5 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs: Small Business Owner Edition

5 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs: Small Business Owner Edition


Oh, I’m all about small business. I think what we’ve learned from big business and big Wall Street is that unchecked greed and the creation of false value gets us all in trouble. If we look at the American economy, who’s really creating value? It’s the small businesses. 
–Robert Herjavec


Herjavec’s small business turned into one of the most successful cybersecurity companies in the world.


Starting your own business is one of the most rewarding things you can do for your professional growth. Over 99% of U.S. firms are small businesses; they’re the core of our economy, one of the top 15 economies worldwide. If you’re thinking about starting a small business, or have already started and are looking to be a better leader, there are a few traits successful entrepreneurs need to have.


We’ve laid out our top 5 here:


our first trait of successful entrepreneurs is hunger


If you’re not hungry, you’ll never reach your goals. It’s easy to be motivated at the start when everything is shiny and new, but what about when you’re a few years in? Will you still have the hunger to succeed when times are hard?


The entrepreneurial journey isn’t an easy one; it requires an intrinsic drive for success. Work to accomplish and be proud saying “I did that” with each and every task you take on, regardless of whether it ends in success or failure.


If you’re feeling yourself losing drive for your small business, think about why you started it. Does the reason still align with your goals? If not, you might need to find a new motivation that you can see yourself working towards. It’s never a waste of time to reevaluate your future goals against your past and present work.


our second trait of successful entrepreneurs is organization.


Organization is essential. It’s a skill that’s frequently thrown around in conversation, but often overlooked. However, it truly will help you be more productive in the long run.


If you’re not naturally an organized person, there are a plethora of basic tools that exist to assist you! Use a planning system that works for you, whether it be a physical agenda notebook, an online calendar, or a reminder list on your phone. Big desk calendars are great  because they have u enough space to write down all of the things you need to accomplish each day while also showing you your whole month of tasks.


Beyond this, make sure to stay organized in your workspace as well. Declutter it by sorting papers, tools, and electronics so you know where everything is. An organized physical space will allow you to stay clearer mentally, so you can spend less time worrying about where that receipt went and more time getting things done.


our third trait of successful entrepreneurs is perspective.


It’s great to turn your passion into a business, but you’re one amongst many. What differentiates your small business from another in the same industry? Make sure you’re looking at the bigger picture of how your business fits into the market of other similar small businesses– you can always learn from what they’re doing, good or bad.


Analyzing your own successes and failures is another important part of perspective. What drove you to each favorable or unfavorable outcome? How did consumers react to your actions? What would you do the same or differently next time? Talk with customers and treat all these observations as mini case studies to help frame your next steps forward.


Our fourth trait of successful entrepreneurs is being a motivator.


If you have employees, you know that they may not always be the most enthusiastic about the everyday tasks that come with running a business. You, on the other hand, saw a dream and took the plunge to make it happen. Those around you, however, might not share the same vision that you do and will need a bit more bolstering.


Motivation is a skill that will reward you not only in your work life, but in any endeavor that you choose to pursue. Explaining ideas in a way people understand, resonate with, and get excited about will make those around you eager to work with you. Work on your communication skills and think about each individual you interact with: how are they motivated? How can you best connect with them?


our fifth and final trait for successful entrepreneurs is being adaptable.


We live in a world where trends and consumer tastes change rapidly. What you initially went into business with may now be out of style, but don’t let that end your venture. In order to survive, you’ll need to be able to adapt quickly and create a new path to success.


A big key here is creativity. How willing are you to step out of your box and try something new? You’ll need to be able to collaborate with your employees and listen to new ideas, only discrediting them after your whole team weighs in for discussion. Your ability to navigate tricky turns and bumps in the road will help you not only to survive, but to come out on top.



In order for your small business to be successful and thrive you will need to be an effective leader.  Take into account which leadership traits you have and which could use further development. Work towards improving them and check in with yourself each month to note your progress. Running a small business isn’t an easy job, but if you’re committed it can be the most rewarding.


Want more? Check out our post on 5 Easy Marketing Tools For Small Businesses.

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