What Is a Serial Entrepreneur: 7 Good Characteristics of One

serial entrepreneur, example of serial entrepreneur, serial entrepreneur characteristics

What Is a Serial Entrepreneur: 7 Good Characteristics of One

When someone is referred to as an entrepreneur, it means they have new ideas and start new businesses. They take on risks and start their own profitable ventures. A serial entrepreneur takes on the risk of repeatedly starting a new venture.

Serial entrepreneurship might not be for everyone, so let’s look at the characteristics of one and the pros and cons of it.

What Is a Serial Entrepreneur?

Beyond the traditional concept of an entrepreneur who starts a business and focuses on it for several years, a serial entrepreneur is known for consistently starting new businesses or ventures are often running multiple business projects simultaneously or one after the previous one has stabilized.

Generally, these serial entrepreneurs are known for their ability to spot new business opportunities and create a vision for a company. The most exciting part for these entrepreneurs is the early stages of a business in the entire business process. Think about business tasks like product conceptualization, team building, and attracting investments. These tasks might seem challenging to other entrepreneurs, but for the serial entrepreneur, it is an opportunity to do something new and, probably, exciting. The failure of one venture does not deter them; they move on to another, using the lessons learned from previous experiences.

Also, they can make money by selling successful businesses and reinvesting the profits in a new startup. They may also retain ownership of their businesses while delegating managerial responsibilities to others. Hence, they can focus on new ideas and ventures.

Example of Serial Entrepreneurship

Examples of well-known serial entrepreneurs include Elon Musk, who has started or invested in several companies, including PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, and the Boring Company, and Richard Branson, who has initiated ventures in various fields under the Virgin label.

Characteristics of a Serial Entrepreneur

The characteristics are as follows:

  • Serial entrepreneurs have a deep passion for their work. Hence, regardless of the outcome, they are driven by their vision and are willing to dedicate countless hours and days to seeing their projects through.
  • They possess a solid dose of self-confidence, which shields them from self-doubt and makes them impervious to criticism. Possessing self-confidence is essential, especially when they have to face the challenges and obstacles that come their way.
  • They are driven to prove themselves and want to succeed on their terms and make a significant impact through their endeavours.
  • Also, they are open to the risk of failure and do not see failure as a deterrent but rather as a part of the journey to success.
  • They have a knack for coming up with great ideas one after the other. Hence, they often show curiosity and constantly explore new business ideas.
  • They love to compete, often thrive in competitive environments, and see it as a fun challenge rather than a threat.
  • Another one of serial entrepreneur characteristics is that they are creative multitaskers juggling different operations, projects, and goals simultaneously. They have the discipline to ensure their multitasking does not negatively affect their work.

How to Be a Serial Entrepreneur

A serial entrepreneur requires unique skills, a mindset, and practical steps. You can consider the following steps:

Understand the Concept of Serial Entrepreneurship

To be a serial entrepreneur, you’ll first have to understand the concept of serial entrepreneurship. The concept is based on a deviation from the traditional entrepreneur, who starts a single company and sees it through. The serial entrepreneur continuously develops new business ideas and starts new businesses. They often delegate the responsibility of a new venture to others and move on to the next idea. The business they start may be in the same sector or across various industries.

Create Firm Structures for Delegation

As a serial entrepreneur, you’ll need to find good delegates to manage a particular business while you move on to the next. For the venture to be successful. you require delegation; find people you trust and can handle the business smoothly. Thus, create systems that allow smooth delegation when setting up a business. That way, you’ll have the time to develop new ideas and implementation strategies. Although, this means that a good part of your profits will go into salaries.

Put Your Business in Order

Ensure everything is running smoothly with your current business before venturing into creating and implementing a new business. Put effort into building strong structures centring on the proper people, and do the necessary work to get your business operating like clockwork. Once you have put the business in order and delegated tasks, your mind will be freed up, allowing you to concentrate further on developing other business endeavours.

Maintain Enthusiasm and Focus

To succeed in the venture, focus is very vital. It’s easy to become overwhelmed or spread yourself too thin. If you can’t classify and apply yourself entirely to one thing at a time, you’ll unlikely get very far with any of your businesses. The ability to go from one failure to another without a lack of enthusiasm is a crucial trait you’ll need. You should enter every new venture with excitement and an enthusiastic state of mind.

Don’t Do It Alone

One thing you shouldn’t do while setting up a business is try to do it alone. Don’t do that! You should identify critical operational leaders that can take up various key roles for faster and smooth business operations.

