furiously through that “it isn’t always easy” phase and struggling to right your ship, dig deep for your resilience, remind yourself of your “why” and remember with gratitude all the fantastic customers or clients you have had the opportunity to serve.

If you are a small business owner in Pennsylvania or Maryland, check out my Business Counsel Membership



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