Qualities of an entrepreneur

By Priya Chetty on October 30, 2010

Entrepreneurial personality is distinct from the personality of a common man. An entrepreneur possesses special qualities, values, skills, attitudes, aptitudes, capacities, capabilities and motivation.

1. Confidence

An entrepreneur has to be a confident person.  Confident personality projects:

  • Confident Appearance
  • Confident Body Language
  • Confident Communication
  • Confident Work Style
  • Confident Relationship

2. Risk-bearing ability

A large number of people as per the study are identified as zero risk takers.  They are averse to taking any risk and are afraid of taking challenges.  They select easily attainable goals.  In contrast, entrepreneurs are hundred percent risk takers. They are excited by the challenges and the risks involved.  An entrepreneur is, however, careful and cautious about selecting his goals.  He will take a moderate or calculate risk.  By attaining the goal he desires excitement, satisfaction and happiness. This is the mindset which is the basic requirement of an entrepreneur.

3. Team building capacity

Team building capacity is a key element for entrepreneurial success. An entrepreneur requires a variety of services and help from a large number of people and institution, hence developing the team spirit and team building ability is an essential requirement. To attain this quality, a positive and constructive attitude is needed. The following table illustrates the attitude:

For a Common man For an Entrepreneur
You You

4. Time planning

Time planning is achievement planning. Time is a valuable resource in a competitive environment.  To have an effective planning, time scheduling, time monitoring and time management is an important entrepreneurial skill. To achieve – clear objectivity and making the priority for allocation of time are essential.

5. Inter-personal relations

The success of an entrepreneurial venture depends upon an effective and cohesive team building. While dealing with associates, the difference in values attitudes, aptitudes, beliefs, emotional and psychological patterns are to be kept in consideration.

Personality traits are as follows:

  • Inhibitory Personality – Some people have certain in-built inhibitions in terms of their family background, social status, inferiority complexes etc.
  • Excitatory Personality – Some people are always free and fearless. They are open-minded, have clear thinking, possess strong convictions and are aware of their wants and needs.

The entrepreneur should be competent to deal with both these categories.

The nature of people are classified into three categories:

  • Submissive – Submissive people are submissive in nature and are always protective.  They will never argue with anybody and will not take any decision and are also reluctant to take any risk. They wait for things to happen and they submit themselves to any situation.
  • Assertive – An assertive person is positive, assured, open, communicative, responsive and responsible.  He has a clear thought and has a high self-image and self-respect. Often he creates opportunities and makes things happen.
  • Aggressive – An aggressive person is autocratic or dictatorial.  He is dominating, sticks to his opinion and imposes the same on other.  Even in relationships, and an aggressive person has a one-sided imposed relationship. He does not create opportunities and does not feel bad to snatch the opportunities from others.

6. Attitudes

People are usually classified as having two types of personality

Positive attitude – The much-referred status of a half-filled glass exemplifies the attitude of a person.  A person with a positive attitude will mention the glass as half full whereas the person with a negative attitude will mention the glass as half empty. In order to develop a congenial interpersonal relationship, it is necessary to give positive strokes to other people to ensure cordial, smooth and, professional relationship.

Types of Strokes:

  • Positive Strokes- Makes you feel encouraged and happy.
  • Negative Strokes- Makes you feel sad and depressed.
  • Zero Strokes- Makes you feel ignored and neglected
  • Conditional Strokes – Planned, expected, predictable
  • Unconditional Strokes – Spontaneous and unpredictable

Entrepreneurs are to resort to positive strokes to develop strong bonds with the people to tune up with them for “Win-Win” situation.

7. Leadership

An entrepreneur is the leader of the group.  As a leader, he has to take decisions, bear risks, solve problems, decide goals, set tasks for implementation and build a strong cohesive team.  The classification of leaders:

Sl. No. Leadership Style Characteristics
Autocratic Dictator, taskmaster
Democratic Participative, and consultative
Laissez- Faire Works by group consensus
Bureaucratic Procedure and formalities-oriented, red-tapism
Paternalistic Family environment
Charismatic Mystical, magical, attractive
Missionary Good fellowship and warm atmosphere
Neuro-cratic Eccentric, emotional

8.  Goal Setting

A goal is the base building block of an entrepreneurial career. A goal may be defined as a dream with a deadline. Another definition- a goal is an end towards which you direct some specific efforts.  Attributes of a goal are:

  • It is identifiable.
  • It is clear and concrete
  • It is measurable
  • It is attainable
  • A goal is always preferable to time
  • A goal is also related to the cost factor
  • A goal is action oriented
  • Goal is realistic
  • A goal is the accomplishment


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