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Some people are meant to lead. Others are meant to follow. Thankfully, the world needs both. How do you know if you’d make a good entrepreneur? Beyond the obvious need for an expertise in some area, I’ve come to recognize five essential characteristics shared by most successful entrepreneurs I know. 


Being an entrepreneur is hard work, and being a successful entrepreneur is even more challenging. Things like growing your business and managing employees require a lot of hard work, and often the only person there to help you is yourself. Your thirst for success has to be stronger than the hardships you face. That’s what it means to be determined. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It’s the most work you’ll ever do.


When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to face a lot of rejection and failure. Your confidence has to be strong enough to withstand these blows. Otherwise, you’re going to retreat at the first sign of hardship instead of bouncing back and continuing to run towards the finish line. The key to being confident is believing in yourself and your business, no matter what.


If you’re afraid of failure, then you’re not ready to become an entrepreneur because being an entrepreneur means taking risks and constantly flirting with the idea of failure. Risks aren’t just financial, either. You have to be willing to put your heart and soul into what you do to make it work. After all, big risks often mean big rewards, and you have to constantly be going after that big reward.


Being passionate about your business and loving the everyday work that you do is what fuels your determination. There will be many grueling hours and thankless jobs you must do to reach success. But being passionate about what you do is going to get you through it.


Finally, being a successful entrepreneur requires a little bit of superpower in the form of being able to see the future. You have to have the vision to see where your industry is going and what challenges face you along the way. Vision is all about being able to tackle each day as it comes while remaining focused on the end goal.

There are countless entrepreneurs; however, there are far fewer successful entrepreneurs. Understanding the challenges and costs of entrepreneurship can help you determine if entrepreneurship is for you — or if you’d be happier in a role that didn’t require as much risk and commitment. Again, either is fine. Being happy in your career is more important than being a boss.