Entrepreneurs reveal top traits needed to be successful

‘Motivated’, ‘productive’ and ‘risk-taking’ are among the top personality traits that entrepreneurs believe define them and lead them to being successful, according to new research from American Express. The study highlights public perceptions and understanding of entrepreneurship in the UK, as well as asking business founders what they think are the key attributes needed to succeed when starting up. The top five traits ranked are:

  1. Motivated
  2. Productive
  3. Risk-taking
  4. Resilient
  5. Brave

The research also questioned entrepreneurs’ motivations for starting a business. Perhaps surprisingly, ‘making money’ was not listed as one of the top three answers – the most popular response, cited by 58%, was ‘being my own boss’; almost half (46%) wanted better work-life balance; and one third (33%) had an idea they wanted to exploit. ‘Making money’ was cited as motivation for just over a quarter (29%) of entrepreneurs.

Overall, the study found that the majority (78%) of entrepreneurs saw starting their own business as a means of unlocking opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have been open to them. It also revealed a deep sense of pride among this community, with almost all (94%) respondents believing the contribution entrepreneurs make to the UK economy is important.

Amanda Salt, Vice President, Small & Medium Enterprises, UK Card Services at American Express said: “Our research reveals what it takes to be an entrepreneur, the motivations to succeed and the pride this valuable community feels after going it alone. As a company that proudly backs small businesses, we know the path to success isn’t without its challenges and that’s why we remain committed to supporting their growth and rewarding them for their dedication and passion.” 

The research comes as American Express launches its enhanced Welcome Bonuses on its American Express® Business Platinum and Business Gold Cards to help reward entrepreneurs for their everyday business spending. Between 21 February to 9 April, new Business Platinum Cardmembers who sign up can earn a significant Welcome Bonus of up to 120,000 Membership Rewards® points: 80,000 points when they spend £12,000 in the first three months, and another 40,000 points 14 months later.