This article originally posted on Kaufman Rossin by Lisa Cawley Ruiz



Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. It takes a special type of person to build a business from the ground up. But just what are those characteristics that successful entrepreneurs share?

We invited local entrepreneurs to share their stories at our October 25th Kaufman Rossin Presents breakfast seminar, “Secrets of Success from South Florida Entrepreneurs.” Kaufman Rossin Client Services Principal Steven M. Demar, CPA, moderated the panel discussion, which included entrepreneurs in the hospitality, distribution, real estate and construction industries.

The panelists shared their thoughts on the traits of successful entrepreneurs:


      1. Fearlessness – Entrepreneurs need to be brave and bold to push ahead in the face of doubt and fear. Being afraid of change, of speaking up, or even of failure can severely limit or even eliminate your chances of success. You may make some mistakes along the way, but these learning opportunities can add valuable wisdom and help you and your business grow stronger in the long run.


      1. Risk Tolerance – Starting a business is a gamble. But the higher the risk, the higher the reward, says Michael Fay, chairman and founding partner of Colliers International. Entrepreneurs who are unwilling to take risks such as investing in new products, services or markets might find it more difficult to grow their businesses.


      1. Nonconformity – The drive not to conform is one of the main differences between an entrepreneur and an “employee,” says Joyce Landry, CEO and founder of Landry & Kling Events at Sea. Successful business owners find different and better ways of doing things. They have original ideas and creative vision – and no desire to take the beaten path, even when it’s easier.


      1. Passion – This is the key, says Jeffrey Wolfe, owner and proprietor of Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe. If you don’t love what you do and truly believe in your company, no one else will. You have to lead your business with passion so your employees, family, friends and customers can embrace that zeal and become champions of your business and brand. A leader needs to build trust with employees and help them buy into company goals, says Eloise Gonzalez, president and founder of Commercial Interiors Contractors, Corp.


      1. Discipline – It’s not easy being a business owner. As the company grows, each stage presents new challenges and commitments. In the early stages, you may have to dedicate countless hours to meeting with potential financial backers, poring over legal documentation, and making cold calls or sales visits to find customers. In the later stages, the stakes are even higher. You may have to report to shareholders and make major decisions that will affect your employees. You will undoubtedly have many late nights and early mornings. But being disciplined will pay off, so it’s critical to hold yourself accountable every day.


    1. Eternal Optimism – Entrepreneurs have a gift of eternal optimism, says Eliza Fendell, senior vice president of culture at Aeropost. Things will not always work out, but you have to believe you will succeed and never give up faith in yourself or your business. In her family-owned business, she says, they are always able to see the silver lining and keep their eyes on the future.

Are you fearless and optimistic?  Do you have an appetite for risk and a passion for your business?   Do you look for new paths and hold yourself accountable for your actions?  You might just be a natural-born entrepreneur!


Lisa Cawley Ruiz is a brand journalist in Kaufman Rossin’s Miami officeKaufman Rossin is one of the top CPA firms in the country. Lisa can be reached at Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn.