The Key Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneur

What do you think of when you hear the word entrepreneur? Your mind may first jump to well-known business leaders who’ve built their companies up to the top of their respective industries. However, there are also many incredible small and medium owners out there changing the world with their offerings and making a living on their own terms.

There are also a wide variety of successful entrepreneurs out there — proving there’s no one-size-fits-all person who is poised to succeed at business. Despite these exciting differences in personality, philosophy and strategy, there are some qualities that seem to serve business leaders well as they navigate the challenges of running a company today.

Here are just some of the key qualities of a successful entrepreneur.

Strong (but Balanced) Work Ethic

The upside of running a company is that you often have flexibility on when and how to work. The potential downside is that no one will give you permission to stop — which can lead to overworking which in turn can lead to burnout. So, when we say entrepreneurs have a strong ethic, we mean they know how to work hard and find balance in their lives so they can keep going.

One expert notes the importance of not only working hard on behalf of your business, but also resting and making time for relationships. Great entrepreneurs are able to become well-rounded. They know working efficiently and strategically is more important than working longer hours. They’re willing to put effort into getting organized and optimizing their schedules so they can work hard with ample time left over to enjoy life.

Adaptable Mindset

Sometimes it feels like the only constant in business is change. A flexible mindset — and willingness to adapt — will go a long way here toward allowing entrepreneurs to roll with the punches. This is why the entrepreneur definition of success always includes some version of this quality: to be able and willing to change tactics as needed, or even revamp goals altogether along the way.

Passion for Your Work

It’s worth asking why you’re working so hard to achieve business success if you don’t feel connected to what you’re doing on a daily basis. Although no job will be sunshine and rainbows every day, feeling genuine passion, care and drive for your work goes a long way toward warding off burnout. If you’re having a hard time connecting to whatever drew you to your line of business in the first place, it’s worth exploring why your passion has fizzled and what you can potentially do to rekindle it.

Vision & Plans for the Future

Nobody has a crystal ball, but entrepreneurs seem to have an uncanny ability to see what their company can achieve — even if the rest of the world has not yet caught up. One expert likens a lack of planning to turning up to the airport without a ticket in hand or an idea of the destination. Not only does the vision have to be strong and clear, but entrepreneurs must commit to planning the steps necessary to reach those lofty objectives.


Those who have not run a business would be amazed by how many decisions are involved, large and small. Entrepreneurs must be able to make confident, informed decisions on the fly with an understanding of potential consequences and outcomes. They must be willing to delegate or collaborate when appropriate, but at the end of the day they also must be able to make calls without having anyone cosign.

These qualities represent a mixture of personality traits and practicable skills. Can you think of any more key qualities of successful entrepreneurs?