The Entrepreneurial Personality: The Human Side of Self-Employment

© Nick Bibby. All Rights Reserved.

This subject is a significant part of the Focus Program for Emerging Entrepreneurs. Our years of consulting demonstrates that the human side of business ownership is 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 and actually pursuing an entrepreneurial lifestyle, grasping the nature of the entrepreneurial personality is 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 an extra measure of independence. There are varying degrees of independence and varying degrees of executive talent. Successful employees can do well with the later. Successful entrepreneurs must possess both. The banker, government administrator, or teacher who works with the entrepreneur may understand the business about which they are advising, but they don’t understand the entrepreneur’s heart and mind. A gap exists that is real, and that gap 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% neither lives in nor understands 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, or the skills and courage needed to achieve it.

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.

Part Four  »