Personal Characteristics

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ICT Competence: Basic

English Language Skills: Intermediate

Action type: Simple actions that can be implemented immediately without requiring an investment

There are specific personality traits which make a person more likely to succeed as an entrepreneur. People are born with them or they can be acquired through education and practice. The opinions do not differ greatly between different authors on what are the key traits of a successful entrepreneur, therefore it is easy to extract the most commonly encountered. Also, these traits are common sense.

There are, however, surprises amongst the findings research has made in this pursuit. An interesting point is made by some researchers, according to whom an entrepreneur is more of a doer than a thinker, and an element of novelty is represented by listing integrity as a personality trait of entrepreneurs.

a) Top 5 key personal characteristics of a successful entrepreneur

Concentrating on perfecting the following five key personal characteristics is likely to increase your chances of becoming more “entrepreneurial”:

  1. Risk-taking and acceptance of failure - the more opportunities you embrace, the more chances you have to succeed but also, to fail. In order to achieve the perfect balance, it is crucial to learn how to take calculated risks along with accepting the fact that failure may happen. In fact, most of the learning we do is from failure and not from success.
  2. Creativity - more often than not, creativity and innovativeness are innate in the case of successful companies and entrepreneurs. This doesn’t mean that if you are not born with these traits, you can’t achieve them: on the contrary. But why is creativity important in the DNA of enterprise? Since enterprise is all about recognising opportunity where others see problems and finding resources everywhere, creativity is the guiding force behind these actions.
  3. Passionate, motivated and hard-working - Often, an entrepreneur has to sell his or her idea to people or they have to create a team. Also, everyday hardships can slow you down and make you less productive. Unless you are passionate, disciplined and motivated enough to surpass these impediments.
  4. Flexible, curious and open minded - Remember, an entrepreneurial venture is not simply about doing what you believe is good, but also making a successful business out of it. Successful entrepreneurs welcome all suggestions for optimisation or customisation that may enhance their offering and satisfy client and market needs.
  5. Positivity - At the very core of modern entrepreneurship, we find transforming the world by solving problems, coming up with solutions, constant progress, optimism and positivity are the lens through which the environment becomes a world of possibilities, for those of us with the entrepreneurial spirit.

b) How to achieve the top 5 personal characteristics of an entrepreneur

  1. Learn to take risks and accept failure - keeping in mind the words of Mark Zuckerberg, “the biggest risk is not taking any risk”, try to analyse your situation and find what the risks of maintaining the status quo would be instead of concentrating on what would happen if you took your chances. Here are five tips on how to overcome fear of risk which might help you.
  2. Work on your creativity - stimulating creativity is helpful in general, and all the more helpful if you are aiming at a career as an entrepreneur. Constantly changing some habits, surrounding yourself with stimulating objects and things to do, consuming diverse cultural products are just some of the ways people boost creativity. Since the simple method is always welcome, here is a short video with 40 tips to make you more creative
  3. Feed your passion and find discipline - self-discipline can seem intimidating and hard to achieve, but it comes down to automating your behaviour, concentrating on those actions which are beneficial for you, eliminating the detrimental ones and gaining a few new habits. If you are looking to work on your discipline, here is a short video that will come in handy. Passion is the fuel behind your rhythm of work, it is the drive to keep going and the motivation to surpass difficulty. Passion happens when something matters to you, so you need to find what is valuable in your pursuit, in order to keep yourself passionate in your work. Because so many of people don’t know what their life passion is, it is important to understand that finding passion is worth it since, once you find it, it stops you wasting energy and helps you achieve goal after goal. Allow yourself to take the time to get more passionate in your work and life.
  4. Be more flexible, curious and open minded - as an entrepreneur, your work is all about adapting to new situations, growing and focusing on the future and on possibilities which you can use. Hence, these three traits are crucial to survival and continuous progress for any business. In the words of psychologist John Brown, “being open minded is counterintuitive”, but the brain can be trained to work that way. To begin with, these four easy tips can help you be more open minded.
  5. Keep yourself positive - it seems it is possible to be positive when your environment isn’t, starting with understanding the benefits of positivity, making lucid choices, surrounding yourself with the right people, visualising and simply being grateful. You will find these tips in this article from

Positive and Negative Part of the Solution


Understanding the potential benefits of working on beneficial, personal characteristics can have a positive impact on a company.


Finding out that you do not have those characteristics and not being able to achieve them.

Time required to implement a solution and when possible associated cost

This action requires some hours of study and practice.

Estimated Exploitation

Understanding the benefits can motivate the company members to be successful with their solution implementation.

Informative Text (Sources)

What are successful entrepreneurship characteristics? retrieved from

Seth, Shobhit (2017, December 15). 10 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs retrieved from

Kerr, Sari Pekkala; Kerr, William R.; Xu,Tina (2017). Personality Traits of Entrepreneurs: A Review of Recent Literature retrieved from Files/18-047_b0074a64-5428-479b-8c83-16f2a0e97eb6.pdf

Page, Kara, What Are the Typical Traits & Characteristics of Entrepreneurs? retrieved from

Patel, Sujan, (2017, August 21). The 5 Personality Traits All Entrepreneurs Must Have retrieved from

Bram, Thursday (2018, August 28). 5 Key Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur retrieved from

Pannagio, Tom, Embrace the Risk of Failure retrieved from

Additional Resources

  1. How to find your passion video
  2. Train your brain to be open minded
  3. How to be optimistic

Cross Border remark

Universally valid information.