Personality Traits

A number of studies have investigated the personality traits of entrepreneurs and how they differ from successful managers in established organization. Some suggest that entrepreneurs in general want something different from life than do traditional managers. Entrepreneurs seem to place high importance on being free to achieve and maximize their potential. Some 40 traits have been identified associated with entrepreneurship but has special importance.

Internal Locus of control:

The task of starting and running a new business requires the belief that you can make things come out the way you want. The entrepreneurs not only have a vision but are also able to plan and achieve that vision and believe it will happen. An internal locus of control is the belief by individuals that their future is within their control and that external forces will have little influence. For entrepreneurs reaching the future is seen as being in the hands of the individual. Many people, however, feel that the world is highly uncertain and that they are unable to make things come out the way they want. An external locus of control is the belief by individuals that their future is not within their control but rather is influenced by external forces. Entrepreneurs are individuals who are convinced they can make the difference between success and failure; hence they are motivated to take steps needed to achieve the goal of setting up and running a new business.

High Energy Level:

A business start up requires great effort. Most entrepreneurs report struggle and hardship. They persist and work incredibly hard despite traumas and obstacles. A survey of business owners reported that half worked 60 hours or more per week. Another reported that entrepreneurs worked long hours, but that beyond 70 hours little benefit was gained. The data in Exhibit show findings from a survey conducted by the national Federation of independent business. New business owners work long work week for managers in established businesses.

Need to achieve:

Another human quality closely linked to entrepreneurship is the need to achieve which means that people are motivated to excel and pick situations in which success is likely. People who have high achievement needs like to set their own goals, which are moderately difficult. Easy goals present no challenge, unrealistically difficult goals cannot be achieved. Intermediate goals are challenging and provide great satisfaction when achieved. High achievers also like to pursue goals for which they can obtain feedback about their success.

Self confidence:

People who start and run a business must act decisively. They need confidence about their ability to master the day to day tasks of the business. They must feel sure about their ability to win customers, handle the technical details and keep the business moving. Entrepreneurs also have a general feeling of confidence that they can deal with anything in the future and that complex unanticipated problems can be handled as they arise.

Awareness of passing time:

Entrepreneurs tend to be impatient as they feel a sense of urgency. They want things to progress as if there is no tomorrow. They want things moving immediately and seldom procrastinate. Entrepreneurs seize the moment.

Tolerance for ambiguity:

Many people need work situations characterized by clear structure, specific instructions and complete information. Tolerance for ambiguity is the psychological characteristics that allows a person to be untroubled by disorder and uncertainty. This is an important trait, because few situations present more uncertainty than starting a new business. Decisions are made without clear understanding of options or certainty about which option will succeed.

Source: New Era Management