Five Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur

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None of us are cut out to do everything. A surgeon must have steady hands, a priest must have steadfast faith, and a professional athlete must be in peak athletic condition. For every career there are personality traits that are often found in the most successful people in the field but those traits change with each field.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur, do you have the personality traits that make a great business owner? Paul Graham knows what it takes to be a success entrepreneur. He’s the founder of Y Combinator, a company who has financed over 200 startups. He put together 5 traits present in the most successful entrepreneurs.


“Follow your dream” doesn’t mean that you should be married to your original idea. Often, dreams change or evolve. Sometimes those who fail hold on to a failing proposition for too long. If you came up with one idea, you can come up with another. Be open to change.


This may sound like something straight from a pre-game pep talk, but entrepreneurs are a determined bunch. Building a business comes with ups and downs and the downs can be painful. Entrepreneurs don’t expect an easy ride and when the problems arise, the successful startups use them as a learning experience instead of getting demoralized.


All of the obviously great ideas that are sure money makers have already been found. The reality is that most great ideas start off as seemingly bad ideas. The entrepreneur with a great imagination will develop and refine the idea until it becomes great. Just because an idea seems impossible now doesn’t mean that it will remain that way.


Successful entrepreneurs aren’t boy and girl scouts. They’re not criminals either. Stretching the rules to work to their advantage is a key trait and if you’re constantly trying to be fair, you may not get ahead. Think of it this way: Entrepreneurs break the rules but not the rules that matter.


All successful businesses thrive because of strong and rewarding relationships. Many of the best startups are run by a team of friends who genuinely like each other and work well together. There will always be differences of opinion but not so much that they don’t genuinely enjoy each other’s company.

How many of these traits do you possess? If you see most of these in yourself than you probably fit the profile of the next great entrepreneur!