People tend to romanticize the life of an entrepreneur. We are keen on this idea of becoming our own boss with the ability to set our own schedule and to pursue our own unique dreams. But before you quit your day job to start your own business, do you really have what it takes? Here are 6 characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

1. Tenacity

Can you stick to it? All entrepreneurs started with an idea and ran with it. But the successful ones stayed on course. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs were thrown curveballs along the way but never gave up. Take J.K. Rowling for example, the author of the famous Harry Potter series. She overcame several setbacks, including the death of her mother, a failed marriage and numerous rejections from various publishers in order to become the successful billionaire she is today.

2. Passion

What drives you? Perhaps you are doing it because you love children and have a plan that will allow you to work alongside them all day while also providing you the flexibility to raise your own kids. Or maybe you deeply care about animals and have always dreamed of creating your very own veterinary clinic. Regardless of the idea, do it with passion. As the prominent Mark Twain said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Teachers need to help children discover and cultivate their passions in order to help them grow to be successful entrepreneurs.

3. Tolerance of ambiguity

Are you a risk-taker? Comfortable with uncertainty? Becoming an entrepreneur is a risk in itself and many will make several mistakes along the way. The most important lesson students need to be taught is that failures are stepping stones to success and should be used as a teaching moment in order to grow. A successful entrepreneur understands the value of learning through trial and error and does not give up despite these obstacles.

4. Self-belief

How confident are you? A self-starting entrepreneur must believe in their capabilities and carry themselves in a way that shows others, “I am knowledgeable, I am smart, and I am positive that I can make a change in this world.” The saying fake it ‘til you make it rings true for several entrepreneurs. Some may not have the slightest clue as to where their business is headed or if it will be profitable but their confidence allows them to push through the obstacles that they will undoubtedly face. Imagine if Jeff Bezos, the famous entrepreneur who started Amazon, decided not to believe in his vision of creating an online book store?

5. Vision

Do you spot opportunities? Having the ability to think outside the box and coming up with new ways to do things is essential to becoming a successful entrepreneur. This is why in EVERFI’s Venture Entrepreneurship course, students are asked to reflect on their personal strengths, characteristics, and goals in order to identify new business opportunities and plan to start their own business. Learners soon find out that having a strong vision is the catalyst to running a successful food truck business in this no-cost digital resource.

6. Flexibility

Can you adapt? It is crucial that entrepreneurs know how to remain flexible in their approach and execution. Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple, was fired from his company at one point in time. His resilience and ability to adapt to change allowed him to come back to Apple in due time and transform the company into the mogul it is today. All successful entrepreneurs understand that change is inevitable and they must be willing to keep a positive and open mind in order to ride the wave and come out on top.


EVERFIKayla Boyer is a K-12 Schools Manager based in Concord, New Hampshire. She works closely with teachers and students in New Hampshire and Maine to implement EVERFI’s suite of online learning resources addressing 21st-century life skills. In her free time, she can be found hiking the white mountains with her labradoodle Molly or chasing around her very active 6-year-old daughter.

Real World Learning Matters

EVERFI empowers teachers to bring critical skills education into their classrooms at no cost. Get activated and join 50,000+ educators across North America!