Entrepreneurs leading Small to Medium businesses  have long been the engines of job creation in Corporate America

Entrepreneurs are crucial drivers in the economy.  Serial Entrepreneurs, those who have started 2 or more successful businesses, contribute three to five times the impact of single company entrepreneurs. Having been associated with UB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) since 2004, we have examined common leadership skills serial entrepreneurs share.

Since serial entrepreneurs are clearly doing something right, it behooves us to understand them. Are you in possession of those traits needed to succeed as a serial entrepreneur?

  1. Serial Entrepreneurs have already experienced success and usually failure.
  1. These leaders tend to learn from both, developing the professional skills vital for success
  1. Serial Entrepreneurs have personal funds from previous ventures or have the ability to raise funds based on past successes.
  1. The track record of Serial Entrepreneurs make them more likely to create gazelle companies. Gazelle companies grow bigger, faster and thus employ more people than a typical start up.
  1. They have conquered the Emyth, They demonstrate the ability to sustain a business past the first year, into the high growth job production years of a young firm

This article focuses on serial entrepreneurs, who are defined as those who have created more than one successful business which employs others.

What exactly characterizes a serial entrepreneur? Data was collected in three specific areas relevant to performance: attitudes, behavior, and professional soft skills. Attitudes tell us why entrepreneurs are motivated to do what they do, behavior is how they are doing it, and professional skills reveal what they excel as leaders.  Our group of serial entrepreneurs earned impressive track records, having on average built five different businesses and sold two of them. Most have experienced failure at some point (66%) but persevered to achieve solid successes that have them in the 36% tax bracket (80%).