6 traits that define successful entrepreneurs

The contribution of entrepreneurs to boosting the global economy is undeniable. Right from the Graham Bell to modern day Steve Jobs, their journey of innovation has greatly benefitted their countries and the world in general.

For sure, entrepreneurs are cut from a different cloth, though one cannot really pin down a particular type that defines them. They are driven, creative individuals with a great capacity to overcome hurdles and adverse conditions in order to realise their ‘big dream’. It’s commendable how they manage to fulfil a gap in the market or create a new demand altogether with their disruptive ideas.

Here are some of the most consistent six qualities that define a successful entrepreneur and make them tick in a highly competitive environment:

  1. Risk Taking

They have to have nerves of steel to branch out on their own, do something new, with a dream in their head and little in their pocket. “To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks” in the words of Bill Gates, aptly defines their attitude. It also indicates an acceptance of failure as apart of that risk. Successful entrepreneurs usually chalk out all the aspects of failure and keep resources, plans and bandwidth for dealing with them as a standby before taking the plunge. It is the challenge of making a winner out of nothing which gives them the adrenaline push to make them take the plunge.

  1. Ability to influence others

Entrepreneurs are no less than a firebrand idealist, politician, military strategist and actor rolled into one. They have to be able to sell their dream to their employees, customers, investors, shareholders and other stakeholders. Entrepreneurs possess a very high social intelligence and an ability to build relationships that help in their company’s growth. As a result they are able to get the help of mentors for valuable advice, garner support from fellow entrepreneurs for networking and build a loyal and capable team for the firm as well a loyal customer base. It is this emotional instinct and empathy with others which helps them strike the right cord with others and get things moving in the right direction.

  1. Foresight

Foresight is perhaps what sets the best entrepreneurs apart from the rest. After all, entrepreneurship is all about identifying the right opportunities and seizing them at the right time in order to stay ahead of competitors and conquer a larger share of the pie. The key is to be able to spot the opportunities long before others do. For instance, Steve Jobs was always known to be steps ahead of competitors when it came to technology, and hence was able to launch one iconic product after another while he was at the helm at Apple.

  1. An eye on the ‘Big Picture’

Entrepreneurs are visionaries and always have an eye on the big picture when taking any decision. They understand the implication that the smallest of decisions can have on the organization, and hence, know exactly whether or not it is in its the best interest to implement it. The entrepreneur’s true value is in creating the path to the vision and guiding the company towards it, making sure they never lose focus. In fact, it is very easy to stray as the daily struggles and challenges tend become the biggest distractions. It is during such times that they not to hold fort and lead the way for others to follow, inching closer to the goal with every step. It is best to leave the details and day to day workings to the staff and managers.

  1. Resilience

There are very few guarantees on the path of a start up and an entrepreneur is well aware of that. A few rough knocks and road blocks are treated like learning grounds for the future. Instead of agonising over the wrongs, they analyse what went wrong, and take corrective and preventive steps to correct themselves. Above all, they don’t shame failure, but celebrate it, because with every failure you learn something new that you can use to propel yourself and the startup into ‘something bigger’. Mr. Sunil Mittal, is a great example of this quality. Even after two failed entrepreneurship attempts at a cycle parts business and a capsule making business, he didn’t give up. He started again with a new enterprise of manufacturing push button telephones, and ever since then, there’s been no looking back!

  1. Attitude

More than anything, it is the attitude that sets an entrepreneur apart from others. Real entrepreneurs are never afraid of failure. They are driven by the desire to accomplish their mission, no matter what and have a ‘never say die’ spirit that keeps that going even under the toughest of circumstances. No amount of pressure can make them crumble. Rather, they see every problem as an opportunity to come up with new and unique solutions that’ll work.


It takes a lot more than a great idea to become a successful entrepreneur. Aspiring entrepreneurs can take a cue from these points and imbibe some of the aforementioned qualities, if they plan to prove their mettle and are here to stay and make a difference.





Vikram Upadhyaya

Chief Mentor & Accelerator Evangelist at GHV Accelerator