22 Defining Entrepreneur Characteristics

22 Defining Entrepreneur Characteristics



When it comes to starting a business, what do Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Allon Raiz have in common? They’re millionaire businessmen, yes, but certainly not the same kinds of businessmen: Zuckerberg is a social media mogul, Branson an empire builder, Jobs a computer innovator, and Raiz a business incubator.

So could there be certain shared characteristics required for being an entrepreneur? Why yes, yes there are.

Entrepreneur characteristics: The common denominators

In no particular order, entrepreneurs are:

  1. Dreamers and naïve – anything is possible
  2. Thinkers and visionaries – seeing things as they could be rather than as they are
  3. Leaders with team and spirit building abilities
  4. Able to foster trust, respect and confidence in others
  5. Passionate and believe in their vision
  6. Self-confident, driven and tenacious
  7. Committed to a purpose
  8. Courageous / have high risk tolerance
  9. Positive and optimistic
  10. Opportunistic
  11. Self-motivated and self-starting
  12. Energetic and charismatic
  13. Innovative and creative
  14. Different – they think differently and reject the status quo
  15. Decisive
  16. Masters of nothing – broad knowledge in many spheres but no specialist expert knowledge
  17. Dedicated and show fortitude in tough times
  18. Resilient to criticism and rejection
  19. Resourceful, flexible and adaptable
  20. Able to learn from mistakes and turn failure into learning opportunities
  21. Strong negotiators able to create beneficial networks and partnerships
  22. Strong understanding of leverage.

Related: 6 Of The Most Profitable Small Businesses In South Africa

The downside of entrepreneur characteristics

Are you an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurs can be known to be:

  1. Difficult to work with
  2. Egotistical
  3. Stubborn
  4. Willful
  5. Hard to reason with
  6. Overly risk tolerant – i.e. take gambles
  7. Workaholics and obsessive
  8. Dreamers who become isolated from the real world.
Tracy Lee Nicol
Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.