Ten Characteristics of Entrepreneurs

Why Are Entrepreneurs Different?

Due to the global financial meltdown and corporate downsizing, the concept of entrepreneurship has steadily captured the attention of the general public. Statistics Canada reports that self-employment increased by 4.3 per cent between October 2008 and October 2009. However, the interesting part is the rise in entrepreneurship was not the main cause of people losing jobs due to economic downturn, as the characteristics of those who lost jobs did not resemble the characteristics of those that became entrepreneurs.

There are various factors leading people to become entrepreneurs. However, there are some characteristics entrepreneurs have in common. I contemplate these “special” characteristics all the time; today, I decided to mention some of them I can think of off the top of my head.

Entrepreneurs Go Against The Norms of Society – We are programmed by our society from a young age to go to school, get a job, make someone else (most likely a corporation) rich, and one day retire or die while making that person or entity rich. Entrepreneurs break these traditional societal norms and the vicious cycle of making someone else rich by exiting the traditional comfort zone and trying something beyond the ordinary.

Integrity – Integrity leads the way to becoming courageous and taking necessary risks to becoming successful in a business. Entrepreneurs earn credibility by sticking to their principles and values, thus attracting more business (because people always want to do with business with someone they can trust and feel comfortable dealing with) in their respective fields.

Determination, Dedication, and Hard Work - Determination, dedication, and hard work lead to the bridge to success. The majority of non-entrepreneurs are lacking the combination of these three virtues. Drop any one from these three, and the other two will be meaningless.

A Receptive Mind – Entrepreneurs are always learning new things and they are always on the lookout for new knowledge.

Time Is Precious – Our time is very limited on Earth. We all have two options regarding the use of our limited time: we can make someone else rich by working for someone else, or we can use this limited time to work for ourselves, making ourselves rich and spending this limited time our own way. Entrepreneurs pick the latter one.

Life Starts Now - Entrepreneurs do not want to start life at 69 when they need hip replacement surgery. Regular people wait to start life at 69, once they retire. Entrepreneurs have already started their lives and living their life. The time is NOW, there is no need to wait for life to start at 69 (after having hips replaced).

Higher Degree of Frustration, Rejection, and Criticism Tolerance – Entrepreneurs can tolerate frustrations, rejections, and criticisms a lot better than non-entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs gather feedback from these obstacles and put them into productive use.

Discipline and Self-Control – Entrepreneurs have the ability to manage emotions and live a disciplined life.

Tenacity – Entrepreneurs practise enormous persistency and never give up on their dreams.

Optimism – Entrepreneurs always have a positive outlook about everything and about life in general. They always believe in a positive future and lay out a solid roadmap to reach the future.

Do you have these in you? If you want to be an entrepreneur and think you are missing some or all of them, there is no need to worry. We were not born with these characteristics, and they can be learned. If you are determined to be an entrepreneur and have the willingness to change, you will be an entrepreneur one day. When that happens, it will be my pleasure to greet you saying, “Welcome to the club!” I am looking forward to that day.

First Published: EntrepreneurJourney.com May 17, 2010