What Does It Take to Become A Successful Entrepreneur?

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Lots of elements go into making a successful entrepreneur and it certainly doesn’t happen by chance.

While a little bit of luck does always come in handy, look at any of the world’s top entrepreneurs and you’ll see that there are certain characteristics that they all share.

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Exactly what these characteristics are depends on your point of view, but one of the most comprehensive outlines is this Periodic Table of Entrepreneurship from SilverDoor apartments, which breaks down 112 skills and traits that certainly won’t do your cause any harm.

Split down into categories such as practical skills, personal characteristics, tangible assets and support network, it’s pretty wide ranging!

We’re going to dive into some of the sections to pull out what we think are some of the most important aspects needed to survive.


If you look at SilverDoor’s periodic table, you’ll see that right at the very top, their number one, most important trait is motivation and we fully agree.

If you don’t love what you’re doing, then you’ll always struggle to succeed, so make sure that you have a real passion for the product or service that you’re providing.

But passion alone isn’t enough. Motivation is also about keeping going through the tough times and never giving up, which can be easier said than done.

Practical Skills

It’s well and good talking about traits and characteristics like motivation and perseverance, and while they’re important, there are some practical skills that you should try to get nailed down too.

Things such as money management, a knowledge of your market and product and even stuff like basic SEO and IT and design skills will go a long way when you’re trying to make it on your own.

Personal Characteristics

Perhaps the most important thing is your personal traits. SilverDoor have highlighted a load of characteristics which could help you to succeed, such as resiliency, willingness to learn, confidence, ambition and more.

Interpersonal Skills

They say it’s lonely at the top, so if you’re going to make it there, you’re going to need to be something of a people person.

Don’t mistake this for thinking that this means that you need to be a super-charismatic leader like Steve Jobs or Richard Branson though!

You will need to maintain good relationships with staff, suppliers, customers and clients though, so remember all of the ‘treat others how you would expect to be treated’ stuff that your mother hopefully taught you!

Business Plan

Many an overconfident young entrepreneur sets out on their journey by skipping this crucial step, but a well thought out business plan can serve as a guide that you can refer back to at multiple points throughout your business’s life cycle as well as helping to set up some achievable goals before you set off.

Business plans provide clarity and vision and can also be a useful tool when trying to attract financing or staff members too.

Critical and Creative Thinking Skills

Critical and creative thinking skills are also going to be crucial to your success. Things like problem solving and idea generation come naturally to the best entrepreneurs, but they also know how to take a step back and analyse how they’re performing and recognise any mistakes and learn from them.

Intellectual Property

If you’ve had an amazing idea, you want everyone to know about it, but be careful that nobody swoops in and steals it!

Take the necessary steps to make sure that any intellectual property is properly protected, whether this is your idea itself, or things such as the company name, logo, branding, or anything else that could be deemed ‘intellectual property’.

For more information on intellectual property and how to protect it, head to the gov.uk site.

Support Network

Even if you think you can, you can’t make it all on your own and you’re going to need a solid support network surrounding you to succeed.

Whether this is a crack team of partners and employees that are going to help bring your vision to life or a supportive group of friends and family, you’re going to need somebody to lean on when things get tough.

Tangible Assets

There are also some tangible things that you’re physically going to need to get a business going.

These include things such as some initial capital to get started, a workspace (whether this is an office or just at home), access to the internet and things such as business insurance and a business bank account.

Stress Management

Finally, even the world’s most successful people need some time to switch off every now and then, otherwise, you risk burning yourself out.

Of course, how you do this is entirely up to you, but plenty of time for relaxation and holidays, as well as a healthy lifestyle and diet, can go a long way to helping out.

So there you have it! You might not necessarily have all of these components right now, but if you can check quite a few of them off, then you’re probably in a pretty good position to succeed!

It’s a long and tough journey to make it as an entrepreneur, but if you follow this list, then you’re giving yourself the best possible chance.

Need some more motivation? Check out this list of some of the best entrepreneurial success stories out there.

Entrepreneurship Periodic Table

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