<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=349935452247528&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Find out where you can get a Taste of TAB... our global events blast is on!

The Alternative Board Blog

17 Essential Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs - Part 2

May. 10, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board

In our last post, we began to review 17 Essential Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs. Here we will continue looking at additional great tips from the TAB community. 

#8 Endurance in the face of adversity

Successful entrepreneurs do not give up easily. They make both calculated and reckless bets but believe their idea will endure. They bet their last cent and more on their belief. Endurance enables all of the other traits that we see emerge. As Walt Disney said, "often, the difference between success and failure is not giving up.

PJ Timmins, Owner at TAB Ireland

#9 Flexibility

Successful entrepreneurs build a culture of listening, learning, and adapting.

They actively listen to their customers, prospects, employees, and other stakeholders, deploying strategies and processes designed for rapid learning. Business owners who succeed consistently understand that a company's only long-term sustainable advantage is its ability to learn faster than its competition.

Many companies failed during the pandemic. However, flexible organizations learned faster, converted the learning into action, and could pivot their way into new markets, new products, new services, and record success.  

Joe Zente, CEO at TAB Austin TX

#10 Neuroses

To be a highly successful entrepreneur, you have to be a bit neurotic. I find that trait to be the most interesting (almost like being schizophrenic). The exception is Howard Hughes functioning at a higher business acumen with genius, creative twist, or personality quirk.  

Two of my favorite Howard Hughes quotes every successful entrepreneur should keep in mind:

"I'm not a paranoid, deranged millionaire."

"Money can't buy happiness."

Kevin Hernandez, Owner at TAB Las Vegas, Henderson, Green Valley, Boulder City

#11 Self-discipline

As an entrepreneur, many things happen to you and your business that are out of your control. You can mitigate as best as you can but always be ready to deal with the unexpected. But what you can control is you and how you prepare every day. Be disciplined and consistent in:

  • Getting up and doing the work
  • Setting your daily/weekly/monthly/yearly goals
  • Creating and sticking to the plan
  • Prioritizing and focusing on what's important
  • Leading by example
  • Being productive
  • Managing your time
  • Having a good attitude
  • Staying calm in the face of diversity
  • Taking time for yourself

Want additional insight? Read 5 Ways Business Owners and CEOs Prepare to Seize Opportunities now to learn more


If you're disciplined with this list, you'll do a great job of managing those things in your control so you can better handle those that are not.  

John Mousseau, Owner at TAB Jersey Shore North

#12 Hiring the right team

One of the many characteristics found in successful entrepreneurs is hiring the right team of talent. It would be best if you had the right team to turn your vision into a reality. Having the right talent pool onboard is as essential as having the 'great idea.' In fact, an entrepreneur needs both.

Steve Drury, President at TAB Focused Directions 

#13 The ability to prioritize 

Successful entrepreneurs block out time each day to think about their "big rocks" and treat this time as a sacred appointment. Mentally focusing on their priorities and thinking through their next action steps increases confidence, enables better decision making, and helps focus and align their team on the same goals.

Robert Haines, Owner at TAB Boise, Idaho 

#14 Self-confidence

The following is loosely taken from my 13-award winning book, "Hunting in a Farmer's World, Celebrating the Mind of an Entrepreneur."

An essential trait of any entrepreneur is the ability to navigate in the fog. Business owners have to make decisions every day, and many of them can be costly at the least if in error, and the worst cases fatal to the business. Nonetheless, there is seldom (if ever) complete information, clear options, or black and white factors. The entrepreneur must have confidence that they lead the company in the right direction, even when the outcome is uncertain, and others are saying he or she is wrong.

Here's a gem from a recent session on Clubhouse with Elon Musk:

Q: "What words of encouragement would you give to an entrepreneur?"

A: "If you need words of encouragement, don't be an entrepreneur."

John Dini, President at MPN Incorporated 

#15 Social skills

No matter the environment, situation, or state of mind, successful entrepreneurs can make deep connections with other people within a short time. Colleagues, bankers, professionals, competitors, and strangers are made to feel comfortable, relevant, heard, and charmed when interactions occur. And the other party always remembers the exchange and how it made them feel.

 Stephen James, Owner at TAB Auckland, New Zealand

#16 Coachable

Successful entrepreneurs know that having a mentor or business coach can help them move faster and grow profitably. They often work with someone who has "been there and done that" to avoid the mistakes others have made. They will seek someone or a group of people they can meet with and problem-solve rather than do it alone. The world of business is too competitive to try going it alone. Your competitors have help, and you should, too, if you're an entrepreneur.   

Jim Morris, Owner at TAB Tennessee Valley Region

#17 Tenacity 

The one thing that differentiates the successful entrepreneur is tenacity. The road to success is mined with traps that can lead to failure, and inevitably you end up stepping on some of these. The successful entrepreneur recognizes that this is part of the journey and has the tenacity to keep going, even when seemingly insurmountable challenges present themselves. For a successful entrepreneur, failure is never an option as they have the determination to keep going and find other roads to success.

Steve Davies, CEO at TAB Long Island














Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board


Written by The Alternative Board

Related posts

Business Success: Why Having an Accountability Partner is Key
Mar. 11, 2024 | Posted by Fernando Herran
In my time working with business owners, I’ve found out that in general, a common theme is facing challenges and key decision-making alone. On the other hand, I have also found entrepreneurs who have...
How a Global Organization Didn’t Miss a Beat During the Pandemic
Apr. 13, 2022 | Posted by Dave Scarola
I am fresh off of a TAB Summit in Amsterdam where we met in person for the first time in over 2 years with 20 Master Partners representing 16 countries. What a magnificent gathering. It was great to...
This Addiction may be Costing You Millions
Jan. 7, 2022 | Posted by Joe Zente, TAB Austin
Let’s be brutally honest. When you sell…: Do you feel anxious to tell buyers why your product, service, or company is great? Are you more comfortable talking & presenting versus asking tough,...
Tips on Grooming Your Business Successor
Aug. 2, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
It may not seem possible now, but the day will come when you no longer run your business (either as a CEO or business owner). Recognizing this inevitability is the first step towards selecting and...
What to Tell Your Employees When Selling the Business
Jul. 29, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Selling a business is often a complicated process. One complicating factor for any CEO or business owner is determining what to tell employees about the pending sale, as well as when and how much....
When It’s Time To Sell Your Business
Jul. 15, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
After all the hard work that goes into starting and maintaining a business, deciding years later to sell that business can be among the biggest challenges in a CEO or business owner’s career. You’re...
How to Ask Customers for Referrals
Jun. 7, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Spend all the money in your marketing budget and you’ll hopefully see some favorable results, particularly in new customer acquisition. But this approach will also consume a great deal of time,...
14 Habits Of Highly Successful Business Owners
May. 21, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Success doesn't happen by chance. Highly successful entrepreneurs share many habits, and they often incorporate small practices into their daily routine. We asked our TAB members what habits have...
17 Essential Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs - Part 1
May. 10, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
While a great idea and some capital may be essential for a successful business, the most critical ingredient for a successful venture remains the entrepreneur. This is why many successful venture...
Managing Family Business Conflicts
Apr. 29, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Small business owners and CEOs have plenty to contend with as part of their normal daily operations. When the business is family-owned, a different crop of challenges may emerge. That’s because “the...