12 Characteristics of an Entrepreneur With Ways To Improve

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 12 October 2022 | Published 23 July 2021

Updated 12 October 2022

Published 23 July 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.

Being an entrepreneur requires specific skills and business savvy. While some abilities might be naturally present, you can learn and develop others through careful practice. Understanding the qualities needed by entrepreneurs can help you grow to become a better business leader. In this article, we explain 12 characteristics of entrepreneurs and ways to improve each one.

Related: What Are the Pros and Cons of Working at a Startup Company?

What are entrepreneurial characteristics?

Entrepreneurial characteristics are qualities that help entrepreneurs achieve their goals. An entrepreneur is someone who creates, organises and runs their own business. Examples of entrepreneurs include:

  • Online business owners: Entrepreneurs who are bloggers, e-commerce sellers or business owners who perform commercial activities mostly online.

  • Home-based business owners: Entrepreneurs who run their business from their homes as opposed to offices.

  • Inventors: Entrepreneurs who build their idea and sell it on the market.

  • Small business owners: Entrepreneurs who own a business with several employees, often getting community support.

In every case, entrepreneurship involves innovating new ideas, putting them into action and persevering through challenges. Some entrepreneur characteristics are inherent personality traits, but there are also skills and characteristics you can cultivate through practice.

Related: Types of Funding for Businesses (Definition and Importance)

12 characteristics of an entrepreneur

Here are important characteristics of an entrepreneur, along with ways to improve each one:

1. Creativity

Becoming an entrepreneur starts with an idea. You may start by seeing opportunities, finding innovative ways to operate the items around you and bringing solutions to the public. To improve your creativity, develop habits that support the creative system. Think about what makes you feel creative, such as music, meeting people, reading or some other activity you enjoy. Dedicate a specific part of your day to finding inspiration for new solutions. During this part of the day, start by doing what inspires you, then let your mind flow. You can make a list of ideas and select some to pursue.

Related: Creative Skills in the Workplace

2. Passion

Passion is what drives entrepreneurs. They usually love what they do, and this helps them invest their time in their projects. To become a more passionate entrepreneur, focus on the meaning of your work. Remember that you contribute to finding solutions that can help many people. Knowing that your commitment makes an impact may give you the drive to continue when doubt settles in or when the business gets difficult. Passion is what keeps you focused on your objective.

Related: 10 Types of Leadership Styles

3. Motivation

Motivation is the will to accomplish certain endeavours. With the goal to propel their business to success, entrepreneurs may push themselves to perform effectively in their work. To increase motivation, you can start by setting small goals. Small goals can help you reach larger ones and encourage you to aim higher. Recognise the work you already accomplished and celebrate your results, even minor ones. Also, keep a positive mindset. Turn your mind away from negativity and daily obstacles to focus on what you want to achieve and the positive aspects of your life.

Related: How to Motivate (Plus Tips on Self Motivation and Leadership)

4. Product or service knowledge

Entrepreneurs know what they can offer and to whom they can sell it. Clearly define the category of products or services you sell and how they provide value to consumers. Also, study your target clients to make sure you answer their needs. This can allow you to improve your products and services continuously, so you can stay on top of industry trends.

To increase the positive impact of this knowledge, continually learn about your market, understand what people need and know the features that differentiate you from competitors. Talk with your clients and use their feedback. With this information, you can adjust your position when necessary.

5. Ability to network

The ability to connect with people and recognise opportunities for partnership is crucial to successful entrepreneurship. Meeting new people might facilitate access to resources or knowledge that your business needs. It allows you to learn from the success of others, promote your services or goods and meet new clients.

To improve your networking skills, you can try to build genuine relationships. You likely have a business goal in mind, but approach people with the objective of a human connection, just like making new friends. If you meet someone who could benefit another person in your network, help them connect. Not only can you help someone, but they may remember you and want to return the favour.

Related: A Complete Guide on How to Build a Network (Plus Benefits)

6. Innovation

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you can think of a way to revitalise your market. Whether it's offering a new product or service, it's your role to help consumers feel excited about what you can offer. Through innovation and problem-solving, you can find an issue or gap in the market and figure out how to fill it.

One way to be more innovative is by surrounding yourself with items and people that inspire you. For instance, checking out books about innovation and entrepreneurs can inspire you to build your business differently. Likewise, hiring a team of innovative individuals can help you create more unique work.

Related: Innovation Skills: Definition and Examples

7. Persuasion

Whether it's getting people to buy your product or convincing investors to fund your next project, being persuasive is an essential characteristic for entrepreneurs to have. Being able to figure out how you can meet people's needs can help you increase the success of your business venture.

Persuasion starts with your people skills. By learning how to communicate with others, you can connect with them on a deeper level. Start with your active listening skills. When meeting with a potential client or business partner, carefully listen to what they're saying. By giving them a chance to finish their thoughts and responding thoughtfully, you're showing that you're invested in creating a meaningful connection with them.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills (With Definition and Examples)

8. Money management

While you may hire money professionals to help manage your business's cash flow, it's important that business leaders have some kind of money management skills. This way, you can oversee that your business is running as it shows. It's also an important part of holding your team members accountable and ensuring your business is practising ethical behaviour. If you need help with your money management skills, consider enrolling in a course online or at a university. Look for courses that are specifically designed for entrepreneurs or business leaders.

9. Flexibility

Being flexible is an essential characteristic for an entrepreneur to have, as your business may go through consistent change. Employee turnover, market changes, inconsistent cash flow and incoming competition are all factors you may not anticipate but still can adapt to as an entrepreneur.

Learning how to live in the present while also foreseeing the future can help you adapt to sudden changes. As you focus on the daily operations of your business, pay attention to industry and economic news. Consider reading the business section of your local newspaper and subscribing to several industry publications.

10. Goal-orientation

Setting goals for yourself and your business is an important part of your success. Entrepreneurs have the natural drive to strive for more, often with a growth mindset. Whether you aim to grow your staff or make more revenue, being goal-oriented can help you achieve these aspirations.

When setting goals, use the SMART method. This means that your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Using this framework can help you set more realistic business goals for yourself and evaluate why each one is important.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition, Template and Examples

11. Positive mindset

Becoming an entrepreneur can be a lot of work, which is why a positive mindset is so important. Despite the challenges you may experience, having a positive attitude about your work can keep you motivated. Rather than seeing problems as barriers, successful entrepreneurs can see them as an opportunity to learn. Take some time each morning to set an intention for your day. Think of all the things you're grateful for and how you plan to give back to your community. Acknowledge your stressors, but then think of ways you can overcome or accept them.

Related: How To Practice Gratitude While Working Remotely

12. Self-confidence

Entrepreneurs believe they can achieve their goals. They may have doubts, but they persevere through it. They're ready to work hard because they are confident they can create something better than what already exists. Self-confidence is essential because it allows you to feel better and makes it easier to overcome challenges, take risks and be persistent. Therefore, it contributes to your success overall.

To improve your self-confidence, you can use the technique of visualisation. Visualise yourself as the person you want to be, and visualise your business at its peak success. You can also practise affirmation by saying uplifting statements about your accomplishments. These techniques can help to change the way you see yourself positively.

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