10 Common Characteristics Of Successful Entrepreneurs

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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Buy The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 to Be Great8 Women Dream is a get-up-stay-in-the-game-day-in-and-day-out obsession.

I breakfast on questioning site decisions, lunch on marketing and dinner on reading everything on business that I can get my hands on — pushing myself beyond what is possible before collapsing into bed.

Some days I spend so much time at the computer that my knees ache from being bent in one position for most of the day.

I envision only being able to have sex in a chair position because I won’t be able to move into a different one.

I was curious this week what are some of the traits of successful entrepreneurs to see how I might compare — or if I’m just crazy.

I found Entrepreneur.com’s 25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

I thought I would compare myself to 10 of the 25 traits, they are –

1. Loving what you do.

This one is a no-brainer for me. Yes I love this – all of it – more than I love chocolate, and that is saying a lot. I think about this 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If this isn’t love then someone should bring me my straight jacket right now.

2. Taking what you do seriously.

This week I opened up a business account for 8 Women Dream. I also set in course my plans to make 8 Women Dream into a social networking site, where we can engage other women who want to go after their dreams too.

Thanks to Heather of 8WD, I also scheduled my first “Reinvent Your Next Life By Finding Your Dream” workshop. Heather made me book a room that holds 60 people. I need to finish the first part of my ebook to correspond with the teaching of this workshop. I’d also like to turn it into a Webinar at a later date.

No pressure.

3. Planning everything.

I am a planner, but I could improve. It’s hard when a 15 year old boy often comes up to me saying, “Mom, I forgot, can you ?” No matter how well I think I’ve planned things, my son can change everything with the simple uttering of the word, “Mom?” I cannot plan this part of my life because he is the most important person in my life.

I do have a plan to get through the Bootstrap Valley of Death. The Valley of Death plan is for how long I am able to push to turn this vision of mine into reality before I die.

4. Remembering it’s all about the customer.

This was something I learned late in the game. In blogging and web development it is easy to become too in love with what we have created, and too often forget that there is someone on the other end who has to read or interact with our site.

This was something I rarely thought about until 2008, when I started editing all my old posts on A Week In The Life of A Redhead. I had many awful posts. They had too much I – not enough we – and very little funny. I worry the same about 8 Women Dream, and it’s one of the major reasons why I want to open up the social networking aspect and invite people in.

5. Becoming known as an expert.

This is a tough one. This dream of mine must come true in order to be considered an expert on dream success. But I will say that everyone who has stayed committed to their dream by being a part of this group, eventually begins to achieve their dream.

Heather of 8WD  is living proof that little steps lead to big accomplishments. It’s only a matter of time before her multiple businesses exceed the Tipping Point.

6. Investing in yourself.

I read every book and trade paper I can get my hands on. Currently I am deep into The Web Startup Success Guide by Bob Walsh and it is quickly becoming my bible. I regularly read Darren Rowse’s blog Pro Blogger, Seth Godin’s blog Seth Godin, Brian Clark’s blog Copy Blogger, Dave McClure’s blog Master of 500 Hats and Mashable’s Social Media Guide to name a few.

7. Limiting the number of hats you wear.

This one I have started working on in the last 6 months. I was one of those people trying to do everything on my own. Kindly, Remy of 8 Women Dream took on being my business coach and she has helped me say, “Yes, please do that, thank you” instead of “Yes, I’ll do that, thank you.”

I can’t remove the single mom hat, the work with Heather hat, or the mom blogger hat, but I can let the 7 other ladies in this group help me.

8. Following up constantly.

This reminds me that I have three authors to reply back to in email, some blogs that need my comments on and more work on my offline media. I can be better at this.

9. Building a rock-solid reputation.

This is something we earn by honoring our promises. It’s how we get taken seriously. I like what Bob Walsh writes, “Serious value + great customer experience means you get taken seriously.” As the founder of this blog, I constantly think about our readers experience from the moment they land on our home page.

Am I delivering on the promise of an inspirational and motivational website?

I don’t think I always have, but I do believe this is changing. I can only hope past readers who may have left us during those days, will return and try this site again.

10. Take time off.

HA! Hear the sound of my tea snorting through my nose as I read this one?

I suppose time off can also refer to time spent meditating, time spent helping my son with his homework, time spent walking 6 miles with a friend then dying afterwords and time spent with my mom enjoying her company.

If this really means that I need to take a few days off – then we’re in trouble people.

I guess I am not doing as bad as I sometimes imagine at 2:00 in the morning when I awaken from a sound sleep, heart Buy What They Teach You At The Wharton Business School: How To Be An Entrepreneur, Start A Successful Business, Sell More Than The Competitionracing.

Last night I dreamed my dog told me my dream was stupid. The cat agreed.

How do you measure up with these 10 of the 25 common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs?

Let me know, because some days I grow tired of just looking at all the fuzz in my own belly button called the 8 Women Dream website and would like to hear about yours.

Keep on dreaming –



  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Thank you Marie – what you say is so true. It’s like many of the bad things that happen in our past which take us to a different place, thus changing our lives. Many of us would not give up that bad experience because of where we end up.

    No one knows where any road will take us, and most of the real experience is in the trip itself.

    Thank you for your comment and insight.


  • marie


    i wish you well in all you hope to achieve.

    want to say that sometimes moving towards something takes us down the road to a point where we can see down a “side street.” it gives a perspective that we would not have if we did not start to move.

    oprah and ellen may be visualization manifested. something else totally amazing might happen also, once all the synergy starts to bounce around.

    best wishes, marie

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Thank you sweetie – we are always glad to see you here! Which reminds me, I need to add your blog to our sidebar!

  • Kim

    You’re such an inspiration!
    I was talking to my daughter today about when she becomes an adult and how she wants to “live”.
    I told her to find something she loves and never give up on it. Hopefully that will happen. And it WILL happen for you.

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Thank you Paul!

  • Paul Dunn

    Hello everyone –
    I enjoy stopping by your blog. I wanted to leave a little comment in support of all of you, and wish you success. Wishing you the best of luck for all your entrepreneurial dream efforts!

  • Catherine

    lol thank you Remy for all you do.

  • Remy, the photographer

    Hey when you start dreaming that the animals are talking to you, NOW you are an entrepreneur. Or Dr Doolittle. You pick! I am so thrilled to be a part of your journey. I look forward to many sleepless nights worrying about you and your business. :) REM

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