Just because you have a great idea for a business doesn’t mean you will be a good business man or woman. In fact, your personality traits could exclude you from successful business ownership altogether. Before you jump into creating a business around your idea, take a moment to evaluate yourself. Do you have an entrepreneurial personality? Do you have the type of personality to make it in a cut-throat marketplace?
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I have a plastic Apollo series rocket model on my desk. You’ve seen the movies, I’m sure, on TV that features this particular Saturn V rocket. Likewise, I’m sure you’ve seen and know about the catastrophes that transpired around it. Nonetheless, I’ve had this rocket for some 25 years now, and for those of you unfamiliar with it, it’s a long, pinnacle-shaped rocket. It doesn’t look like modern spaceships. Instead, it looks more like a stick if you really want to know the truth.
What’s interesting to me about this rocket, though, is the sheer amount of energy it took to get this rocket off the launchpad. This rocket carried some 203 million gallons of kerosene and some 318 million gallons of liquid oxygen to fuel combustion. At the time of lift-off, five different ignition thrusters on the bottom of the main rocket would burst into action, spending over 80% of the rocket’s fuel just to get off the ground!
Think about that. Millions and millions of gallons of kerosene and liquid oxygen used just to get the rocket to move an inch. 80%. Now, once it got off the launchpad, the rocket would use the remaining 20% of its fuel to get the rocket into outer-space and ultimately bring it back home.
The reason I’ve kept my model of the Saturn V rocket all these years is because it reminds me of what it takes to start a business. It reminds me of the amount of energy entrepreneurs spend to get their businesses off the ground. Many times, it seems like your frantic running is a waste of time. But once you get the business into the air, metaphorically speaking, it takes a much smaller amount of energy to maintain your momentum.
“Now, if we believe that everything rises and falls on leadership, then could many startups fail because the entrepreneurs themselves are unqualified?” – Justin Goodbread, CFP®, CEPA®, CVGA®Click to tweet
Even though we see that it takes a significant amount of energy to get a business off the ground, why is it that some people have an easier time starting and growing a business than others? Have you ever noticed that? Some people just seem to have everything together. It’s like they’re born with a golden spoon in their mouths and everything they touch turns to gold.
However, I submit to you that it’s more than a Midas Touch. According to Neil Patel, a contributing writer with Forbes, 90% of start-ups fail. Guys, that’s 9 out of 10. How crazy is that?! A 10% success rate! American author, speaker, and pastor Dr. John Maxwell once stated that “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Now, if we believe that everything rises and falls on leadership, then could many startups fail because the entrepreneurs themselves are unqualified? I believe the answer is yes. Let me explain.
In my business, I use a free, online service called 16 Personalities that is very similar to the Myers-Briggs personality test. I like to use this personality assessment, though, because it tells you how your personality could be used best in the business world. Not all business owners are born entrepreneurs.
According to 16 Personalities, entrepreneurs have ESTP traits. Typically, they are Extroverted. They Sense emotions and observe their environments. Additionally, entrepreneurs are usually Thoughtful and Perceptive people. Those with entrepreneurial personalities are bold, rational, and original. They’re often extremely direct and sociable. However, according to 16 Personalities, the entrepreneur can often appear insensitive and impatient. (I’ve heard those about myself!) Finally, the entrepreneur tends to be “risk-prone” and appears defiant in nature.
I don’t know about you, but that is definitely my personality. I’ve said many a time that if I’m going to go bust in business, I want to bust NOW and make all the mistakes I can in my twenties and thirties. That way, when I’m in my forties and fifties, I will have them under my belt!
In 2017, Harvard School of Business released a study called Personality Traits of Entrepreneurs that further clarifies the entrepreneurial personality. While the verbiage in the report is rather heady, I found an intriguing description of an entrepreneur within it. According to the study, “In the uncertain and competitive environment of new venture creation, many researchers hypothesize that entrepreneurs thrive on a strong sense of personal self-efficiency to execute their visions and a keen eye for innovation to identify new products and markets.”
After that complex definition, the authors of the study boil down the entrepreneur’s personality to five different traits. They found that entrepreneurs are typically innovators, risk-takers, marketers, managers, and financial controllers.
“I want to bust NOW and make all the mistakes I can make in my twenties and thirties. That way, when I’m in my forties and fifties, I will have them under my belt!” – Justin Goodbread, CFP®, CEPA®, CVGA®Click to tweet
After I studied the personality traits of entrepreneurs, I dug a little deeper. Do people with certain personality types tend to become entrepreneurs? In other words, do certain types of people succeed as entrepreneurs? Well, I found an article written by Darrell Zahorsky in which he identifies 9 different “personality types that thrive in an entrepreneurial environment. They are:
Now, I’m not sure if each of these personality traits for entrepreneurs is legit. However, I thought they were intriguing. Candidly, I find it interesting that Harvard Business School, 16 Personalities, and other researching organizations want to define me, an entrepreneur.
Friends, if you are starting a business, take a second to evaluate your personality. Do you have any of the various characteristics professionals believe come naturally to entrepreneurs? Perhaps you have an ESTP personality like 16 Personalities says entrepreneurs tend to have. Maybe you’re a risk-taker and marketer like Harvard Business authors say many entrepreneurs are. Or like Zahorsky says, maybe you’re an improver or a superstar full of high energy.
You don’t have to meet a certain set of requirements to be a successful entrepreneur. However, if you do have these personality traits that experts say entrepreneurs have, now’s the time to start your business. Quit making excuses. Take your BIG IDEA, and take a risk!
In the next article, I’m going to take the information from this post to the next level. I want to give you the list of entrepreneurial characteristics you need to have (or improve upon) to match successful business leaders. So until then, remember that life is hard. Life is good. Life can be downright frustrating, but guys, money doesn’t have to be. Let’s continue to make our lives, at least, financially simple.
NEXT STEP: Learn what traits you need to have as SUCCESSFUL business owners