If you want to go on an entrepreneurial journey that is undoubtedly challenging. It is wise to look within yourself and become more aware of your personality so that you can channel your strengths and overcome your weaknesses.
Researchers have been fascinated by using the Big 5 personality approach – considered the most scientific and modern – and have explored the personality traits of entrepreneurs. Research has also shown that genetic factors account for some of the variation in becoming an entrepreneur. People with different types of certain genes have different chances of developing certain personality traits. These genetically influenced personality traits, in turn, affect a person’s likelihood of becoming an entrepreneur.
Let’s take a look at some of these features and implications
First, to start a new business, you need to have a very open mind. Openness is a measure of creativity, imagination, intellectual curiosity and a person’s preference for novelty. Ask author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek, who believes that at their core, business owners are problem solvers. If you tend to be overly cautious and prefer routine and stability, you probably don’t have the risk appetite to handle the highly chaotic environment that startups present.
While it’s great to have unique ideas, entrepreneurship requires action, not just dreaming. A high degree of conscientiousness is important for long-term success. Successful founders must have a can-do mentality and be action-oriented. A lack of self-efficacy or the ability to manage your to-do list can cause you to abandon projects as the excitement fades or they fall into chaos. Whatever you want to call it—persistence or determination—successful entrepreneurs keep going in the face of challenges and setbacks.
Entrepreneurs are very diverse and therefore, personality research on them has different perspectives on agreeableness. Most research shows that entrepreneurs generally have low agreeableness, while other research shows that agreeableness is positively correlated with entrepreneurship. Being innovative means that you are taking a step that no one else has taken. Because of this, many people advise you not to do what you want to do. While it’s important to stick to your own beliefs and ideas, it’s just as important to bring people along on the same journey.
You have to be persuasive, a passionate salesman at heart to be able to convince and sell your big idea regularly – without any outside pressure. Having high extroversion makes it much easier for you to market your concepts to large audiences and build relationships with customers, partners, and other stakeholders.
Needless to say, there is a high degree of uncertainty which, for the more anxious, may naturally lead to high levels of stress. Low neuroticism or emotional stability will be very helpful in overcoming stressful situations and low situations that a business may bring.
For entrepreneurship – you need the optimism gene. A combination of extroversion and low neuroticism. Are you a confident, hopeful person who believes that bad times will pass and good things will happen? Do you see an opportunity in every difficulty?
And finally, the most important thing 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 customers? And passion isn’t just one trait—it’s the drive behind multiple traits like creativity, flexibility, and salesmanship.
(The author is the founder and CEO, GENLEAP)