You might be an entrepreneur if: 10 characteristics of successful entrepreneurs

An idea person with passion and energy for a business venture may succeed as an entrepreneur if s/he can solve problems, handle risk, manage resources, know their limitations and learn from mistakes.

Business man holding a mini glass globeHave you ever wondered if you have what it takes to start a business? Here are some indicators from Michigan State University Extension that may help you decide.

You might be an entrepreneur if:

  1. You have passion for your business idea. If you are going into business for yourself, it is important that you believe in your product or service and are able to articulate its benefits to others. People respond to people who have energy for an idea and are able to get others to get excited about it as well.
  2. You wake up at night thinking about your business idea. Entrepreneurs never stop thinking about their business — existing, planned, or future. They research new options, make lists and take notes about how they can improve upon their current concept.
  3. You see opportunity in problems. When other people talk about a problem they are having, an entrepreneur thinks, “How can I create something to fix that?” or “How can I pull together resources to take care of that?” When an entrepreneur encounters an issue or barrier s/he finds a way around it and consequently may innovate a new way of doing things.
  4. You learn from your mistakes. Entrepreneurs approach errors with an open mind. Instead of beating themselves up, they figure out what went wrong, how not to do it again and how to do things better going forward.
  5. You are comfortable with risk. There are no guarantees in business. Making informed decisions is one thing, but there is always a level of risk in undertaking a business venture.
  6. You are a social creature. Many entrepreneurs find their success in making connections, building relationships and networking with others.
  7. You know your skills, talents and resources and how to use them. That means capitalizing on formal or informal education, using life experiences and taking inventory of available physical and financial resources that can be put to use in the business.
  8. You know your limitations. One person cannot do it all. A savvy business person knows who to engage as a partner to round out the expertise needed. You may be good at marketing but need help with handling the accounting. Finding the people (even if it means paying them) to make a business successful is an important part of the process.
  9. You get energy back from working on your business idea. Although starting a business is hard work and takes long hours over an extended period of time, for entrepreneurs there is satisfaction in the process of putting the business together.
  10. You end up making money from your business. If you do not, you may find you have a great hobby that you enjoy.

Michigan State University Extension offers educational programs and assistance to organizations in areas of strategic planning, board member professional development and many other topics. To learn more about this and other programs, contact an expert in your area, visit or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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