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13 Traits of Highly Effective Startup Entrepreneurs

Last updated:
8th Feb, 2018
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13 Traits of Highly Effective Startup Entrepreneurs

  So, you have a great idea and are ready to get your startup off the ground. However, even with a terrific concept and a strong business plan, you won’t get very far without being an entrepreneur at heart. Before trying to kick-start your new company, ask yourself if you truly have what it takes. After all, even wildly successful people like Steve Jobs faced all kinds of adversities before achieving their dreams.

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While you certainly don’t have to possess every single one of these, it helps a lot to possess as many of these 13 traits as possible, if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur:

  1. Willingness to Take Risks  

No, you don’t have to be a skydiving enthusiast to be an effective entrepreneur. However, you must be willing to put yourself out there and put things on the line. With great risk often come great rewards, but you have to truly embrace risk in order to achieve that.
The 13 Traits of Highly Effective Startup Entrepreneurs UpGrad Blog

  1. Insatiable Curiosity  

If you left your learning days behind in school, you’re unlikely to do very well as an entrepreneur. The most successful startup entrepreneurs are naturally curious people. They tend to be voracious readers and always seem to know what is happening in their area of interest.

  1. Genuine Passion  

When your startup is based on something that truly excites you, it’s far more likely to gain momentum. One thing that made Steve Jobs so effective was his clear and sincere enthusiasm for his products, which was on full display during his unforgettable keynote speeches. When you exude a natural passion for what you do, others can’t help but want to help you succeed.

  1. No Fear of Failure  

Every successful entrepreneur has failed more times than most people you know. Indeed, those who are truly good at this line of work see failures for what they are: stepping stones on the way to success. One of the core principles of being an entrepreneur is bringing something new and different to the world. You can’t be afraid of losing, to be able to do this, or else there is no way that you will get anywhere.

  1. Natural Confidence  

It’s crucial to understand the difference between arrogance and confidence as an entrepreneur. Someone who is arrogant believes that they will come out ahead no matter what – and they’re usually willing to do anything to make it happen. On the other hand, someone who is confident believes they’ll probably win but knows that they will be fine even if they don’t.

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  1. Persistence  

This point ties in nicely with the previous two. Since the best entrepreneurs embrace failure, they also know to keep trying no matter what. They understand that losing doesn’t mean that the game is over. You have to be willing to dust off and pick yourself up again if you ever want to be the owner of a successful startup. Instead of bemoaning the failures, embrace them as signs that you keep trying.
The 13 Traits of Highly Effective Startup Entrepreneurs UpGrad Blog

  1. Flexibility  

If you expect the progress of your business to be linear and continual, you’re not going to do well as an entrepreneur. A major part of getting a startup off the ground is riding along through the peaks and valleys. Even the best-laid plans can be upended in the blink of an eye, so you have to be willing to go with the flow to a certain extent. This may include switching course suddenly to keep your company afloat.

  1. Networking Comes Naturally  

As any successful entrepreneur can attest, success, to a large extent, depends on who you know. If you don’t enjoy getting out there and meeting people, you’re unlikely to make a go of it as a startup entrepreneur. Whether you’re technically on the clock or not, you should always look for ways to reach out to and connect with others. You never know who will be able to help you in the future.

  1. Ability to Connect  

Even if you have a brilliant idea, it will fall on deaf ears if you can’t convey it properly to your intended audience. While you can always hire salespeople, it helps to naturally be able to connect with people on a personal level. This allows you to gain their trust and to effectively explain what your idea is all about.

  1. Good with Money  

Until your startup develops firm footing, you will probably be dealing with a shoestring budget. One reason that so many startups fail is that those running them know nothing about money management. As an entrepreneur, being financially savvy is a major plus, and it will serve you well.

  1. A Dreamer  

When people like Bill Gates and Elon Musk come to mind, the terms “visionary” and “dreamer” come to mind. Indeed, the best entrepreneurs often come across as almost unrealistic with the possibilities that they see. However, this quality is precisely what contributes to some of the most amazing ideas and developments. As an entrepreneur, you should look for opportunity everywhere – you are then sure to find it and then some.

  1. Decisive  

It is important to be decisive when trying to get a startup off of the ground. While you should certainly try to weigh the pros and cons of any decision, you must also be capable of acting when the time is right. Sometimes, these decisions will be difficult. For example, you may have to scrap what looked like a promising idea or even let go of an employee. Without decisiveness, you will find yourself spinning your tires half the time and missing out on all kinds of opportunities.

  1. Keeps the Employees Happy!

One of the most key things to make your startup a success is the work environment the entrepreneur can develop within the company. The startup which has a good work culture has a higher success ratio than others. This is the must-have quality to become a successful entrepreneur. Being a friendly entrepreneur is tough, but it pays off at the end. For example, once your company has started earning enough profits, try to thank your employees by taking them to a corporate event or organising a party. This would motivate the team, and the company might also see a healthy and happy growth.
The 13 Traits of Highly Effective Startup Entrepreneurs UpGrad Blog

Whether you naturally possess a few of the traits above or nearly all of them, don’t fear: You can easily develop and hone these traits too. Refer back to this list often to keep your spirits up, and remind yourself again and again that some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs struggled for years first.

If you want to learn more about marketing and entrepreneurship, Liverpool Business School & upGrad offers Master of Business Administration (MBA) Liverpool Business School which helps you to transform your career. The program provides 1-on-1 mentorship from industry leaders, 1-week immersion program at University campus, dual credentials (MBA from LBS & PGPM from IMT), network with peers at offline basecamps and more.


Helen Cartwright

Blog Author
Helen Cartwright is a passionate blogger, who excels in the Digital Marketing and Technology niche. When not wired in marketing strategies she ghost-write for a variety of authors who have their work published on leading online media channels such as The Huffington Post and
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