7 Essential Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs


Successful Entrepreneurs stand out, they are a bit different than the rest of us. They have those key traits that make them succeed when the rest of us shudder at the thought of launching our own startup. Below are some of the most essential traits of successful Entrepreneurs.

1. Never Stop

Never give up and always keep trying. A good entrepreneur will not stop pursuing a goal because of failure, he or she will stop and look at what caused the failure and learn from the mistakes. An entrepreneur will constantly be thinking through his or her ideas and how they can be improved and implemented in the best ways, sometimes this can only be done through trial and error.

2. A good communicator

When pitching and selling ideas, entrepreneurs are constantly talking to people. This could be anyone from a mentor or family member to a big investor or potential customer. Good communication will make a person come across as more serious and will build trust with the people surrounding the business.

3. Willingness to learn

Any good entrepreneur constantly wants to find out how things work. Good signs of an entrepreneur is someone who likes to takes things apart to see how they work. As adults you will see these kinds of people asking questions about how things are done and why it was done in that way. They will pull apart ideas to see how they were built and what made them fail or succeed. This constant testing and questioning generates ideas and questions that lead to new startups. Many entrepreneurs attend seminars and events simply to stay educated as an investment in themselves.

4. Promote benefits not features

A good entrepreneur knows what people are truly interested in. Features are interesting but it is not what wins customers. Good entrepreneurs realize that it is the benefits of their product or service that wins the customers.

5. A good negotiator

An entrepreneur will be presented with many decisions which he or she will need to make. When it comes to both selling and buying it is good to be a great negotiator to land the deal that will set the business apart from the rest. Perhaps an entrepreneur will need to negotiate the cost of a new office location or the price at which the startup will sell its new product or service.

6. A leader

Leadership is an outstanding quality of many entrepreneurs. People will need someone to follow and someone who can make the necessary decision when it counts. As a leader, an entrepreneur needs to know when to take risks and when not to.

7. Ability to look ahead

The ability to see the future, to look past the now and plan for 1 year or even 10 years in the future is crucial. Even if the business is small at the moment an entrepreneur will understand what needs to be done and what can be done to get it to the next level.


About Markus Tenghamn

Markus Tenghamn is a programmer and entrepreneur currently studying computer science at Mälardalens University (MDH), Sweden, in addition to being a big part of several new and innovative startups. Markus has pursued web development for over 10 years and started his first ecommerce website at the age of 17. At the moment Markus is responsible for developing MDH Schedule iPhone app (unofficial) and sync server which let’s students see their course schedules right on their phone. In addition to other projects, he is a volunteer for SFSFUM (Meeting for student unions in Sweden) where he developed an app for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 which gives participants maps with direction and event information. He has also been a finalist for the Rising Star scholarship awarded by Östsvenska Handelskammaren for course projects at MDH.Markus’s latest startup is called Anveto AB (Anveto.com), an innovative analytics and marketing platform which will bring truly unique and new ideas to companies looking to increase revenue. A beta is planned in the fall.In his spare time Markus prefers to write about web development, app development and startups on his blog at MarkusTenghamn.com. When he is not doing that he loves to read about AI, chaos theory, space and quantum mechanics.


6 Business Success Myths Entrepreneurs Must Avoid

By Martin Zwilling / September 8th, 2013

All true entrepreneurs operate off a set of tenets that are built into their psyche, or drilled into them from training and mentors. These are represented by sayings like “You never get anywhere unless you take a chance” and “Passion and persistence are the keys to success,” Unfortunately, there are still other old, reliable tenets that don’t work anymore.

In a book a while back by Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie from the Columbia Business School, “Designing for Growth,” the authors encourage managers to think more like designers. I assert that designers have a lot in common with entrepreneurs, since both must innovate and start a deep understanding of what their customer really wants (“customer-centered”).

In most other respects, design thinking is the opposite of business thinking. For example, businesses must deal with reality as fixed and quantifiable, whereas design deals with subjective experience and a social constructs. Entrepreneurs need to bridge both these worlds, and I believe the authors outline the key business management myths that limit startup thinking:

  1. Myth: Think big. There are always pressures to be sure an opportunity is big enough, but most really big solutions began small and built momentum. To seize really new opportunities, it is better to start small and find a deep, underlying human need to connect with. A better maxim for entrepreneurs is: Focus on meeting genuine human needs.
  2. Myth: If the idea is good, then the money will follow. The truth about ideas is that we don’t know if they are good; only customers know that. Entrepreneurs often express surprise at funding challenges, confident that their good idea would attract money on its own merits. In that light, a better maxim for entrepreneurs is: Build the right team and customer need, and funding will follow.
  3. Myth: Measure twice, cut once. This one works fine in an operations setting, but when it comes to creating the as-yet-unseen future of a startup, there isn’t much to measure. Spending time trying to measure the immeasurable offers temporary comfort but does little to reduce risk. A better maxim for entrepreneurs is: Place small bets fast.
  4. Myth: Be bold and decisive. In the past, business cultures have been dominated by competition metaphors (sports and war being the most popular). Organic growth, by contrast, requires a lot of nurturing, intuition, and a tolerance for uncertainty. Placing bold bets falls well short of the new entrepreneurial maxim: Explore multiple options.
  5. Myth: Don’t ask a question you don’t know the answer to. This one is borrowed from trial lawyers, and it traveled into business because it always seems less risky to look smart. Unfortunately, new opportunities do not yield easily to leading questions and preconceived solutions. A better maxim for entrepreneurs is: Start in the unknown.
  6. Myth: Sell your solution. If you don’t believe in it, no one will. When you are trying to create the future, it is difficult to know when you have it right. The key is to be absolutely certain you have focused on a worthy problem. You’ll iterate your way to a workable solution in due time. Follow two maxims here: Choose a worthwhile customer problem. Let others validate.

There are many other design-thinking principles that entrepreneurs need to heed, such as the fact that products and services are bought by human beings, not target markets segmented into demographic categories. Great designs, as well as great products, grab customers at an emotional level first, then at the economic level.

Exemplified by Apple, and the success of their elegant products, design-thinking is proving to be more and more the competitive edge for entrepreneurs. This is not to say that sound business principles should be ignored in your next startup. The challenge for every entrepreneur, is to find that right balance between the myths and reality of business, and the power and inspiration of an innovative design.



Founder and CEO, Startup Professionals.

Martin is a veteran startup mentor, executive, blogger, author, tech professional, and angel investor. He is the Founder and CEO of Startup Professionals, a company that provides products and services to startup founders and small business owners.