Do you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?

What personality traits do entrepreneurs have, and what skills does it take to become an entrepreneur? There are all kinds of entrepreneurs, but those who are successful have some things in common. They have personal, interpersonal and job skills that help them succeed in everything they do.

What personality traits do entrepreneurs typically have? What skills do you need to become an entrepreneur?

There are all kinds of entrepreneurs, but successful business owners have some things in common. They have personal, interpersonal and job skills that help them succeed in everything they do.

Personal skills


They are full of energy. They often work non-stop and have a greater capacity for work than the average person. They're perseverant, imaginative and not afraid to take risks. They are born driven!


They crave social success. They are positive and optimistic about their dreams and believe in their abilities.


Learning, researching, finding contacts, knocking on the right doors. Successful entrepreneurs don't let a problem stand in their way. They are resourceful and know how to make things happen.

Sense of accountability

To make it in business, you have to be accountable, deal with the consequences of your decisions and keep your promises.


Entrepreneurs are often eccentric! They are original, creative and innovative. Successful entrepreneurs have no shortage of ideas when it comes to setting themselves apart. They usually have lots of ideas and look into the feasibility of even seemingly farfetched propositions.


Business is more than just a game of reason. Intuition can often be the road to success. Those who succeed look beyond appearances and trust their intuition.


Being flexible and able to adapt quickly to new situations are key to succeeding in business.


Successful entrepreneurs are usually very self-motivated. They can work on their own, making optimal use of the resources available to them. They can manage and optimize their time and know how to organize themselves and not forget anything.

Risk appetite

Starting your own business is risky—everyone knows that. Those who do it anyway have a well-developed risk appetite. They are competitive and like to take on challenges.

Job skills

Decision making

Making decisions is a basic part of being an entrepreneur, but successful entrepreneurs can make decisions fast. They can quickly identify their options, analyze them, make what they believe to be the right decision and accept the consequences.


Successful entrepreneurs know how to delegate as well as manage. They lead and know how to rally their employees around a common goal. They trust their employees and empower them by delegating responsibility and authority to them.


Successful entrepreneurs organize work, assign tasks, coordinate and achieve objectives, and put many different pieces together to form a cohesive unit.


Successful entrepreneurs know business opportunities when they see them and do what it takes to seize them. They are the first to take the leap and rarely let opportunities pass them by.


They love to predict and anticipate, trusting both their judgment and intuition. They are always looking ahead and contemplating various scenarios so they can edge out the competition in the race for new business opportunities.

Interpersonal skills


Those who succeed are good communicators. They send clear, consistent messages. They are also good listeners who pick right up on non-verbal language.


The art of negotiation is being able to convince others and sell your idea.


Successful entrepreneurs surround themselves with the right people. They build solid, competent, responsible and engaged teams. They choose people who complement them and make up for their own shortcomings. They also understand the importance of creating a good network of business contacts.

Build on your strengths and develop new skills!

Some entrepreneurs are born with the skills they need to succeed, while others have to develop them. To develop their business to its full potential, they often have to learn management skills through training programs or a very good network of strategic partners (mentors, backers, etc.) and a team of experts (attorneys, accountants, etc.).

If you are driven and hardworking, go for it! You can always develop your skills through training or an advisor or mentor. Successful entrepreneurs are always updating their skills, as well.

Want to start your own business? For a detailed explanation of every step of the business start-up process, see the Desjardins interactive business plan.