What Makes A Successful Entrepreneur Different From Others?

You have a great business idea, and you’re ready to bring it to fruition.

And, you don’t just want to launch—you want your idea to be successful, and you know it has immense potential to take off. After all, many believe that entrepreneurship is the best way to move towards a brighter future; just ask the Elon Musks of the world whose startups later turned into global empires.

It’s so easy to focus on success that we often forget eight out of ten businesses fail in the first eighteen months. This leads to the obvious question:

What separates the Teslas from the mom-and-pop stores that are likely to close within the year?

How do successful entrepreneurs differ from the ones who don’t make it?

The simple answer is that it’s all about mindset. Having a good idea is only half the journey; successful entrepreneurs have a specific way of thinking that helps them achieve their goals. Below, let’s explore some of the things that characterize successful entrepreneurs, so you can learn what to do to help you emulate the winners.

Be Passionate

what makes a successful entrepreneur - Passion

You have to love what you do if you’re going to do it for long. Simply put, you need to be passionate about your business if you want to see it last. In this vein, the first thing that every budding entrepreneur needs to do is find out what interests him or her— and stick with it.

Every good leader should have a vision of what they want to achieve, and successful entrepreneurs are no exception. Imagine your passion coming to life; what does it look like? How does your business take shape around it? This process will make it easy for you to carve out a path for your business, and give you a general direction on the steps you need to take to help it grow.

Carve Out a Niche

Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to cater to the needs of all kinds of customers. While attempting to please everyone is a lofty ideal, it’s not really practical for you to make every person in the world happy—this “strategy” will most likely result in failed campaigns and big disappointments. Successful entrepreneurs, for one, don’t do this; instead, they find their specific audience’s pain points and position themselves in the niche that can solve those problems.

Think about your skillset and the value you can provide others. Then, create an archetype of your ideal audience; outline the specific characteristics of the people you believe will most connect with what you offer, so you can understand who you’re selling to (and how). Not only will this help to differentiate you from competitors, but you’ll also find that catering to the right niche the first time around will help your business profit in the long run.

Delegate Work

Initially, new business owners have to wear many hats—they’re the sales team and customer success rep, the content writer and the project manager. However, there are only twenty-four hours in a day, and it can become tedious if not downright impossible to manage all of these aspects of a business on your own.

Management is a skill that develops over time, but successful entrepreneurs usually have a knack for it from the get-go. And, skilled entrepreneurs know how to assess their own strengths and weaknesses in addition to those of the people around them—and then delegate accordingly. Take stock of what you’re capable of accomplishing and what needs to be passed off to others. The earlier you delegate tasks, the more efficiently your business will be run.

Find a Good Mentor

A positive mentor can be the difference between a successful entrepreneur and one who doesn’t make it.

Studies show that having a mentor from a “top-performing” company can make your own chances of reaching the top three times higher. And, 92% of small business owners think that having a mentor is directly linked to their business’s growth. Mentors show you the ropes and share their own experiences for you to learn from, whether they teach you about the mistakes they’ve made or shortcuts that helped them along the way.

Find a mentor from whom you can take pointers, so that you can eventually become a role model for the people who work under you. You’ll learn how to properly guide your employees, which will further help you delegate tasks. And, you’ll have a better understanding of the kinds of people who will help propel your business forward, as you’ll be able to compare their qualities to those of your mentor.

Master Your Mind

Our mind is the most important part of our being, but sometimes, it seems to work against us. It is the center of our creativity and the thing comes up with our winning business ideas in the first place, yet it’s also the facet that is most vulnerable to outside influence.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but mastering your own thoughts and impulses is a skill that can be developed over time—and one that successful entrepreneurs make a priority. There are lots of ted talks on this subject that attest to this; try watching a few if you feel like your mindset is off-focus, or even if you just need an inspirational boost from leaders who have made it to the top. If that doesn’t work, you can also attempt some tried-and-true tactics like exercise, yoga, and meditation to clear your head.

Take Initiative

The final and most important thing that you need to take care of before embarking on your entrepreneurial journey is to give form to your ideas. Ideas will come and go, arriving at the most unexpected—and sometimes, inconvenient—times. Yet, successful entrepreneurs are the ones who capitalize on these ideas and take the initiative to bring them to life.

There are many dreamers out there, but there are very few achievers; which do you want to be? Instead of just thinking about the business you want to start, push yourself to decide on a course of action when the situation demands it. Become a “doer” in addition to a thinker; you may make mistakes along the way, but it’s the only path toward getting your business off the ground. After all, you’ll never write a novel if you don’t pick up the pen.  


It’s clear that successful entrepreneurs have specific characteristics that set them apart from the others. As you think about your own business, try to incorporate these traits and behaviors into your everyday life. Latch on to a mentor, learn how to delegate, and most importantly, find your passion and never let it go—you’ll find success waiting for you just around the corner.