The five DNA characteristics of the Successful Entrepreneur

The Importance of External Factors When Starting Your Business

The founder is the catalyst who gets everything moving, and has the most at stake. We’re talking about the entrepreneur — and more specifically, the successful ones.

Now, many may feel that they are entrepreneurial. They may be creative or have been told they are “innovative.” Careful with those words because they are overused and often lose meaning.

One may be good in the room. They may be great at leading groups forward. They may be hard working. But if they can’t put all of those traits — and more — together, they will set up their teams, and themselves, for failure.

The journey for the entrepreneur can take many shapes and sizes. You can come from any country. You can be raised in the country, city, or suburb. And your interest levels can vary widely. But there are certain things that all successful entrepreneurs have.

So, what are the key characteristics (aka DNA) of a successful entrepreneur?

There are five key characteristics of a successful entrepreneur: vision, toughness, leadership, relentlessness, and humility. Each one is vitally important.


Many feel that they are “visionary,” but you have to actually have vision to be a true visionary — to see something that others don’t, something that solves a problem on a massive scale. If your vision isn’t solving a problem, adding value to a market or disrupting the industry, your business is dead on arrival.


You have to be resilient to be an entrepreneur. You need a high tolerance for pain. You must be able to weather economic, mental and emotional storms. You have to have the ability to put yourself in a position where you don’t always have money, where you’re getting criticism from all angles — sometimes even those you love the most. To persevere under these conditions requires resilience, mental toughness, and fortitude


You have to be able to lead people — and take people forward. To lead properly you need to choose wisely, build trust and communicate your plan. You must get your team to believe in YOU and your vision. It’s one thing to be a likeable, entertaining persuader. It’s something else to get people to follow you on the startup journey — a journey that is not for the faint of heart.


You need to be diligent. To love the grind. This is what it means to be relentless, especially when it comes to fundraising. Your team needs you to be that Pit Bull who keeps after it. If someone says no you, that’s the beginning of the conversation. You keep going and create opportunities to move forward. You’ve got to love the grind!



And you must be humble. This is a very important tool that you need in your toolbox. You have to have humility. This gives you the ability to be open minded, take criticism, and make changes when needed. Elon Musk is a great example of this. He may go off and make bold proclamations, but he still listens, and modifies.


If you lack any one of these traits, it can exponentially reduce the chances of your — and more importantly your company’s— success. You need to cultivate all of them to work together for true results.

These five traits are key to the DNA of a successful entrepreneur. And they’re all connected and intertwined. Meaning: If you lack any one of these traits, it can exponentially reduce the changes of your — and more importantly your company’s — success. You need to cultivate all of them to work together for true results.

Here at RNOX we seek to develop entrepreneurs at all stages both at the beginning of their lives and later in life. That’s why we have our Internship program for younger business and engineering students, and our Master of Entrepreneurial Science program, which we’re rolling out later in the fall for emerging entrepreneurs of all ages, and finally our R.E.A.L. accelerator program that creates successful companies through our specialized content and training.

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