by: Geoff Ficke

The 5 Personal Traits Essential for Achieving Entrepreneurial Success

I have worked with Entrepreneurs, Inventors and businesses large and small all over the world in my career as a Consumer Product Development and Marketing Consultant. For every 20 opportunities we review, possibly one will take the plunge and commit to the arduous processes required to successfully launch a new product, service or business. Why is it that such a small percentage of possible new enterprises ever even attempt to become a start-up, much less succeed?

There are many reasons for this tiny conversion rate from dreaming to realization of the American dream. The most obvious is that it is hard work. But hey, if it was easy everyone would be successfully doing it. Unfortunately, one or more of the personal traits necessary to achieve commercial success by Entrepreneurs are usually found lacking.

The 5 Personal Traits Essential for Achieving Entrepreneurial Success are the following:

An old adage states, “If you chase 2 rabbits, both will escape”.
I place this first in importance because it is the trait we see most abused. For many creative people it is exceedingly difficult to chart a course, define a goal and stay totally focused on attainment of that goal. The successful entrepreneur knows this is crucial. They will focus like a laser until the task is accomplished, only then moving on the next project. Focus requires discipline.

2. Courage
No one can learn or be taught courage. People either have it or they do not.
I have never met a successful self-made person that did not possess a modicum of courage. Courage is the oil that makes people act, move, commit and stare down and overcome sometimes great odds.

3. Self-confidence
The quiet belief in oneself, your ideas, abilities and the benefits your concept, Product, Marketing Strategy or Business Plan will provide to Consumers and/or Investors is essential to success. We all have doubts. For too many people, however, doubt or lack of self-confidence causes inertia. The self-confident Entrepreneur does not have to shout or boast. This person has conducted proper due diligence, studied the market and marinated themselves in every aspect of their project. They are anxious to present their ideas. This work becomes fun when true self-confidence is realized.

4. Diligence
The successful Entrepreneur DOES NOT TAKE shortcuts! They are diligent in conducting proper research, finding answers, seeking help and most crucially never letting the undeniably unpleasant word “no” stop their progress. They hear this nasty little two letter word all too often. But it is not a wall, just a bump in their road to achieving goals. They never alibi or blame others for their condition. Diligence, perseverance and ambition are essential to the DNA of successful self-made business people.

5. Honesty
Being as honest with yourself, as you must be with others is crucial to achieving success in any communal or business endeavor. Providing a valued Product or Service in return for fair reimbursement is a given. Giving a bit more than you receive is always the best way to insure a lasting, beneficial commercial relationship with clients, customers, investors. We all know right from wrong, the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments. Honesty is essential.

These 5 Personal Traits Essential for Achieving Entrepreneurial Success are not moralizing. They are practical guideposts. All too often we see presentations of Business Concepts that seem too good to be true. They almost always are. One or more of Focus, Courage, Self-Confidence, Diligence and Honesty are missing from these incomplete and thus disposable opportunities.

It is much easier to conduct affairs in a straightforward, honorable manner. Gray areas are always discovered. The entrepreneur who thinks that they can con the marketplace will be obviated. This is never a desired outcome.

Author's Bio: 

Geoff Ficke has been a serial entrepreneur for almost 50 years. As a small boy, earning his spending money doing odd jobs in the neighborhood, he learned the value of selling himself, offering service and value for money.

After putting himself through the University of Kentucky (B.A. Broadcast Journalism, 1969) and serving in the United States Marine Corp, Mr. Ficke commenced a career in the cosmetic industry. After rising to National Sales Manager for Vidal Sassoon Hair Care at age 28, he then launched a number of ventures, including Rubigo Cosmetics, Parfums Pierre Wulff Paris, Le Bain Couture and Fashion Fragrance.

Geoff Ficke and his consulting firm, Duquesa Marketing, ( has assisted businesses large and small, domestic and international, entrepreneurs, inventors and students in new product development, capital formation, licensing, marketing, sales and business plans and successful implementation of his customized strategies. He is a Senior Fellow at the Page Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Business School, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.