8 Traits of Successful People You Should Embrace as an Entrepreneur

character traits of successful people
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Success is not a lottery ticket you can hope to win one day. It is the fruit of persistent cultivation of character and an ongoing commitment to personal and professional growth.

Beyond establishing habits, your character traits are the foundational stones upon which you build your career and business. Each trait has its place, purpose, and unique contribution to the overall picture of your success.

Today, let’s look closely at what sets successful people apart. 

Define Success First

Before I reveal the list, I want you to close your eyes and picture your successful self. Where are you, what surrounds you, who’s with you? Now, open your eyes and write it down. 

That vision is the beacon that guides you in becoming a successful person.

Top 8 Character Traits of Successful People

1. Curiosity

character traits of successful people - a woman learning using her laptop

The hallmark of successful people is that they are always stretching themselves to learn new things.

Carol S. Dweck

Curiosity is having the eagerness to explore, ask questions, and soak in the new. For successful people, curiosity is the spark that ignites innovation and fuels the pursuit of knowledge. 

This trait lets you examine problems closely, uncover new opportunities, and challenge the status quo. It’s about embracing the unfamiliar and the discomfort that sometimes comes with it to expand your horizons. 

Here’s how you can actively nurture your curiosity:

  • Read Widely. Delve into books beyond your field. They can open your eyes to different worlds and perspectives.
  • Attend Seminars. They offer you a space where you can exchange ideas with other participants and question experts.
  • Explore Online Courses. The internet is awash with knowledge. A single course can transform your understanding or skillset.

2. Discipline

Discipline is what you can hold on to when the fleeting rush of motivation wanes. It’s the solid backbone of successful people, the anchor that steadies them amidst dozens of daily distractions.

For you, as an entrepreneur, self-discipline shouldn’t just be a mere practice but a way of life. It means learning to be consistent even when it’s easier to skip, give up, or do nothing. 

To strengthen your discipline, you can:

  • Set Clear Goals. Write them down. Make them visible. Goals are the targets discipline aims for.
  • Establish Routines. Daily rituals prime you for success. They create a framework for effective habits.
  • Manage Time Wisely. Prioritize tasks. Use tools like digital planners to keep you accountable and organized.

3. Customer-Centricity

Customer-centricity refers to placing customers at the heart of your business operations and decisions. This approach highlights that the accurate measurement of your success isn’t solely financial but is tied to the satisfaction and loyalty of your customer base. 

To cultivate this customer-centric mindset and achieve success, consider adopting the following strategies:

  • Active Listening. Engage with your customers through surveys, feedback forms, and social media interactions. Understand their needs, desires, and pain points.
  • Empathy Mapping. Create empathy maps to visualize and comprehend your customers’ experiences with your product or service. This will help you identify areas for improvement.
  • Personalization. Implement personalized experiences for your clients. Use data to tailor your services or products to their preferences and behaviors.

4. Adaptability

Adaptability is the capacity to remain flexible and agile in a world of constant change. It’s a trait that allows successful leaders to pivot and adjust to new challenges, environments, and opportunities with ease. 

Tom Rath, in ‘StrengthsFinder 2.0’, captures the essence of adaptability, describing those who possess it as individuals who ‘go with the flow,’ embracing the present and welcoming tomorrow with an open mind.

To weave adaptability into your life, consider the following tips: 

  • Build Resilience. Strengthen your capacity to recover from setbacks. Remember, resilience is not inherent. It’s built through persistent effort.
  • Embrace Spontaneity. Challenge yourself with impromptu pitches or brainstorming sessions. These can be as simple as a surprise topic at a team meeting or a sudden change in project direction.
  • Develop a Solution-Oriented Mindset. Focus on finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems. 

5. Accountability

Successful people tend to be great at holding themselves accountable. They set clear goals and standards, and they take responsibility for their actions and outcomes.

This sense of responsibility drives them to follow through on their commitments, even when challenging or uncomfortable. It means being transparent with their teams, partners, and most importantly, themselves.

Here’s how you can develop and enhance your sense of accountability:

  • Foster Transparency. Cultivate a culture where open communication is the norm. Let your team see the big picture, understand their role, and feel empowered to contribute.
  • Clarify and Track Goals. Define clear milestones for yourself and your team. Keep a vigilant eye on progress with regular check-ins to ensure everyone is in sync and moving forward.
  • Step Back to Empower. Resist the urge to micromanage. Give your team autonomy to make decisions. This trust not only builds their confidence but also reinforces their accountability for outcomes.

6. Resilience

Are you someone who bounces back after setbacks? Then, that means you possess resilience. 

This trait is crucial because the path to having a successful career is often lined with obstacles and challenges. Resilient individuals don’t see failures as the end of the road but as stepping stones to learn and grow from.

To boost your resilience, these are some actions you can take:

  • Detach Emotionally from Setbacks. Understand that setbacks are seldom personal and are usually due to many factors outside your control. 
  • Sharpen Your Skills. Resilience is fortified by competence. The more adept you become at your craft, the more confident you’ll overcome obstacles.
  • Keep the End Goal in Sight. Don’t let temporary obstacles cloud your long-term vision. Remember why you started and what you aim to achieve to navigate challenging times.

7. Optimism

character traits of successful people - being grateful

Optimism is about embracing the possibility of success and holding a positive outlook towards the future. It’s the ability to see the best in people, situations, and outcomes, and it fuels resilience by instilling a sense of hope during challenging times.

To plant the seeds of optimism in your mind, consider these strategies:

  • Focus on What You Can Control. Concentrate on areas where you can impact and accept that some things are beyond your influence. This helps in reducing your frustrations and directing your energy. 
  • Practice Gratitude. Regularly acknowledge and appreciate what you have and the progress you’ve made.
  • Limit Exposure to Negativity. Be mindful of your environment and the type of information you consume. Surround yourself with positive influences and information that uplifts and inspires you.

8. Emotional Intelligence 

The last on our list, yet one of the most crucial character traits of successful people, is emotional intelligence (EI).

People with high EI are adept at navigating social complexities and building solid and positive relationships. They possess empathy, can defuse conflicts, and know how to communicate effectively with their audience.

Here’s how you can enhance your emotional intelligence:

  • Self-regulation. Develop techniques to manage your emotions and impulses. Practice mindfulness or deep breathing exercises to stay calm and in control, especially in stressful situations.
  • Empathy. Try to see situations from others’ perspectives. Practice active listening and give your full attention to the person speaking to you, which can help build trust and understanding.
  • Social Skills. Improve your communication skills and focus on building rapport. Engage in group activities, network, and seek feedback on how others perceive your social interactions.

Embrace Your Journey to Success Now

Those are the eight key traits that can significantly impact your trajectory toward success. While success is complex and personal, embodying these traits can help you navigate the path with confidence and purpose. 

Before we end this discussion, let’s quickly review the traits of successful people: 

  • Curiosity. They have a strong desire to learn and explore new ideas and possibilities.
  • Discipline. They maintain consistency and a strong work ethic in their pursuits.
  • Customer Centricity. They prioritize customer satisfaction in their business strategy.
  • Adaptability. They can adjust and evolve with changing circumstances and challenges.
  • Accountability. They set clear goals and take responsibility for their actions and outcomes.
  • Resilience. They view setbacks as opportunities for growth rather than defeat.
  • Optimism. They maintain a positive outlook and focus on the potential for success.
  • Emotional Intelligence. They navigate social complexities with empathy and effective communication.

We’d Like to Hear Your Thoughts

Who’s your role model for success, and what one trait do they possess? Feel free to share it in the comments. 

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