10 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs and Founders

5 min readOct 27, 2020


by Cat Nilsson, Founder and Director of PR + Branding

While breaking into the business world can be both difficult and intimidating — not to mention becoming a successful entrepreneur or business owner can be even more challenging — there are so many creative and innovative individuals who are constantly bringing new and inspiring business ideas to the table that need to be heard. To help give you a better idea of how to be successful and take your business to the top, I’ve rounded up ten of the most common characteristics and motivations that have helped previous entrepreneurs and business owners get to where they are now:

1. “Go-getter” Spirit

Dedication is essential to success. Building up a business takes a lot of effort and is a long journey, and it also can sometimes feel like an endless one. Thus, the go-getter, never-give-up spirit is a necessity.

2. Positive Attitude

Although an obvious characteristic, positivity is necessary to both instill optimism in employees and colleagues alike to feel confident and aligned in the same vision for where the company is headed. Without having a positive attitude, a trickle down effect will occur, causing others around you to feel unhappy and pessimistic about the future, leading to a decrease in productivity, morale and a sense of loss & confusion. Even when you’re working alone and your ideas don’t see the light of day initially, it’s still important to believe in the end goal, maintain positivity and be kind to yourself.

photo from unsplash

3. Thick Skin

As an entrepreneur, it is so necessary to have a thick skin, especially when others either don’t agree with your ideas or don’t have the same understanding in what you are working towards. As the saying goes, you often hear 100 rejections before you finally hear a yes. Keep the faith in your ideas and know your own self-worth as well as the worth of your business.

4. Creative Skillset

Although it may seem like there are a multitude of other companies out there that are doing something similar to you, try to get creative with your business idea and find a gap or niche in the market. Ask yourself: what area is currently being underserved? What can my business offer that will improve upon an existing idea and/or product or service? Brainstorm and thoroughly research your industry in order to come up with a unique spin on an old idea.

photo from unsplash

5. Future-oriented Mindset

As a business owner, it is your duty to create a solid vision for the company so that everyone involved in your venture is on the same page. Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what you originally wanted or why you started in the first place the further along you go, so always keep your vision front and center with everything that you do.

Moreover, write down and have your short-term and long-term goals in mind. It’s also beneficial to have the attitude that no goal is too small or too big — every step in the right direction matters and the sky is truly the limit to what you can achieve!

6. Confidence

Be confident in what you are offering and why. People will want to know your cause, as well as why it is important to you and why it should be important to them! This is especially vital when networking and pitching your business to potential investors or partners. If you aren’t confident in your products/services, then others won’t be either.

photo from unsplash

7. Passion & Drive

Your passion should show in all areas of your business, such as in the products/services that you offer, the employees that you hire, as well as all the touchpoints that individuals may have with you e.g. on your website, via customer service, etc. People will be more willing to work with you and support you and your business if it’s clear that you are motivated and are doing what you love. Make sure to create something that you believe in and have the drive to see it through.

photos from unsplash

8. Courage

Most entrepreneurs and business owners aren’t afraid of taking risks in order to make their dreams a reality. Therefore, staying inside your comfort zone won’t get you to where you want to be, especially because there are so many unknowns and obstacles that you will have to face. Risks are often necessary to take in order to get your business to the next step.

9. Strong Leadership

Businesses are often not run alone. They are made possible by a team of individuals that will look to you for guidance. It is essential that you are a leader in all aspects of the business, from instilling positivity in the culture to acting as a role model for your colleagues to delegating tasks to making difficult company-wide decisions.

photos from unsplash

10. Empathy

The leaders of a business set the company culture. It is extremely important to be empathetic towards employees and colleagues, as they are human beings themselves, and deserve the same understanding and respect that you expect from them. In addition to this, it is imperative to be ethical and transparent in all business endeavors and to consistently communicate and inform everyone within and outside of the company about company practices and activities. Employees will be more inclined to stick around if your business is ethical, and other stakeholders, such as customers, investors, peers and the community at large, will appreciate your transparency.

With all that being said, everyone has their own unique story and individual path to success. There is no foolproof method. But these fundamental characteristics are exemplary of strong business owners and entrepreneurs that can help to position you and your business for success, however you wish to measure it. Best of luck!




Cat Nilsson, Founder and Director of PR and Branding at onePRgroup, a full service pr + branding agency