If you want to embark on an entrepreneurial journey that is, without a doubt, challenging; It is wise to look inward and become more aware of your own personality, so you can channel your strengths and overcome your weaknesses.
Researchers have been intrigued and investigated the personality traits of entrepreneurs using the Big 5 personality approach which is – which is considered the most scientific and modern. Researchers have also found that genetic factors cause some variation in who becomes an entrepreneur. People with different variants of certain genes have different opportunities to develop certain personality traits. These genetically influenced personality traits, in turn, affect a person’s likelihood of becoming an entrepreneur.
Let’s look at some of these characteristics and implications
First, to start a new business, you must be very open-minded. Openness is a measure of creativity, imagination, intellectual curiosity, and interest in new things. Ask author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek, who thinks that at their core, business owners are problem solvers. If you tend to be overly cautious and prefer routine and stability, you may lack the risk appetite needed to handle the highly turbulent environment that start-ups present.
While it’s great to have a unique idea, entrepreneurship requires action, not just daydreaming. A high level of conscientiousness is important for long-term success. Successful founders must have a can-do and action-oriented mindset. Lack of self-efficacy or the ability to manage your task list, can make you give up on projects as their excitement fades or get entangled in the chaos. Whatever you prefer – perseverance or strength – successful entrepreneurs keep moving forward in the face of challenges and failures.
Entrepreneurs are very diverse and therefore, personality research on them has mixed views on Agreeableness. Most research shows that entrepreneurs are generally low on agreeableness while other pieces of research show that agreeableness has a positive correlation with entrepreneurship. Being an innovator means you take a step forward. Because of this, many people will advise you to do what you want to do. While it is very important to stick to your own beliefs and ideas, it is equally important to take people on a collaborative journey.
You need to be a persuasive, passionate salesperson at heart to convince and sell your big idea to people on a regular basis – without external encouragement. Having high extraversion will make it easier for you to market your concept to a large audience and build relationships with your clients, partners, and other stakeholders.
Needless to say, there is a high level of uncertainty, which, for people who are more anxious, can naturally lead to high levels of stress. low neuroticism or emotional stability will immensely help to tide over stressful situations and lows that business can bring.
To be an entrepreneur – you need the optimism gene. The combination of extraversion and low neuroticism. Are you a hopeful person who believes that bad times will pass, and good things will happen? Do you see opportunity in every difficulty?
And finally, the most important consideration before starting a business is your passion. If you are not passionate about your idea and vision, how will you sell it to your investors or clients? And passion isn’t just a trait — it’s the drive for other traits like creativity, flexibility, and salesmanship.
(The author is the founder and CEO, GENLEAP)