Most entrepreneurs tend to be very type-A and ascribe to the ideology that you can do most things yourself. While that may be true, you probably can’t ‘do it all’ well. Two brains are better than one, and you need input from partners/staff that you respect and value to maintain the business’s longevity.

Understand that having strong partners in every one of your endeavours can be a game-changer.

Identify Unique Problems

Like all successful business owners, you must be able to identify problems and supply solutions to meet demand. You must be able to see through the trends, read the markets, and realize the demands of a particular product or service to expand your ventures or create a new one. Also, make sure your idea is unique. The market has similar ideas and products, so you must ensure your idea stands out.

Pros and Cons of Serial Entrepreneurship

Being a serial entrepreneur comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of Being a Serial Entrepreneur

  • Creative freedom: As a serial entrepreneur, you can constantly develop new ideas and unique solutions. This allows you to execute these ideas and see them become reality.
  • Greater Financial Success: Multiple businesses mean more income streams, revenue, and ultimately–more earnings for a single person with a stake in them all.
  • Greater Control Over Your Life and Career: Pursuing serial entrepreneurship means you have complete control over your life and career—no one can tell you what to do.
  • More robust Partnership Networks and Relationships: Serial entrepreneurship is a great way to form stronger partnerships and relationships. It lets you find resources and support when starting your new businesses quickly.
  • Increased Earning Potential Over Time: You will experience an increase in earning potential as you progress from startup to startup. Plus, you’ll have greater odds of success as you better understand what you’re doing after the first few startups.
  • Increased Opportunities to Learn and Grow: Serial entrepreneurship is a great way to learn new things, grow as a businessperson, and have lots of fun.
  • Wealth and Respect: Financial independence is the most significant benefit to running multiple businesses or launching one successful venture after another. Respect and admiration are natural byproducts of this process.
  • Knowledge and Skills-Building: After launching multiple businesses, some of which fail and others succeed, the serial entrepreneur will inevitably learn several lessons.

Cons of Being a Serial Entrepreneur

  • More significant Uncertainty: While the potential for success is undeniably high, there is also a greater chance of failure. This is because serial entrepreneurs are constantly learning and tweaking their business models, which can be complex and challenging.
  • Risk of Cashing Out Too Soon: A serial entrepreneur who builds and sells a startup that later achieves great success can miss out on the chance to acquire great wealth by cashing out too soon.
  • Distraction: Another risk is that soon after starting a business, a serial entrepreneur will be distracted by an idea for a new startup. That may lead the entrepreneur to fail to pay enough attention to the first business so that it flounders and is unsuccessful.
  • Risk of Financial Instability: With serial entrepreneurship come many risks. Everything from financial instability to the inability to fulfil your commitments can happen.
  • Stress: Being a serial entrepreneur can be pretty demanding and challenging, especially when you’re struggling with discipline, patience, risk appetite, stress, and a lack of financial stability.

What Are the Two Types of Serial Entrepreneurship?

Serial entrepreneurship can be broadly classified into two types based on how entrepreneurs manage their ventures: sequential serial and parallel-serial entrepreneurship.

Sequential Serial Entrepreneurship

In sequential serial entrepreneurship, an entrepreneur starts a venture, builds it up to a certain level of maturity and success, and then moves on to the next venture. This type of serial entrepreneur often sells the matured business or retains ownership while delegating the day-to-day operations to others.

The entrepreneur may sell the existing company at the first opportunity and start a new one using the capital obtained. This type of serial entrepreneur is very interested in starting a business, from the conception of an idea to the establishment of a thriving business, and they go through this process multiple times. 

Parallel Serial Entrepreneurship

In parallel entrepreneurship, the entrepreneur starts and runs multiple ventures simultaneously. This serial entrepreneur takes more than normal financial risks by starting multiple ventures. They might run the businesses individually or appoint someone to oversee their operations. Hence, allowing them to focus on starting new businesses. 

Regardless of the type of serial entrepreneurship, both involve risk-taking and management skills. Serial entrepreneurs are characterized by their ability to generate and execute innovative business ideas, often taking on significant risks to pursue their ventures. They are also great managers who avoid the risk of handling multiple ventures by setting concrete goals and having good time management.


The serial entrepreneurship style involves constantly starting new business ideas, launching them, and moving on to the next endeavor once they succeed. The process may involve selling the business or delegating its operations to others while retaining ownership. Also, the experience gained from each venture can be valuable for future endeavors, making them attractive to investors. Overall, serial entrepreneurship requires a strong sense of optimism, a desire to innovate, and the ability to juggle different operations, projects, and goals. While a good model, it is not for everyone.

Related Articles: How To Change The Game By Believing In Yourself


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