Entrepreneurial spirit—it’s a phrase you might see in some job ads, but actually embodying the characteristics of entrepreneurship is about more than just a desire to make money. Granted, your track record might not look like Mark Zuckerberg’s, Lori Greiner’s, or Richard Branson’s, but that doesn’t mean you can’t emulate successful entrepreneurs at work.

Put simply, awesome employees and successful entrepreneurs have more than a few traits in common—and employers are eager to hire such people. No matter who writes your paycheck, you should approach work as if you work for yourself.  Being a self-starter can make you very desirable.

Develop these traits of successful entrepreneurs to help set yourself apart from the average worker.

Qualities of an Entrepreneur

  1. Motivation
  2. Creativity
  3. Persuasiveness
  4. Vision
  5. Versatility
  6. Risk Tolerance
  7. Flexibility
  8. Decisiveness
  9. Collaboration


Hard-working business owners are incredibly motivated to succeed. Adopting this mindset—and being able to demonstrate your motivation to an employer—is crucial. You need to bring enthusiasm to everything you do at your job. Fortunately, showing you’re highly motivated is simple: Show up to work every day with a positive attitude. This is among the top characteristics of entrepreneurship. Employers want to see you’re passionate about what you do day in and day out.


No matter what industry you’re in, employers want workers with out-of-the-box ideas. They want to hire people to not only carry out assignments, but to also come up with better ways of doing things.

That’s why it’s important to be creative—to always be thinking of new ways you can improve your company’s workflow, productivity, and bottom line.


Persuasiveness can make you a better negotiator, which gives you an edge when going after a plum assignment, raise, or promotion.

There will come a time when you need to convince a client, a coworker, or your boss to take certain actions, so you need to be persuasive when presenting your ideas.


Successful entrepreneurs always keep one eye on the big picture, and this ability can make you a better employee. Vision is primarily about strategic planning.

Can you see what direction the industry is going? Can you identify challenges for your company? Can you tackle your day-to-day job responsibilities, while staying focused on long-term goals and initiatives?


Although you were hired for a specific set of skills, it’s important that you can shift as needed. You want to be someone that your boss can go to in a pinch, so be prepared to tackle work that’s outside your job description. Among the leading characteristics of entrepreneurship is being an early adopter of new technology and keeping your skills current.

Risk Tolerance

Every employer wants to grow their business, and that involves embracing change.

Translation: Don’t be afraid to take risks when pursuing new clients, for example, or testing a new product. (One caveat: Make sure you have your boss’ buy-in.)


Like an entrepreneur, you have to be able to adapt to change and solve problems as they arise. A good team player can shift their priorities to help out whenever the team needs assistance. Thus, flexibility means being receptive to other people’s needs, opinions, and ideas and being open-minded to feedback from your manager.


Do you exercise sound judgment under pressure? When you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t have room to procrastinate—and the same is true for employees. You have to be comfortable taking action when needed. This means knowing how to prioritize tasks and make decisions quickly. (It helps to be organized.)


Savvy entrepreneurs are not only brilliant leaders, but also great collaborators, so you have to be an effective team player. Unsurprising, 86.3% of hiring managers seek job candidates who demonstrate strong teamwork skills, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook survey.

Ultimately, using entrepreneurial skills at work entails adjusting to other people’s work styles, avoiding office politics, celebrating your peers’ successes, meeting your deadlines, and putting your company’s goals first.