03/09/2015 12:45 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

6 Qualities You Need as an Entrepreneur


Building a company from the ground up can take its toll on you, but these six qualities will lead you to success.

They say entrepreneurship can't be taught, but it can be learned. That's because the best lessons in entrepreneurship are acquired through experience and personal development. Certain personality types do tend to perform better than others as entrepreneurs, but that doesn't mean you can't acquire those characteristics through discipline and a commitment to self-improvement.

Over the course of my serial ventures, I've discovered six qualities that tend to enable success for entrepreneurs:

1. Passionate. The greatest entrepreneurs are passionate about what they do, no matter what that is. If you build a business around selling paint thinner, you need to be passionate about paint thinner. Without passion, you'll lose motivation and you won't ever truly believe in what you're doing.

2. Persistent. The road to success in entrepreneurship is littered with failure. When you encounter a setback or an obstacle, you have to keep trying to overcome it until you actually do. Without persistence, you'll give up at the first sign of trouble, usually prematurely.

3. Patient. Great things take time. While some lucky startups have rocketed to success after only a few months of operation, you have to realize that building a business is a long-term plan. Don't get hasty and try to plow your way to success. Ambition is great, but impatience can ruin an otherwise solid business idea.

4. Focused. Entrepreneurs are excitable people, so it's easy for us to get distracted with new ideas or new strategies. One advantage of startups is agility, so you can make adjustments on the fly and continuously incorporate new things into your model. But an overabundance of new directions can compromise your entire plan. Stay focused on one thing at a time.

5. Humble. There are plenty of examples of arrogant entrepreneurs who have found success, but I've found that humble business leaders tend to perform better on average. Humble people aren't afraid to ask for help, they aren't too proud to admit when they're wrong, and they're generally much more pleasant to work with.

6. Open. Open communication is critical for any business, and that works both ways. The best entrepreneurs are open and honest about their goals, beliefs, and feelings, and they're also open to hearing the opinions of their teammates.

Strive to embody these six qualities in your life as an entrepreneur. You'll find yourself more dedicated, more productive, and ultimately, more successful.

Jose Vasquez is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast dedicated to helping startup technology companies get the direction and momentum they need to succeed. As the founder of Build. Brand. Blast., Jose has established a collective resource for tech entrepreneurs to consult when brainstorming, creating, launching, or expanding a new business. Jose is also the founder and CEO of Quez Media Marketing, a marketing firm that combines technology and creativity to help new and growing companies get the results they need.

Jose graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.

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