Skip navigation The best way to educate yourself

The entrepreneur’s 4 most important attributes

This article is based on the free eBook “Creating an Entrepreneurial Mindset”

One of the best non-business definitions is still one that was devised 37 years ago by Prof. Howard Stevenson of the Harvard Business School. He defined entrepreneurship as:

“The pursuit of opportunity without regard to the resources currently controlled”

This definition does not mean that people take unnecessary risks. However, it does mean that entrepreneurs don’t fall at the first hurdle when they reach an obstacle. Rather they will look at ways to resolve or circumvent the problem. Where most people see a problem then the entrepreneur will see an opportunity.

The willingness to take risks is only one of the attributes an entrepreneur needs. Here are the 4 most important elements of an entrepreneur’s mindset. Take a look!



For an entrepreneur to be optimistic they need to have a belief in what they wish to achieve and that in turn requires a vision. That vision is one that may well need to be articulated because often entrepreneurs cannot work alone and need support of various kinds. An entrepreneur needs people working with him or her on something with no guarantee of success so they have to believe the vision.

Often the most important people to believe the vision are family and friends who the entrepreneur relies upon for support. When it comes to resources, whether financial or physical, these people must certainly believe the vision.
For people to believe the vision, they must believe in its achievability and the reason for achieving it. Far too often people with a so-called entrepreneurial idea fall at the first fence when one asks the question ‘who wants it’ or ‘what problem does it solve’. Successful companies not only have a clear vision based on need and a problem that needed solving.



Self-awareness means that the person has a clear understanding of their skills and of their limitations. As a result they are willing to work with others, to listen to others and to modify their vision in the light of such discussions. This self-awareness, coupled with the need to work with people that understand and are committed to the vision leads to a far less hierarchical structure. Most entrepreneurial activity will start with a fairly flat organisational structure.

This means that entrepreneurs are often more interested in achieving their vision than they are about status. True entrepreneurs are more interested in gaining success because of the success of their idea, product or process than they are about their title on the business card.



Out of the self-awareness and the willingness to work with and listen to others comes another important attribute of confidence. Confidence means that the person has enough self-belief and belief in those around him or her to resist the knocks that will usually come and still pursue their vision.

They also need to have the confidence to lead and they must be able to converse with confidence when dealing with others outside of the immediate organisation.


Not being afraid to fail

One of the most important attributes of the entrepreneur and the one that is being steadily eroded in western society is the ability not to be afraid to fail. It is clearly an important attribute because of the fact that the newness of entrepreneurial activity will often lead to failure and the entrepreneur has to be able to rise up and try again.


To sum it up, entrepreneurs need to have:

• A clear and achievable vision

• A vision where all the resources may not be in their control

• Self-awareness

• Confidence

• Self-motivation

• A willingness to take calculated risks

• A willingness to listen to others

• A lack of fear of failure

• A willingness to work hard


Would you like to learn more about this specific topic? Then “Creating an Entrepreneurial Mindset” written by Roger Cowdrey MIBC is the right book for you.

Download the free eBook “Creating an Entrepreneurial Mindset