Developing characteristics of successful entrepreneurs can help you establish a successful business. Here’s a list of the traits successful entrepreneurs say are essential when starting a business, in order of how frequently they are mentioned.
- Creative* – concerning science, product, and service ideas as well as ideas for dealing with challenges
- Risk-taking and good at managing risk*
- Visionary and good at communicating vision*
- Good networker
- Confident, competitive, disciplined
*Traits mentioned specifically for biotechnology
Alfred L. “12 Characteristics & Personality Traits Great Entrepreneurs Share.” Hubspot.
Biolyse. “4 Must Have Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs.” Biolyse. August 22, 2018.
Bortz D. “9 Qualities of an entrepreneur.” Monster.com.
Brennan P. “Defining a Successful Biotech Entrepreneur.” Grit Daily. November 17, 2020.
Conkle B. “10 Personality Traits That All Successful Entrepreneurs Share.“ Jeff Bullas. Win at Business and Life in a Digital World. January 16, 2021.
MacRae A. “10 Common Traits of an Entrepreneur.” Startup Nation. September 26, 2021.
Minority Business Development Agency (MDBA). “8 traits of successful entrepreneurs—Do you have what it takes?” U.S. Department of Commerce. September 2006–August 2020.
Patel S. “The 5 Personality Traits All Entrepreneurs Must Have.” Entrepreneur. August 21, 2017.
Shimasaki C. “6 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs.” Biosource Consulting. July 24, 2018.
Walsack J. Entrepreneurs Reveal the 6 Personality Traits That Make Them Successful. December 8, 2020.
Traits or behaviors that interfere with advancing in science or entrepreneurship
- Being overly nice—for example, doing more than your part of shared work—can work against you. A group of women graduate students in life sciences confirmed that a personal style of excessive “niceness” sometimes worked against them, leading to other scientists trying to take advantage of them.
- Not letting others know when you need help, especially when not asking is costly to a team project or your own advancement. Being hesitant to ask for help is a career detriment.
- Not putting forward your ideas at work due to low confidence or fear that these ideas will not be well received interferes with advancement in the sciences.
To counteract tendencies like these, view our readings on self-promotion, confidence, and assertiveness under the Communications topic.