Successful Entrepreneurs Born not Made
Successful entrepreneurs are born to do well, according to new research which says that boardroom success has more to do with personality than education or good connections.
A survey of more than 500 business owners by communications firm O2 found that the vast majority (84%) shared distinct personality traits that had contributed to their success, including a strong desire to achieve, an enjoyment of responsibility and ‘obsessive optimism’.
Nearly half (48%) said they knew from childhood that they wanted to be self-employed, and most cited the reward of hard work as a key motivator. In contrast, just 14% felt that their formal education had played any role in their success, while less than a fifth had received financial backing or used family connections to get a foot on the career ladder.
According to O2’s head of small business marketing, Simon Devonshire, the research showed that there were well-defined qualities that were common to most successful entrepreneurs.
“The obsessive optimism trait is arguably more important than ever in the current economic climate,” he said. “With entrepreneurs facing economic setbacks, an optimistic and resilient outlook is essential to maintain confidence in their business.”
National Federation of Enterprise Agencies chief executive, George Derbyshire, added:
“It was unsurprising that hard work and determination were both essential for survival when running a business.
“It stands to reason that certain personality traits are better suited to entrepreneurialism,” said Derbyshire. “These characteristics, coupled with a sound business idea, sufficient research and guidance from a local enterprise support organisation will stand any new business owner in good stead to be successful, regardless of their background.”