Are successful entrepreneurs special?

There is a lot of debate if entrepreneurship can be taught or not. I’ve always said that education makes you more prepared to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is no easy job especially during the crisis. Let’s say that everybody can be an entrepreneur. In fact it’s easier now than ever before to be an entrepreneur, so the question is not if entrepreneurship can be educated but if you have to have special abilities to be a successful one.

Through my interviews with entrepreneurs and my own experience  I’ve came to realize that success in entrepreneurship has little to do with education, luck or the economic environment. Of course, things can be easier or harder depending on where you are, but apart from this, the universal entrepreneurship essence says that entrepreneurs are people that find ways to adapt to the market and start successful businesses where everyone think there is no opportunity. For example, would a fashion business thrive in Africa? Well, it does, against all odds.

What I did find through the interviews was interesting: successful entrepreneurs have special personality traits. Determination to succeed; commitment towards growing the business against all odds; positive thinking. And I’ve always said there is something wrong about entrepreneur’s mind.

So what’s special about successful entrepreneurs personality? I’ve did a bit of research and I’ve came across a report called “Six Dimensions that Characterize Success-Oriented Small Business Owners” from The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute:

  • Collaborative. Success-oriented small business owners learn how to delegate effectively to others within their business as well as build strong personal relationships with their management team, employees, consultants, vendors and customers. They are more committed “to creating opportunities for others.”
  • Self-fulfilled. Success-oriented small business owners place a high value on the personal fulfillment and gratification that their companies provide them, relishing the self-determination and respect that come from being their own boss and being in control of their personal income and long-term net worth. They are more desirous of “doing something for a living that I love to do,” “being able to decide how much money I make” and “being able to have the satisfaction of creating something of value.”
  • Future-focused. Planning for both the short- and long-term future are key traits that characterize success-oriented small business owners. They are more focused on cash flow and more likely to have “a well thought out plan to run our business for years into the future” as well as “a well thought out plan to run our business day to day.”
  • Curious. Success-oriented small business owners are more open to learning how others run their businesses. They actively seek best practice insights regarding management, business innovation, prospecting and finding / motivating / retaining employees.
  • Tech-savvy. Technology is a key point of leverage for success-oriented small business owners. They more intensely value their company’s website and are significantly more likely to “rely a great deal on technology to help make our business more effective and more efficient.”
  • Action oriented. Finally, success-oriented small business owners are more proactive in taking initiative to build their businesses.  They are more committed to “taking the business to the next level,” “differentiating ourselves from our competitors” and “having something to sell when I’m ready to retire.”  They also see adversity as “a kick in the rear to help move you forward.” Not surprisingly, they are less concerned than other small business owners about the overall state of the economy.

Don’t have these personality traits? Don’t worry, Steve Welch, a successful entrepreneur says  We Are All Born Entrepreneurs and wrote a book about this.