Skills of successful founders

Mann von hinten schaut auf Tafel mit Zetteln, Gründer, Gründer*innen

Is there such a thing as a founder gene? Do founders somehow have an invisible superpower? Certainly not, but there are some characteristics that help founders to become successful. We have often described concrete challenges here, but they can be mastered well if the founders have or develop certain skills. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Starting your own business is undoubtedly a challenging undertaking that fundamentally requires courage, determination and extensive preparation. In addition, there are other characteristics that are supportive not only in the founding process itself, but also in everyday business life.

#Leidenschaft und Engagement

Founders should be passionate about their business idea and willing to invest time, energy and effort in the company. Self-employment requires perseverance and the will to overcome obstacles. This sometimes goes beyond what we define as “tolerable.” This is fine for a certain time, but it should not be a permanent condition.

#Risk-taking and innovative abilitya

Self-employment involves a certain amount of uncertainty and risk. Founders should be prepared and ready to take risks and make decisions, even if the consequences are not always exactly predictable. It is important to maintain balance and recognize when it is appropriate to take risks and when it is not. I think it’s one of the most difficult challenges because it’s also not something you can learn. Mistakes in this area can cost business. What you can learn, however, is how to deal with uncertainty and make decisions even when all the facts are not on the table.

Risk-taking also includes being open to new ideas and innovative thinking. The ability to identify existing problems and find creative solutions can give founders a competitive advantage and drive the development of the company.

#Flexibilität und Anpassungsfähigkeit

In many industries, the business environment is changing relatively quickly and constantly, which means that founders need to be able to adapt and respond to the new realities. Of course, this requires that they keep an eye on the market and do not, for example, rely on customers being loyal to the company forever. After all, it is not only the market that changes, but also customers and business partners. We don’t always use the same products; we also change service providers to try out new things. Entrepreneurs have to be prepared for this.

#Selbstmotivation und Lernbereitschaft

As a founder, you may encounter setbacks and obstacles. Not everything always goes smoothly, the income may not be as abundant as you would like or the response may be fundamentally restrained. The ability to nevertheless believe in oneself, motivate oneself and continue to work hard, even in difficult times, is crucial for success. As already described, the business world and markets are also constantly changing, which additionally requires the willingness to continuously learn, acquire new skills and keep up to date with current trends and developments.


The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is essential in the business world. Founders should therefore be able to communicate their ideas, visions and concerns, whether to customers, employees, investors or other stakeholders. Those who can communicate are ahead – this applies to times of success as well as times of crisis.


Finally, let’s take a look at time management. Organization is everything here, because as a founder you have to be everywhere at once at the beginning of your self-employment. There are many tasks and responsibilities to manage, which is why effective time management is not only necessary, but often crucial. Learn to prioritize, maximize productivity and plan a balanced workday. Phases in which there is a lot going on usually alternate with quieter phases, and it is precisely the quieter phases that are suitable for planning for the future, developing new ideas and making acquisitions. Those who constantly act in chaos mode do not have this time and will sooner or later steer the ship to the quay wall.


No founder has all these skills and character traits right from the start. Running your own business is a continuous learning process in which you develop and improve yourself. The willingness to work on oneself and strengthen one’s own skills is crucial for success. Of course, entrepreneurship suits some people more than others, but even for those who do not have all the skills at the beginning, self-employment can be a good way to find meaning in their own actions.

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