5 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

What do Sir Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, and Mark Zuckerberg all have in common? They all made millions by applying the following beliefs that all entrepreneurs share.

Persistence Helps Entrepreneurs Succeed

According to research from Harvard, there's an 18 percent chance that a first-time entrepreneur will succeed. After failing once and learning the lessons from this failure, the entrepreneur's chance of succeeding increases to 20 percent. The odds remain stable with each successive attempt until success strikes. From that point on, the entrepreneur's chance of succeeding with future endeavours rises to 30 percent.

Entrepreneurs know they're likely to encounter some failures on the path to success, which is why persistence is one of the key characteristics of a successful entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have to accept setbacks and even be willing to start from scratch in order to achieve their business goals.

Entrepreneurs Believe in Themselves

Failure might be a likely outcome of any entrepreneurial venture, but successful entrepreneurs have the confidence to believe it won't happen to them. It takes real self-belief to feel positive that the market will be interested in your ideas and that you can deliver them to the public.

Don't confuse this self-belief for blind faith. Instead, think of it as task-specific confidence that comes after entrepreneurs have carefully researched the market and other logistics. Once they've done the work, entrepreneurs can feel confident that they've reached the right conclusion. Unlike the rest of the population, entrepreneurs can stand behind their convictions without second-guessing them.

Vision Helps Set Entrepreneurs Apart

Entrepreneurs have a unique ability to spot business opportunities and imagine how they could be brought to fruition. Consider the entrepreneurs mentioned above. Sir Richard Branson saw the potential for a global brand delivering everything from music festivals to space travel. Oprah Winfrey built her media empire around self-help and inspiring women in a way no one else ever had before or has since. Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook continues to set the standard for social media through its evolution and customer-centric innovations.

All these professionals had a clear vision of what they could achieve, and they surrounded themselves with the right people to see it through. They also made sure their vision was unique in some way, as no one finds success as an entrepreneur by simply following the pack.

Willingness to Take Risks Ensures Entrepreneurs Don't Succumb to Fear

The life of an entrepreneur is a risky one. Entrepreneurs know that their chance of any venture failing is greater than it succeeding. They cannot rely on a regular wage or regular work. That might lead you to believe that entrepreneurs are fearless, but that's not entirely true. Ask any entrepreneurs who've faced the threat of losing a home or who came close to bankruptcy, and they'll tell you they've certainly been fearful. However, entrepreneurs seem better able to manage fear because they are willing to take risks. They understand that with great risk comes great reward. That potential payoff helps entrepreneurs push through their fear and ensures they don't succumb to this emotion.

Passion Drives Entrepreneurs On

Passion may be one of the most important characteristics of entrepreneurs. Most entrepreneurs will tell you that it's this, rather than the promise of money or fame, that drives them on.

Entrepreneurs can be passionate about many things. They may be passionate about the products they create or the services they provide. They might be passionate about the problems they feel their businesses solve or about the desire to improve the lives of their customers. What makes an entrepreneur excited about their work is not as important as the passion they feel, because this helps them persist when they face hardships like long hours or tight budgets.

Can you identify these traits within you? Make sure to hone them and you could be the next one enjoying the spoils of life as a successful entrepreneur.