13 Characteristics of Effective Entrepreneurs

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13 Characteristics of Effective Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship calls for a certain mix of traits without which success becomes a challenge or altogether impossible. While some characteristics such as oratory skills are a great added advantage; others, like shrewdness and creativity are core. Here are 13 characteristics of effective entrepreneurs.

They work hard and smart

Successful entrepreneurs agree that working hard is good, and very necessary; but more than that, they promote the absolute importance of both working hard and smart to fast track venture successes. The two must go hand in hand to maximize the probability of prosperity with efficiency and performance as the two primary metrics of evaluation.


At the onset, before a venture gets off the ground, there is usually a period where the input outweighs the output. At this time, a lot of discipline is needed to work hard and intensely over long hours. Optimal manpower is often unavailable thanks to thin working budgets and constricting capital, and entrepreneurs are forced to take on many roles.


A significant chunk of entrepreneurship comes down to aligning oneself with the right people who help propel the vision skyward. Besides friends, it extends to employees and business partners. A wrong CEO or an incorrect business alliance can easily spell doom for a venture and history is littered with examples. Thus, being careful is crucial to evaluate the right decision when it comes to dealing with people.


Innovation is the very crux of entrepreneurship. To succeed, a unique product or service that is robust enough to justify the building of a company around it must be offered. More so, innovation is also needed to maintain a market advantage in view of the competition; lack of which may relegate a business into economic oblivion.

Polished salesmanship

While innovation helps realize a product that can sell, the actual selling is what turns all the other wheels eventually bringing about success. As a result, salesmanship is a skill all entrepreneurs have to learn and master early. Great entrepreneurs know how to sell products, ideas, their visions, and aspirations; otherwise, the much-needed support will not be forthcoming

They adapt quickly

In the entrepreneurship process, often, the final product, and the implemented business systems end up being significantly different from the original blueprint. Many factors are responsible for this chief among them being market dynamics, variations in the production environment, unforeseen challenges, and previously overlooked, or underestimated aspects.

Willing to change

Entrepreneurs know and understand that change is the one constant in life. They embrace the fact that if something worked yesterday, it does not mean that it will work today. In fact, entrepreneurs use change to their advantage to capture bigger market segments and strengthen their value propositions.

Willing to take risks

All ventures have elements of risk in varying degrees. Thus, entrepreneurship calls for clever risk management which automatically disqualifies persons with a penchant for risk-free comfort zones. To succeed, one must court risk shrewdly in a manner that dramatically increases the chances for success.


Entrepreneurs are very active people. They are always up to something trying to make things come together profitably. They set an example for and motivate their employees by their drive and passion which is evidenced by their continual hustling. They understand that a company and its performance mirrors the attitude of the leadership which makes them strive to get the most out of time and other resources at their disposal.

A degree of self-doubt

A lot of self-doubt is, obviously, bad as it will result in incapacitation. However, a little bit of insecurity is beneficial. It fuels reconsideration and deeper, more intense analysis which reduces the chances of things nosediving due to unanticipated occurrences.

Entrepreneurs have a habit of courting the right amount of doubt to remain on their toes. Though outwardly very confident, many highflying entrepreneurs have admitted to having a certain level of doubt especially in the face of monumental undertakings.

Thinking on one’s feet

Entrepreneurs know how to go with and adapt to the flow. Their level of liquid intelligence is elevated thanks to the many situations they face where solutions have to be devised on-the-spot. The may go into a pitch with a game plan but judging from its impact, bin it midway in favor of an off-the-cuff delivery, for instance.


Due to the importance of innovation in entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs quickly learn that open-mindedness is a great asset. They are willing to accept ideas and input from various quarters. The average successful entrepreneur has an inner team of advisers which includes lawyers, accountants, strategists, confidants, etc.


Procrastination and indecision are not only undesirable in business but also fatal in the long run. The temporal nature of opportunities forces entrepreneurs to be decisive to capitalize on any and all possibilities.

The base trait that defines entrepreneurs is an overwhelming desire to succeed. With it in place, all other core traits can be learned and polished. More so, only a firm resolve deters the inclination to quit when challenges and pressure mount.

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