DevelopPEOPLE Blog: Is there an entrepreneurial personality?

Is there an entrepreneurial personality?

Do entrepreneurs have a certain personality? Sometimes it certainly seems so.  If we pay attention to the media, movies and television, we get frequent characterizations of entrepreneurs as outgoing, strong-willed and driven. Perhaps this characterization has frightened us off of starting a new pursuit.

Opportunities abound in this era of the internet and social media. In fact, there is no mistaking the similarities between this decade and the decades that followed Gutenberg’s creation of the printing press. The printing press heralded learning and knowledge for the common man at a pace that was impossible before the press. Books could be copied and distributed relatively inexpensively, and it caused an explosion of knowledge and creativity. Similarly, in this age of “Just Google it,” vast numbers of people now have access to the knowledge of earth at their fingertips, using one of the ubiquitous wireless connections on the planet and an inexpensive computer. We have more opportunities than ever to create a new product or service that disrupts old patterns and businesses. Within those opportunities could be our personal route to success. But – if there is indeed an “entrepreneurial personality,” then it would stand to reason that some of us have it – and some of us don’t. And if we don’t have it, then it would probably be better to not even try. Personally, I know that when I contemplate doing new things, I can get butterflies. My own feelings certainly don’t match the demeanor of Steve Jobs when he was running Apple or an entrepreneur I’ve ever read about.

DiSC personality types and the entrepreneur

Fortunately for you and I, there is no such thing as an “entrepreneurial personality.” Each of us has a different set of strengths and weaknesses, defined by the DiSC system. Let’s look at how each trait could assist an entrepreneur: Dominance is the trait of the driven individual. Someone with a high “D” trait will focus on getting immediate results, taking direct action and will enjoy the challenge of meeting and overcoming obstacles towards their goals.

This trait in an entrepreneur would help them to push through a project to completion – despite opposition.

Influence measures the ability and desire of the individual to shape the environment through social intelligence and persuasion. This trait would help an entrepreneur to create a team of supporters and backers. Steadiness demonstrates the ability to listen and to gain cooperation toward a known goal in a predictable, stable fashion. An entrepreneur who focused on this trait would make their vision a reality in sure, steady steps, gaining cooperation along the way. Conscientiousness is the effort to control the environment through thorough planning, exact programming and quality control. An entrepreneur who was strong in this trait would benefit by being very exact in measuring success and demanding of exact quality control.

Each DiSC strength is also a weakness

Entrepreneurs can rely too much on their strengths and they can suffer as a result. For example, someone who relies too heavily on social skills may shy away from situations that could cause people to get upset. An entrepreneur whose strength was her conscientiousness might miss an opportunity that suddenly arose because it didn’t fit their paradigm.

Know thyself

So we see finally to be a successful entrepreneur, it matters less that we are one personality rather than another. Much more important is that we have the insight to recognize our own strengths – and our weaknesses – and that we learn to build methods within our thought patterns to take these into consideration when making important decisions. The first step is learning about ourselves. If you’d like to take a DiSC personality profile and learn more about your own strengths and how to use them to achieve your goals, email me and we’ll get you started.
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