The topic of personality characteristics that help predict who has more chances to become an entrepreneur is circulated by various opinions.
In my personal view, some personal traits could help an entrepreneur to gain success in his activities. However, I assume that they are not necessary to become an entrepreneur and do not limit the opportunities for those who do not possess such traits. The entrepreneurial theory states that there are traits that determine entrepreneurial competency, like self-efficiency and tolerance of risks (Beattie, 2016, p.13).
According to Boudreaux, Nikolaev, and Klein (2018, p.2), alertness and self-efficiency promote entrepreneurship and business opportunities. People believe that the drive for entrepreneurship originated from the parts of person’s personality and even gender, and draw examples of famous entrepreneurs and analyze their personalities (Ward, Hernández-Sánchez, Sánchez-García, 2019, p.1). Some even associate the traits for entrepreneurship potential with traits of top athletes (Steinbrink, Berger, Kuckertz, 2019, p.1).
One of the most prominent examples of successful entrepreneurship is the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. To start the analysis of Zuckerberg’s personality, critics generally begin assessing the personality based on the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI ranks influential people from different times based on their psychological types (The Myer-Briggs Company, no date, para 1).
Zuckerberg’s personality is generally perceived as an INTJ type; he also shares the type with another successful entrepreneur, Elon Musk (Business Alligators, 2017, para. 2). The early INTJ traits that could be pointed in Zuckerberg’s activities are a passion for work, willingness to work for higher purposes, and determination to goals. However, According to Routamaa and Miettinen’s findings (2017, p.7), INTJ-type personalities are described as the least entrepreneurial types. It could be that the early personality traits helped Zuckerberg to shape his own vision of the business and his working principles.
Applying the personality type theory to the general topic of entrepreneurship shows that different personality types are more suited for entrepreneurship and different types within entrepreneurship. For example, the research conducted by Brandt and Helander (2020, p.108) shows that entrepreneurs, in general, are more related to the perceiving type of personality. The perceiving characteristics possess several different traits, like flexibility, good time0management skills, open-mildness, and the ability to make decisions quickly (The Myers-Briggs Company, no date, para. 13). The entrepreneurial theory states that the early traits for entrepreneurial potential could be developed with entrepreneurial education (Voda and Florea, 2019, p.3).
Beattie, S. (2016) ‘Which entrepreneurial traits are the most critical in determining success?’, Otago Management Graduate Review, 14, pp. 13-20.
Boudreaux, C.J., Nikolaev, B.N. and Klein, P. (2018) ‘Socio-cognitive traits and entrepreneurship: The moderating role of economic institutions’, Journal of Business Venturing, 34(1), pp.178-196. Web.
Brandt, T. and Helander, N. (2020) ‘Entrepreneurial tendencies by different personalities’, Journal of Finnish Studies, 23(2), pp. 104–116. Web.
Business Alligators. (2017) 8 personality traits of Mark Zuckerberg. Web.
Routamaa, V. and Miettinen, A. (2017) Knowing entrepreneurial personalities– A prerequisite for entrepreneurial education. Web.
Steinbrink, K.M., Berger, E. and Kuckertz A. (2019) ‘Top athletes’ psychological characteristics and their potential for entrepreneurship’, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 16, pp. 859-878. Web.
The Myer-Briggs Company. (no date). MBTI facts. Web.
The Myers-Briggs Company. (2017) What do the letters in the Myers-Briggs test stand for? Web.
Voda, A. and Florea, N. (2019) ‘Impact of personality traits and entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial intentions of business and engineering students’, Sustainability, 11(4), pp. 1-34. Web.
Ward, A., Hernández-Sánchez, B.R. and Sánchez-García, J.C. (2019) ‘Entrepreneurial potential and gender effects: The role of personality traits in university students’ entrepreneurial intentions’, Frontiers in Psychology, 10, pp. 1-18. Web.