Traits of an Entrepreneur

From Entrepreneurial Finance: Finance and Business Strategies for the Serious Entrepreneur, by Steven Rogers, 2009:

Building a successful, sustainable business requires courage, patience, and resilience. It demands a level of commitment that few people are capable of making. Membership in the "entrepreneurs club," while not exclusive, does seem to attract a certain type of individual. What, if any, are the common attributes of successful high-growth entrepreneurs?

While it is impossible to identify all the traits that are common to all entrepreneurs, it is possible to describe certain characteristics that are exhibited by most successful entrepreneurs. A survey by consultant Richard Hagberg identified the top 10 characteristics that define entrepreneurs. These characteristics are:

  1. Focused, steadfast, and undeviating
  2. Positive outlook
  3. Opinionated and judges quickly
  4. Impatient
  5. Prefers simple solutions
  6. Autonomous and independent
  7. Aggressive
  8. Risk
  9. Without deliberation and reactive
  10. Emotionally aloof

While this list is thorough, the addition of a few more traits would make it more complete:

  • Opportunist
  • Sacrificer
  • Visionary
  • Problem solver
  • Comfortable with ambiguity or uncertainty


  1. John Kerr says:

    These are great suggestions. I got a copy of these points from my SBDC advisor, and used them to develop an "Entrepreneurial Quotient" for myself, using a scale of 0-7 for each of the 15 points. It makes a lot of sense after using it. I think the book would be a useful add to my library.

  2. I'm fascinated to hear you received a copy from you SBDC advisor. That's an up-to-date advisor.

    I appreciate he idea of an "Entrepreneurial Quotient" as well. It asks one to consider each point deliberately. Comparing the rankings could be of value as well.

    I wonder if some of the traits are more important than the others when defining sucess?…

    All very interesting.

    Thank you for your comment!

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