5 personality traits of an entrepreneur

By BBC Maestro

Last updated: 07 March 2022

The world has never been more ripe for innovation. Today’s entrepreneurs are equipped with some of the best technology, tools and knowledge at their fingertips. They’re business savvy with ideas at the ready. But what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?

What is an entrepreneur?

 The word entrepreneur was coined by French economist and businessman, Jean-Bapiste, in the 18th century. It is a combination of two Latin words - ­‘entre’ meaning ‘to swim out’ and ‘prendes’ meaning ‘to grasp’.

An entrepreneur is someone who sets up a business or multiple businesses, with the aim of making a profit. Anyone can become an entrepreneur, as long as they have an idea that they’re passionate about and the ambition to bring it to life. As British entrepreneur and businessman, Peter Jones, aptly puts it in his online business course, “entrepreneurs are made, not born”.

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Common traits of entrepreneurs

Many different kinds of people have successfully set up their own businesses. There are certain personality types that seem to be made for a life of entrepreneurship from the start. Let’s examine more closely the common traits that successful entrepreneurs tend to embody.

1. Passionate

It’s crucial to be excited by your own idea. Because if you’re not, who will be? Channel the belief and passion in your idea into everything you do to build your business, and it will be evident to potential investors as well as the people you want to buy your product or service. “The more you give, the more you’ll get back in return,” says Peter Jones in his BBC Maestro course. The excitement around your business idea will keep driving you forward, through even the most challenging of times.


2. Strong work ethic

When you are committed to your idea, you want to make it happen. The hunger to get your business off the ground means that it may at times feel all-consuming. But good entrepreneurs are successful because they are dedicated to putting the work in. “Successful people go that extra mile. Perseverance, sheer determination and tenacity are really core characteristics of every entrepreneur,” says Peter Jones in his course.


3. Motivated

Entrepreneurs are self-starters. They’re motivated to get the job done, in good times and bad. Resilience plays a role here too. Being able to pick yourself back up when you’ve been knocked is invaluable. And there will be plenty of knocks. But remember that the wins are worth it.

As new successes or challenges arise, try to always keep one eye on your business milestones. This can help keep you retain focus as you navigate the road ahead. Motivation will encourage you to be proactive and make things happen. Once you have a bit of momentum, that first business milestone may come quicker than you think.


4. Keen to learn

No one can know everything, but we can learn every single day. From our conversations and surroundings to our past experiences, we are constantly absorbing information and processing it. Try to look at failures as learnings - however big or small. Treat them as an opportunity to do better. Try to learn something new every day - something relevant to your business and something not. You never know what ideas or solutions being open to the world can bring.  


5. Open to feedback

“Meet everybody. Have conversations. You don’t know where it’ll lead,” says Peter Jones. Get feedback from friends, family, mentors, potential customers, investors who support you... and investors who don’t. You can ask what’s going well, what isn’t, and what you could do better. Gaining a new sense of perspective is never a waste of time. Reflect on your feedback and, most importantly, act on it too. It may bring your idea in a new direction, and that’s ok. “It’s business,” says Peter Jones, “you need to be prepared to take a detour.”


Now it’s the time to get brainstorming. Start thinking about what your next great idea could be. Maybe it’s an everyday tool that’s accessible to everybody, or perhaps it’s a niche service for a particular audience. Consider the impact you want your idea to have on people around the world, run it by others for their opinions, push it through and believe in it. Who knows, it could be the very idea that changes your life.

Course Notes
Course Notes

Learn more about starting your own business

No matter how good your big idea may be, there are critical skills that underpin the path to building a successful business. Peter Jones is a British entrepreneur and businessman, and he’s helping aspiring business owners of all types find their niche.

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