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Successful Entrepreneurs Share These Five Traits According to Research

While many people believe successful entrepreneurs are born, the reality is that they are made. And they share certain traits that lead them to success regardless of their age, gender, or background.

successful entrepreneur traits

How would you feel if you were given the secret ingredients that make entrepreneurs successful?

While many people believe successful entrepreneurs are born, the reality is that they are made. And they share certain traits that lead them to success regardless of their age, gender, or background.

Based on research, the following five traits are shared by all successful entrepreneurs:

Their Business is Their Baby. Literally.

“I hate my job,” says no successful entrepreneur ever.

If there is one thing that differentiates successful entrepreneurs, it is their absolutely love and passion for their business. Their business is literally their baby, and they care for it as such.

In a particular study by researchers from Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, it was discovered that the love entrepreneurs have for their business is similar to that parents have for their children.

The study, in which the brains of a group of fathers with age ranging from 27 to 43 and a group of male entrepreneurs with age ranging from 24 to 45 were scanned, found that similar parts of the brain that was activated in the fathers when discussions involved their children was activated in the entrepreneurs when discussions involved their ventures. In fact, the study found that the amount of love entrepreneurs had for their businesses was slightly higher than that fathers felt for their children.

They Fail, Fast

We often celebrate the one-hit wonder entrepreneurs a great deal; in fact, many budding entrepreneurs mistakenly assume that they are more of a success if their first entrepreneurial venture succeeds.

Unfortunately, research disagrees with this notion.

In fact, successful entrepreneurs are more likely to be defined by their failures — and the experience they derived as a result. A study by Stanford Graduate School of Business that analyzed 2.8 million small businesses to see if past experience influenced the success of a new venture found that entrepreneurs who had run a business in the past will be significantly more successful.

So, don’t expect your first venture to be successful and see failure as a bad thing; failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is the experience that counts.

They Aren’t Young, and They Aren’t Old

If you believe in the stereotype that successful entrepreneurs are of a particular age group, think again. While the success of tech startups like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat might make people assume (wrongly) that entrepreneurship is for young people in their twenties, entrepreneurship doesn’t have a particular age.

In fact, according to research by Harvard Business Review, that analyzed the age of all business founders when their companies were founded, the average age at which founders start a business is 42. For the most successful 0.1 percent of startups (based on growth within their first five years), however, the average age of the founders when the startup was founded was 45 years old.

So yes, you got that right: the most successful startups were founded when their founders were averagely 45 years old.

So the, “I’m 40 and too old to start a business” excuse will no longer work. You can build a successful business at any age.

Entrepreneurs are Emboldened by Risk

One of the key factors that differentiate successful entrepreneurs from the average joe is that they are emboldened by risks. Whereas average joes dilly-dally when they have to take a risky decision, entrepreneurs jump at the opportunity to take a risk. This much was confirmed by another Harvard Business Review study that measured the brain activity of founders during a simple decision-making tasks. The HBR study found that successful entrepreneurs were more likely to make decisions quickly and have less inhibition when it comes to decision-making.

Successful entrepreneurs don’t run away from risk. They run at it.

Successful Entrepreneurs are Networkers

One of the key factors that differentiate successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful ones is their networking game. Successful entrepreneurs are pretty good at building a network of people with similar interests who can help advance their ideas.

In a study by Harvard Business School, that surveyed 1,300 entrepreneurs, startup founders were assessed alongside non-founders for 11 factors to understand skills and behaviors shared by successful entrepreneurs. Founders were rated “significantly higher” when it comes to the ability to build networks compared to non-founders.

In other words, if you’re going to succeed as an entrepreneur you’re not going to be able to do it on your own. Your network will play a key role in your ascent to the top.

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