Starting Up

What it Takes to be a Successful Entrepreneur

Knowledge, skill and talent are the three most important characteristics of a successful entrepreneur that will ensure the success of small business owners.

Most competitors would have the same resources as you do. The key to achieving success by beating the competition is more to do with mental ability that is reflected in one’s attitude and is individual driven and requires no money. Incidentally, this holds good for most human endeavours, be it sports, art or politics.

The following 12 entrepreneurship skills can put you in the right mindset to become a successful entrepreneur.

Passion for your business

It goes without saying that work should be fun. If you have passion for what you are involved in, then it will help you overcome difficult moments and persuade people to work for you and also do business with you. Now, you either have the passion or not. You cannot teach yourself to develop a passion. When it wanes, which it would during tough times, take some time off and relax. Be it an hour or week, think of all the reasons that made you start the business and what you like about being your own boss. This is bound to renew your passion.

Project yourself as trustworthy

People tend to have more confidence in trustworthy people and want to work for them as it assures an environment of integrity. The same holds good for customers.

Be flexible, except with core values

Plans and strategies are bound to change from the time you ventured into business. In fact, it is this flexibility that is an inherent advantage of small businesses vis-a-vis large businesses. But no matter how much profits you want, do not compromise on your core values.

Do not let fear of failure hold you back

Failure provides you an opportunity to learn. Considering all things equal, venture capitalists would rather choose to invest money in an individual who tried founding a company and failed than in someone who wants to play safe.

Make timely decisions

Use your intuition to guide you. Thinking and planning are good, but procrastination for a long period could result in missed opportunities.

A major asset to the company is you

Take proper care of yourself. Your health is more important and valuable than expensive machinery or the latest software for the company. Don’t make choices between family and company or play and work. Maintain the balance for energy and good health. This will automatically enhance your mental outlook.

Keep your ego under control

When you make profits, refrain from spending them on expensive toys merely to impress others. Instead, build a fund for unexpected needs or opportunities. This also means that you hear out ideas and suggestions no matter how crazy they sound. One never knows where a good idea could come from.


The first and foremost requirement is to believe in yourself, your company and your ability to become successful. Such confidence is often contagious and it will benefit your employees, customers, stakeholders, suppliers and everybody else you deal with.

Encourage and accept criticism graciously

Learn to admit your mistakes. It is important to constantly convince your employees that it’s OK for them to express their honest opinions even if they clash with those of the boss’. Merely mentioning it in the mission statement does not help.

Maintain a strong work ethic

You can lead by setting an example. Your employees will only be too willing to follow you. This will also serve the purpose of beating your competitors by overworking them, especially when your product or service is similar.

Rebound quickly from setbacks

Since you are now in business, ups and downs are part of the game. It is necessary that you learn from the setbacks and move on. No one has the power to change the past. So, look ahead and keep going.

Periodically get out of your comfort zone to pursue something important

There will be times when you might feel uncomfortable when there is a need to change technology, people, mission, competing, etc. Make a habit of stepping out of your comfort zone. It will not only benefit you, but also benefit your company.

Entrepreneurial Learning

If you inculcate the above attitudes that are the regular qualities of a successful entrepreneur, then many organizational and leadership shortcomings can be overcome or mitigated. Like we had said before, you can learn everything else, except for passion. It has to come from within. Do take time out of your hectic schedule to reflect on these factors. You are bound to find inspiration to act.

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