What Is A Serial Entrepreneur? Traits & How To Become One


The world of business is filled with individuals chasing their singular dream, but a few possess the relentless drive of a serial entrepreneur.

These unique entrepreneurs do not stop at one successful business, they are always on the lookout for the next big opportunity. That is one of their defining attributes, in this article we will discuss more of their remarkable traits and how to become one.

But first, what actually is a serial entrepreneur?

What Is A Serial Entrepreneur?

Serial Entrepreneurs Traits

A serial entrepreneur is an individual who consistently starts, develops, and scales multiple businesses over time, leveraging their experiences and traits to identify new opportunities and turn business ideas into successful ventures.

Unlike a typical entrepreneur who chooses an industry and focuses on that single idea, serial entrepreneurs are driven by the thrill of starting multiple ventures.

They will often have a keen ability to recognize and pursue business ideas that have potential without being scared of suffering multiple business failures.

One example of a serial entrepreneur, which will be discussed further down the article, is Elon Musk, who did not stop at the success of his first business, Zip2, and went on to develop several more companies such as Tesla, SpaceX, and the Boring Company.

Related: 15 Best Degrees For Entrepreneurs: Pathways To Success

5 Key Traits of Serial Entrepreneurs

Traits of Serial Entrepreneurs

Traditional entrepreneurs and serial entrepreneurs have the same traits but the difference is the intensity with which a serial entrepreneur exhibits these characteristics.

Serial entrepreneurship is not just about starting a new business, it is also about obtaining the right mindset and characteristics of serial entrepreneurs that make them unique from other individuals. Here are the most successful serial entrepreneurs:

1. Resilient

They all have the ability to bounce back from failures and setbacks. While many business owners might give up after a failed business in which they pour their hearts and souls, serial entrepreneurs view failures as learning experiences that are part of the process to move forward with their goals.

2. Visionaries

Being a visionary is beyond just having new ideas, it is possessing the capability to foresee and recognize the potential of a business idea to become multi-billion dollar companies.

Their visionary perspective is not confined to a market, instead, they are the innovators that create new paths for other entrepreneurs or professionals in their field.

3. Adaptable

The only constant thing in the world of business is change. Serial entrepreneurs understand this and so they are always ready to adapt to their business ventures.

Most business owners will be attached to their companies, and many will feel like it is a part of themselves, but for serial entrepreneurs, it is just a pathway to an even greater goal.

4. Risk-Takers

Every new venture comes with its own set of risks. That is why all entrepreneurs can be said to have this trait to varying degrees.

Once they decide to steer away from the path of being a professional in a certain field and start their own business with no guarantee of success or even income, they are risk-takers.

Instead of shying away from business opportunities due to the risk of failing, serial entrepreneurs embrace them wholeheartedly.

5. Persistent

One of the most observable characteristics of serial entrepreneurs is their persistence. They don’t stop at just one business or even two sometimes; they enjoy the thrill of starting and growing numerous businesses with the goal of making the new one better than the last.

How Much Do Serial Entrepreneurs Make?

serial entrepreneur

Based on the data from Zippia:

  • The average salary of an entrepreneur in the US is $70,849.

  • The lower end of the scale for about 10% makes about $42,000, while the highest earners in the top 10% can command up to $118,000 annually.

One thing to keep in mind is that the salary of entrepreneurs will come from their businesses and ventures, but a serial entrepreneur will have multiple businesses which means that their salary can also be several times higher than this average salary.

What this data offers is a more realistic expectation of what you can earn as an entrepreneur because only the top few percent will earn a million dollars a year, but it is certainly possible, especially with many businesses.

Related: Starting An Online Business Checklist: Launching Your Dream

How Do You Become a Serial Entrepreneur?

multiple businesses

Choosing the path of serial entrepreneurship requires more than just an idea, it demands a strategic approach at different steps. Here’s how you can become a serial entrepreneur:

1. Identify Opportunities and Choose an Industry

The first step towards serial entrepreneurship begins with a sharp observation and willingness to put an effort into finding the right business opportunities and gaps in the market.

To be able to spot an opportunity, you have to know where you are looking. That’s why it is important to choose a field at the beginning stages.

Whether it is on tech, finances, arts, medicine, or other industries, you have to understand its ins and outs and potential for growth.

Related: What Are Five Things To Consider When Evaluating A Business Opportunity?

2. Build, Scale, and Exit Strategically

The next step is where you will spend most of your time in, because it is the actual process of starting a business until the market recognizes its value and offers you a significant payout for your work.

As previously mentioned, a typical business owner might view their business venture as invaluable and a part of themselves.

However, serial entrepreneurs understand that while it is crucial to be passionate about what you are working on, it is equally important to remain detached enough to recognize when to pivot, scale, or even exit.

3. Reinvest and Diversify

The purpose of selling your first business is to fund and start your several new business ideas. This might involve launching businesses in a completely unrelated field to your industry or diversifying within the same niche or category.

The key is in the word diversify, it means not to put all your eggs in one basket in case it falls or you drop it. Ensure that you reinvest your profits and knowledge into multiple ventures simultaneously, increasing your chances of success while mitigating the risk of the business failing.

Examples of Serial Entrepreneurs

The entrepreneurial world is filled with individuals who have transformed innovative ideas into successful businesses.

While there are countless names that can be mentioned, many serial entrepreneurs stand out because of their ability to start and grow different business ventures and make each one a success.

Here are three of the most iconic serial entrepreneur examples:

1. Elon Musk

From his humble beginnings with Zip2, Elon Musk has consistently demonstrated an uncanny ability to disrupt industries.

He revolutionized online payments with X.com, which later became the renowned PayPal. With SpaceX, he challenged and changed the dynamics of space exploration.

Tesla Motors, under his leadership, became synonymous with electric vehicles, setting new standards and pushing the entire auto industry toward sustainable transport.

Not to mention his ventures like The Boring Company, which aims to redefine urban transportation, and numerous others that showcase his relentless drive for innovation.

Related: The 15 Greatest Entrepreneurs Examples And Their Stories

2. Steve Jobs

The name Steve Jobs is almost synonymous with Apple, the company he co-founded and led to create products that reshaped how we interact with technology. But his entrepreneurial spirit didn’t stop there.

He co-founded NeXT, a computer platform development company that, while not as commercially successful, was influential and eventually merged with Apple, leading to the development of OS X.

Furthermore, his acquisition and leadership of Pixar Animation Studios transformed it into a major animation powerhouse, producing hits like “Toy Story” and “Finding Nemo”, before it was eventually acquired by Disney.

3. Oprah Winfrey

Often referred to simply as Oprah, she is a media mogul and entrepreneur with a diverse portfolio. Starting with her television show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” she went on to create her own television network, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network).

Additionally, she’s co-founded the women’s cable television network Oxygen, produced Broadway shows, started a magazine (O, The Oprah Magazine), and even launched her own line of food products called “O, That’s Good!”

Beyond her media and food ventures, Oprah is involved in numerous philanthropic activities, demonstrating the breadth and depth of her entrepreneurial spirit.

Final Thoughts on Serial Entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur is hard, their journeys will be characterized by ups and downs, successes and failures. Now think about doing all that again and again, that is what being a serial entrepreneur means. The likes of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, are good examples of how ambitious and determined you should be to achieve your goals. But they are also a testament that being resilient and never giving up on your dreams can lead to extraordinary success.

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