The Must-Have Qualities That Make an Extraordinary Entrepreneur

It’s not necessarily a wealthy background or higher education that dictates whether or not you’ll be an extraordinary entrepreneur. Many successful entrepreneurs have shared their story of starting a business — and social class and money is not a common denominator.

Instead, it’s key personal qualities that help budding business owners to succeed — 5 of which we’ll look at below.


Ambition is a primary factor among entrepreneurs as it’s this quality that drives them onto the self-employed career path in the first place. You’ll have an internal drive to work hard and put in the long hours to make a success out of your chosen venture. And, no matter how successful your business becomes, it’s important to stay ambitious as there is always more to improve on. For example, when Richard Branson started at age 16, he launched a student magazine that eventually — after many years of hard work — helped to kickstart his Virgin business empire.


As a business owner, you will inevitably encounter several obstacles, yet it’s those difficult moments that help us to grow and see different perspectives. Keep in mind the reasons why you launched your business to motivate you and guide you through the pitfalls. A great example of perseverance is when Walt Disney set out to make the book Mary Poppins into a movie. The author Pamela Travers had no interest in selling Mary Poppins, yet Disney repeatedly visited her in London for the next 16 years until he got a yes.


During periods of business setbacks, you may feel defeated and unmotivated, yet this is when you need to show how resilient you are. This quality is a mixture of hardiness, resourcefulness and optimism. When J. K. Rowling was trying to get her first book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone published, she was rejected by 12 publishers before Bloomsbury finally accepted her.


Your success in becoming an entrepreneur is largely determined by the number of people who trust you, so integrity is perhaps the most valued and respected quality for an entrepreneur. No matter what stage of the business journey you’re at, trust brings financial advisors who are willing to lend you money, employees who want to work for you and customers willing to buy your product. When Pandora Media faced bankruptcy, founder Tim Westergren refused to give up. With his history of integrity behind him, 50 members of staff stuck by his side and worked for free until the business was restored.


Don’t underestimate the power of people skills. As an entrepreneur, you’ll need the ability to listen, communicate and relate to others on a personal level to effectively share your vision with employees, partners, clients and the media. These skills extend out to problem-solving abilities, empathy for others and the charisma to motivate your team towards the common goal. For example, Oprah Winfrey may well be the most charismatic entrepreneur in America. Her fans look up to her as a role model as she is highly emotionally intelligent, relatable and inspirational.

There you have it — if you’re ambitious, perseverant, resilient, and have integrity and excellent people skills, you’re halfway there to becoming an extraordinary entrepreneur.

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