Entrepreneurs have different personality traits than corporate managers, scoring far higher on traits such as openness to experience (curiosity+innovation) and conscientiousness (self-discipline, motivation) and considerably lower on neuroticism, which allows them to tolerate stress better.
Here are some traits:
For those uninitiated, entrepreneurs are not in it for the money. While there have been some icons who have made more cash than most people such as Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, the reality is that most entrepreneurs work an insane number of hours for little or nothing. Why would they put themselves through this if they are not driven to either solve a problem or make the world a better place?
Throughout all the trials and tribulations, entrepreneurs reward themselves internally by realizing that they are on a mission for the greater good. No matter how bad it gets, it is their passion that motivates them between paydays and during all the times when everyone else tells them to quit. It is commonly assumed that successful entrepreneurs are driven by money. But most will say they are fueled by a passion for their product or service, by the opportunity to solve a problem and make life easier, better, cheaper.
Being able to adapt to changes and challenges is crucial for any business. In fact, most entrepreneurs will inform you that their idea or business plan is drastically different than when it began. An idea may be brilliant, but in reality, it isn't useful. Entrepreneurs are flexible enough to make the adjustments to make that idea feasible. Furthermore, entrepreneurs are prepared and willing to modify their plan when new information arrives and when there are changes in circumstances. Business survival, like that of the species depends on adaptation. Your final product or service likely won't look anything like what you started with. The flexibility that allows you to respond to changing tastes and market conditions is essential. You have to have a willingness to be honest with yourself and say, "This isn't working." You have to be able to pivot.
If you are going to build a startup, you'll need a spirit of determination coupled with a high pain tolerance. You'll need to be willing and able to learn from your mistakes - to get knocked down repeatedly, get up, dust yourself off, move forward with renewed motivation.
People will constantly tell you your baby's ugly, that your business won't work. Now, you should listen carefully and be open to constructive criticism. But after a while, having the door slammed in your face repeatedly can be withering, and the best entrepreneurs learn to feed off the negativity and gain strength from it.
You may not start out with a fool-proof gyroscope, but to survive as an entrepreneur, you'll need that strong sense of perspective, how to maintain pure, clear focus, as well as how to be at peace with, and learn from a failure. Understanding that not all battles are worth winning, and when to walk away. Knowing that most people in your startup aren't as entrepreneurial as you and that this may just be a very cool job for them, but it is still a job. Learn when to go home and hug your loved ones and when to go for a run.
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