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4 Common Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

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Among the 16 personality types defined in the Myers Briggs type indicator, 5 of them have been recognized to be highly correlated with success in business and entrepreneurial skillsets. Those types are ENTP, INTJ, ENTJ, ESTJ, ISTJ. These personalities feature the cognitive preferences that are most aligned with traits associated with high achievement and ambition. These types also rank the highest in earned income and each share the Thinking (T) preference. Thinking and judging appear to be the strongest factors involved in executive leadership ability. However, intuition (N) is  associated with the ability to envision possibilities and recognize opportunities which are quintessential traits to all successful entrepreneurs.

When we think of great CEOs, legends such as Steve Jobs and Walt Disney come to mind. Many of the world’s most prolific and prestigious tycoons and moguls however, do not belong to any of the 5 types specified above. Oprah Winfrey for instance has been typed as ENFJ, Richard Branson as ESFP, Donald Trump; ESTP, and Larry Page and Sergey Brin are both cited as being INTP. This shows that while certain types possess qualities more condusive to successful entrpreneurship and leadership, it does not mean other types cannot succeed and excel in these areas as well. The MBTI tests for preferences; not ability. Regardless of personality type, it is apparent that all successful entrepreneurs share key strengths that allow them to climb the ranks and become captains of industry.

1. Curiosity

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An abiding compulsion to explore and experiment is an inherent characteristic of entrepreneurs. Great entrepreneurs are also avid learners who constantly seek new information. This drive to acquire more insight allows them gain an edge in the development of better ideas and solutions. Jeff Boss, who is an entrepreneur and leadership coach, stated that “Questions serve as the fuel for creativity; creativity leads to innovation; innovation turns into making products that make you the next mega-millionaire.”

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The entrepreneur mindset is an open mind that is willing to entertain possibilities and take risks, testing to see what works and what doesn’t. This attribute is linked to extroverted thinking and happens to be present in the cognitive stacks of ENTJs, INTJs, ISTJs and ESTJs. The prospect of discovery is exciting for them and propels entrepreneurs to venture into uncharted waters to become pioneers and bellwethers in their field. This can be risky but the willingness to take big gambles can payoff in dividends when decisions are guided by sharp intuition and instincts.

2. Creativity

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Creativity is a critical ingredient in the entrepreneur’s recipe for success. It takes a creative mind to see opportunity where others see chaos. It is as though creative people navigate the darkness wearing infrared goggles while others grope around blindly. In the Myers Briggs, divergent thinking is linked with Intuition (N), particularly extroverted intuition. ENTJs, INTJs, and ENTPs are personality types featuring a preference for intuition and they are considered some of the most creative and innovative types in the MBTI. Many business institutions value intelligence over creativity in part because it is easier to quantify and manage. However, innovation requires thinking that goes outside the bounds of established facts and concepts. True success in business often requires carving out a unique niche in a prospective market. Coming up with a worthwhile and profitable business idea that solves a problem or provides an experience that other businesses don’t requires a creative and opportunistic mindset.

Not a very creative person? No problem. Nicole Fallon, an editor at Business News Daily states “Everyone has creative potential and the creative thought process can be improved and strengthened. Learning new hobbies and skills is a great way to lay down new neural networks, but learning a new art form is one of the best methods to train the mind in developing creative problem-solving skills.”

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3. Decisiveness

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Jason Demers, the CEO of Audience Bloom states decisiveness is good because it “increases your authority and reputation as a strong leader, earning you your team’s respect and allowing you to set an example at the same time.” The ability to act decisively and make good decisions quickly especially when under pressure is crucial in business and in this regard, judging types hold a distinct advantage over perceivers. Perceiving types tend to be allergic to commitment and making binding decisions that could lock them into something they can’t easily back out of. Judgers such as ENTJs and ESTJs favor structure and are more comfortable with following through on their pledges and keeping promises.

They take their decisions seriously and are typically very reliable and can be counted on to keep their word. They are able to be this way because they thoroughly consider the implications and consequences of any direction they decide to take so that once they make up their mind, they invest themselves with unwavering determination to make it work. Entrepreneurs are ultimately initiators who get the ball rolling and they take action systematically to make serious progress and get results.

4. Responsibility

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Entrepreneurs take responsibility for their success and despite their current circumstances, feel they are ultimately in control over their destiny. When times are tough, they do not wallow in despair or seek to blame others. Such people are referred to in psychology as having an external locus of control. Good entrepreneurs have an internal locus of control. Psych Central defines such a person as someone who “believes that he or she can influence events and their outcomes, while someone with an external locus of control blames outside forces for everything.”

Great entrepreneurs have opportunistic minds that actively fixate on finding a path to fix their situation. Because their vision and belief in themselves is so strong, they are very resilient in face of failure. In their heart, they know there is always another way, another door waiting to be opened. They are not easily deterred and can be even stubborn in doing things their way. However, good entrepreneurs are still able to own their mistakes and hold themselves accountable when necessary. Because businesses impact people both directly and indirectly, it is important for executives running them to possess strong character and integrity in order to engender the trust and respect of both their customers and staff members.

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source: business
source: intj entrepreneur


Jetta Moon

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