There are entrepreneurs, and then there are serial entrepreneurs. The process of coming up with a business idea and successfully implementing it involves risk. It’s difficult to accurately gauge the market and the competitive landscape, come up with a successful business idea, hire the right people and manage them, and launch your product as a commercial success. There are also elements outside the entrepreneur’s control, such as changes in government rules and natural disasters, for instance. That’s why most entrepreneurs are happy if their project succeeds and then focus on building it up further. However, there are those who startup one business and then move on to another one. These are the serial entrepreneurs.

Once their business is successfully established, serial entrepreneurs tend to sell it off and then move on to the next venture. They feel restless and don’t necessarily want to engage in the task of running a business past the high-risk stage of getting it off the ground. They aren’t inclined to handle the more mundane management aspects of running the business. And that’s typically why they move on to their next entrepreneurial venture. They may also get new ideas for business pursuits based on their experience with their current business, another reason they might want to start a new venture.

Success Begets Success

And serial entrepreneurs have certain advantages going for them as they proceed thus. For one, they have already engaged in entrepreneurship, launched a successful business, and learned a thing or two. This has distinguished them from the mere dreamers and those who haven’t been successful entrepreneurs, giving them certain advantages over the untested.

Their reputation makes it easier for them to raise financing for subsequent ventures. They have a good idea about the environment they operate in and are more adept at bringing a product to market at the right time. And the suppliers and customers that they work with are more likely to accommodate them since they have more confidence in someone with a previous track record. Not only that, they are also more successful at attracting qualified employees who go by the serial entrepreneur’s track record and are less cautious about joining a startup.

And having learned from their previous mistakes, serial entrepreneurs have a better idea about the risks they will encounter and are better prepared to deal with them.  

Failure Can’t Be Ruled Out

Serial entrepreneurs tend to be more confident about their ability to navigate a risky landscape and better at quieting their doubts, but these do not necessarily mean that they will be successful in their serial ventures.

The first time around, everything depends on their success and they are likely to give their venture all they’ve got. Thus, they cut down on other aspects of their lives and devote a lot of time to their venture. The second time around, they are not so hungry, having already tasted success. They likely have achieved a comfortable lifestyle and are less inclined to give short shrift to other aspects of their lives. Thus, their mindset has changed and this might get in the way of further entrepreneurial success. Of course, there are those who have a constant entrepreneur mindset and are not just motivated by the need to make money. They are more likely to be successful at serial ventures.

In addition, serial entrepreneurship is not always the sign of a successful entrepreneur. There are those who sell off previous ventures because they are not doing well and hope to make good with a new venture.


There are some characteristics that tend to distinguish serial entrepreneurs. They are more likely to have an optimistic outlook as they continue to be willing to take on risk even after having encountered it. And they are more able to deal with failure and don’t see it as a personal shortcoming on their part. They are also more likely to be restless and have a higher need for achievement than others.

The Bottom Line

Serial entrepreneurs enjoy certain advantages that could fuel their further success as they start up one venture after another. However, success is not a given and certain personality traits are more associated with successful serial entrepreneurs.