Many different types of coaches and business development professionals have examined the common denominators in successful entrepreneurs, so they may teach them to others.  The most effective professionals have not only examined them, but they live them and practice them every day of their lives.

Here are the top five must haves to not only be the best you can be, but to be noticeably different than the people that just go through the motions.  


The first trait that successful people must possess is self-discipline.  Self-discipline is the single most important quality for success in life and business.  If you can discipline yourself to do what you should do, whether you feel like it or not, your success is virtually guaranteed. Self-discipline requires self-mastery, self-control, self-responsibility, and self-direction.

The difference between successful people and failures, is that successful people make a habit of doing the things that failures don’t like to do. 

But to dig a little deeper, it’s not only a habit, but a consistent habit.  The repetition of behavior is the tipping point of all successful people.  Create the productive and actionable activity that works for you and do it consistently. 

It’s no different than going to the gym.  You can build the habit of going to the gym every morning, but if you don’t do it with consistent purpose and a specific plan you will simply be going into a building to socialize.  The results or lack thereof will show.

A clear sense of direction

With all the turbulence and rapid changes in today’s marketplace, most entrepreneurs have been reduced to operating day-by-day, almost like firefighters.  They are totally preoccupied with short-term problems and the need to get short-term sales and profits.

They intend to spend more time thinking and planning for the future, but they don’t ever seem to get around to it.

This is not the behavior or thinking of successful people.  You need to set clear goals for yourself and for every part of your business.  In fact, perhaps your most important responsibility to your people is to give them a clear sense of direction in their work and their career path.  Part of being an entrepreneur is being a leader.  As a leader you have to build and appreciate your team.  Surround yourself with talent that you can lead, not people that you can simply give tasks to.


Persistence is the gold standard of character. Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel.  It is an indispensable quality that goes hand in hand with all great success in life.

Here is one of the great secrets to persistence and success: Program your mind for persistence well in advance of the setbacks and disappointments that you are going to have on your quest towards success.

Solidify in advance that you will never give up, no matter what happens.  The courage to persist in the face of adversity and disappointment is the one quality that, more than anything, will guarantee your success.

Your greatest asset can be your willingness to persevere longer than anyone else. In fact, your persistence is a true measure of your belief in yourself and your ability to success.

Decisive and action-oriented behavior

You must think and make decisions quickly.  Discipline yourself to take action and to carry out the decisions you have made.  Move fast and get quick feedback from your actions. If you find you have made a mistake, quickly self-correct and try something else.  The key to triumph is for you to try.

Successful people are decisive, and they try far more things than other people do.

If you try far more different ways to be successful, the odds are that you will eventually find the right way for you, at the right time.


Perhaps the most valued and respected quality you can develop is a reputation for absolute integrity.  Be honest in everything you do and, in every transaction, and activity.  Never compromise your integrity.  Remember that your word is your bond and your honor is everything when it comes to your business.  All successful business is based on trust.

Your success in becoming an entrepreneur will be determined solely by the number of people who trust you, are willing to work for you, buy your products and services, and help you during difficult times.  Your character is the most important asset that you develop in your entire life, and your character is based on the amount of integrity you practice.

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