10 Character Traits of Successful Business Owners

Most of us dream of being like Steve Jobs, but not everyone is as successful as he is. If you took on the challenge of owning a business, you should bear in mind some personality and attitude essentials that will determine the success of your work. 

Although almost anyone can start a business, in a sea of enthusiastic beginnings only some of them last. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, up to 50% of small businesses collapse within four years from their start. What makes all the difference between these 50%? 

We are all different, therefore not everyone can be a successful businessman, but just being a businessman suggests almost a certain personality type. These are the crucial character traits of any successful business owner.


The truth is, being a businessman takes nerves as much as it takes courage. “Learn from your mistakes. The number one reason I see entrepreneurs failing isn’t because they make mistakes, but they keep on making the same ones over and over again”, says Neil Patel

One of the major reasons why young companies fail is because after a while it becomes harder to maintain the initial business idea. The setbacks become overwhelming and the faith is weakening. 

Use your boldness and dexterity to overcome as many obstacles at all times, but the truth is that every business owner runs into difficulties that he can’t overcome that easily. At this point, the only difference between success and failure is how ready you are to give up. As Winston Churchill said: “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” 


Openness to criticism is the other face of creativity. 

Having ideas is one thing, but making them come to life means partially letting go of them. 

Once you put your work out there, prepare for all kinds of reactions, developments, and sets of circumstances. If you bare this in mind, that very uncertainty can become your friend, leading you to positive experiences and strengthening your business. It is important to develop a thick skin when negative non constructive criticism arises, and it will.

It is also argued in an in-depth 2018 study, “Identifying personality traits associated with entrepreneurial success: does gender matter?” that openness to experience and criticism is among the core personality traits connected to entrepreneurial success.

Source: https://www.cairn.info/revue-journal-of-innovation-economics-2018-3-page-169.htm


As Mark Zuckerberg once said, “In a world that’s changing so quickly, the biggest risk you can take is not taking any risk.” 

The keyword of the business climate is: change. Therefore, paradoxically, you always have to be ready for change. If you don’t embrace it, someone else will. And embracing change itself implies a risk because every change is a step into the unknown. 

On top of all, it goes hand in hand with creativity. “Without risk, there is no innovation”, and elimination of risk is a guarantee of failure.

On the brighter side, if you combine the courage to take a risk from with insight, market awareness, and calculation, you may move ahead rapidly fast. How so? Because the reality is that this 

is a very delicate skill that few are able to


It’s just like Leonard C. Green stated in Entrepreneur, “Entrepreneurs are not risk-takers. They are calculated, risk-takers.”


How strongly do you believe in your capabilities to learn new skills? Confidence is an essential prerequisite to entrepreneurship because it combines optimism and self-reliance, which can be recognized in any successful entrepreneur. 

Confidence is a skill that you can learn like any other. So, are you ready to kaizen your way to impeccable self-esteem and raise your business to another level?

Having a business of your own is the highest form of believing in your ideas, and the only thing required for it to flourish is not letting go of that mindset. And, as the Guardian put it, “Understand that

 confidence is a frame of mind.”

In order to trust your employees, they have to trust you. In order for anyone to trust you, you have to trust yourself. 

Failure is a normality in the business world. But, as Brian Dean says, “Yes, you should keep going and not give up. But, you need to take time and reflect on WHY you failed. If I really reflected on the ‘why did you fail?’ question, I could have found success a lot earlier.”


The definition of being on top is beatin

g every competition. Competitiveness often carries negative connotations, but, in reality, it is necessary for surviving in any business. 

Source: https://www.practicalecommerce


Know your customers, know the competition. Keeping an eye on what your competition is doing right, as well as their common mistakes can easily turn into a recipe for success. Analyzing your competition in terms of price, quality, and service gives the advantage of differentiating your own strong points. However, it is important to not always focus on the competition because it can lead to a lack of innovation on your part. Analyze and then do it your own way.


“Each individual has unique gifts, talents, and skills, but when we bring them to the table and share them for a common purpose, it can give companies a real competitive advantage”: this a quote from a book Pulling “Together: 10 Rules for High-Performance Teamwork” by John J. Murphy.

Why is teamwork so important? As mentioned, having reliable workers is equally important as having what it takes individually to be a businessman. What is better than one remarkable mind? – A group of remarkable minds. 

The truth is that in business, even a genius can accomplish hardly anything alone. This is why it is extremely important to be a team player and, as the head of the group, be the source of the tone and the enthusiasm of the whole team.

Having a team will also provide multiple perspectives. A good manager must always bear in mind to never allow personal ambition to harm the team, simply because it is not worth it – a truly good team and work environment are irreplaceable. 


The world of business is cruel and l

eaves no place or time for hesitation. In that kind of surrounding, being decisive is imperative to success.  

study on Linkedin by Jane Benston argues why decisiveness is so important for leadership credibility: appearing indecisive implies a lack of confidence and brings experience into question.

The bottom line here is grasping the importance of seizing every opportunity that comes your way, because know that if you don’t, in a blink of an eye you’ll be seeing the next guy doing it.


Anyone who owns a business has to have their ducks in a row. The nature of business is embodied in the movement towards the future, and the most successful business-owners are outlived by their companies. The last most noble goal is to prepare a lifetime work for passing it on into the future in the cradle of a new generation.

But that is a distant, final destination as the journey is long, and the tides are changing every day. 

What does it take to get to the shor

e? To be realistic, there is no shore – because a businessman is swimming in an infinite sea of ups and downs, chasing success like the sun. Success is defined differently for each individual, and that is a crucial when it comes to setting goals. After all, goals are a map to success. 

A 2012 research regarding the role of goal orientation in organizational learning contemplates the importance of goals within any organization: “Groups’ goal orientation norms can become embedded in the organizational culture, which impacts the ways in which learning processes are institutionalized throughout the organization”.


The ratio between the strength of motivation and the strength of will may be a compelling indicator in the career of a business owner. It is the difference between dedicating extra hours to work and the certain appearance of a temptation to give up when things get tough.

MSG (Management Study Guide) attentively indicates that radiating motivation is also important for the work environment, as it improves the level of efficiency of employees. The most viable evidence of a motivation-enhanced environment are: 

  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced cost of operations 
  • Improved efficiency

Therefore, motivation is important for the employees, just as for the manager, or even more so. An interesting theory that speculates motivation in business Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation, states a similar message: 

“There are certain factors in the workplace that cause job satisfaction while a separate set of factors cause dissatisfaction.” One of the key positive factors is motivation, hence the term for positive stimulants: motivators.

Source: https://expertprogrammanagement.com/2018/04/herzbergs-two-factor-theory/

Source: https://www.managementstudyhq.com/herzbergs-two-factor-theory-of-motivation-and-hygiene.html


There’s a quick overview of what it takes to be a successful business owner. Every time you feel on the verge of giving up from your work, remember your persistence.

If an interesting partner offers you a possibility of cooperation, but the worm of skepticism comes in the way, remind yourself that a good entrepreneur is open to new experiences. Also, don’t forget that having a business alone is a risk, so there is no reason to avoid risk in it, while also being attentive.

Confidence will give you a look and a spirit of a giant that can’t be shaken; competitiveness and teamwork are two key factors to building relationships towards others in your business, and motivation is the fuel that will guide you through this journey. So where are you at in your business, what are some of these traits that you excel at or need to work on? Let us know in the comments below.

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