The Entrepreneurial Personality: The Human Side of Business
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This is Part Three of a series and an abbreviated version of an earlier work Bibby Group published on the entrepreneurial personality. This subject is a significant part of the Focus Program for Emerging Entrepreneurs . Our years of consulting demonstrates that the human side of business may be the most interesting and the most complex.
Defining the Entrepreneur
While certain adjectives might accurately describe some entrepreneurs, they are not universally descriptive. Short of saying that all entrepreneurs work for themselves, no one string of adjectives otherwise describes them. So, here’s a different look at the human side of self-employment; the entrepreneurial personality.
Entrepreneurs are people, and no two are just alike. To think differently, is to think wrong. Different industries and ventures tend to attract different personalities. The drives or motivations of entrepreneurs even in the same line of business can attract different types of people. Disregarding stereotypes helps prospective entrepreneurs better accept their own potential and uniqueness. For students of the subject, and especially for people considering or actually pursuing an entrepreneurial lifestyle, grasping the nature of the entrepreneurial personality can be critical to one’s success or failure.
Then again, while there’s no string of adjectives describing all entrepreneurs there is one trait common to all.
All entrepreneurs can be properly defined by one special trait, but that trait is not aggression, dominance, leadership, intelligence, integrity, or loyalty. Those ae universal traits.
The Key Entrepreneurial Trait
The one element that separates entrepreneurs from all others is their extra measure of independence.
Of course, there are varying degrees of independence and varying degrees of executive talent. Those elements serve to form different entrepreneurial types. The key point is that entrepreneurs are different from other people and non-entrepreneurs cannot fully come to terms with that difference. Why” Because they are not driven by the same need for independence. A different feeling exists inside. The banker, government administrator, or teacher who works with the entrepreneur may understand the business about which they are advising, but they do not understand the entrepreneur’s heart and mind. A gap exists that is real, and that gap generally creates a divide between the entrepreneur and the rest of the world that is difficult to bridge.
Less than 10% of the population are entrepreneurs. The other 90% do not live in or understand that world. One might accept that NASCAR drivers love speed, but that’s a far cry from understanding what that need for speed feels like. Nor, do the rest of us want to experience that speed. It’s the implementation of tools and systems that requires the hands-on person. Coaching, teaching and advising are NOT the same as doing. That point is missed by those serving or helping entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs are driven by independence. It is the varying level of aptitudes, knowledge and independence that determines an entrepreneurial type. The Focus Program takes great pains to help emerging entrepreneurs analyze these issues in order to make better decisions about potential self-employment.