Have you ever wondered why some people are able to leave their 9-to-5 jobs behind or start their own businesses while others are not? What makes one person more likely to be an entrepreneur than another? It’s fair to say that those who have the courage and drive to strike out on their own in such a challenging job market are made of particularly special stuff. But what, exactly, sets these fearless individuals apart?

We know that entrepreneurs tend to be risk takers, and indeed, studies show that risk is one of the primary factors that distinguishes successful business owners from wannabe ones. However, we also know that entrepreneurs need more than just a willingness to take risks— they need specific personality traits as well.

Some people might be willing to take risks but not have the other qualities necessary for success. After all, there are many examples of people who take chances but don’t succeed because they didn’t have other essential characteristics. So what does it take to become a successful entrepreneur? Let’s find out!

Passion and Motivation

Successful entrepreneurs are passionate about their businesses, and many are passionate about the products or services they sell. The more you love what you do, the more likely you are to put in the hours necessary to make your business succeed.

Indeed, passion is one of the most important traits for entrepreneurs because it won’t just drive you to put in the hours—it can also help you overcome the inevitable challenges and obstacles you will face on the way to success. Passion is often what’s needed to keep you motivated when you are up against impossible odds and are facing long hours, a lack of sleep, and a generally hectic lifestyle.

There are many examples of successful entrepreneurs who are passionate about their products. Take Elon Musk, for example, who is famous for his passion for electric vehicles (EVs). Musk is the co-founder and CEO of Tesla, a company that designs and manufactures EVs. In fact, Musk has such a passion for EVs that he originally wanted to name the company “EV.com” because he thought it was the obvious choice!

Risk Tolerance

Before you can take risks, you have to be willing to take risks. This might sounds obvious, but it’s an important distinction. There are many people who would like to take risks but who lack the risk tolerance to do so.

Risk tolerance is the amount of risk you are willing to take on in your life and business— and it can vary from person to person. Some entrepreneurs are very successful in taking risks in their businesses but would never dream of taking big financial risks in their daily lives. Other entrepreneurs are extremely confident in their abilities and are happy to take risks in their businesses and in their personal lives.

While it might sound obvious, risk tolerance can be determined, to a large extent, by your personality type. For example, some personality types are naturally more risk averse (such as ISTJ and ISFJ types) while others are more comfortable taking risks (such as ESTJ and ENTJ types).

Drive and Ambition

There are many different ways to define ambition, but it’s the common bond that links together many of the other traits on this list. When people think of the word “ambition”, they might think of people who crave power and control—but this is not the correct definition.

Ambition is best understood as a drive to achieve something that you are passionate about. The dictionary definition of ambition is “a strong desire to achieve something”. Entrepreneurs are people who have a drive to achieve success in their own businesses. This means that successful entrepreneurs need to have ambition—and it also means that you can be ambitious without wanting to start a business or be an entrepreneur. Indeed, ambitious people can fit into many different career paths and settings, from the boardroom to the classroom. With the right combination of traits, ambitious people can succeed in any field they choose.


Many people talk about the importance of having a “growth mindset”, but what exactly is this? A growth mindset is the belief that people can always learn and improve, even if they have been doing something for many years. This means that a person with a growth mindset believes that they are not “good” at something simply because they have been doing it for a long time. This is important because a growth mindset can help people to overcome the challenges they face in their careers and businesses.

Entrepreneurs are often very successful people, and they have the ability to motivate and inspire those around them. However, the path to success is rarely a smooth one, and entrepreneurs must have the ability to deal with the inevitable setbacks that come along the way. Successful entrepreneurs have what psychologists call a “growth mindset”—they are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and are open to learning from mistakes.


Thanks to the internet and the declining cost of setting up new businesses, entrepreneurship has become much more accessible in recent years. But the question remains: what does it take to succeed as an entrepreneur? It’s clear that success comes from more than just a willingness to take risks. Instead, it requires a combination of important traits, including passion, risk tolerance, drive, ambition, and self-awareness.

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