5 Surprising Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs


For a new generation growing up in the midst of a global recession, we tend to view entrepreneurship as less of a career path and more of a lifestyle choice. After all, how many people do you now would gladly work endless hours for no money just to build something from the ground up? And in our first video, we provided a short litmus test for on-the-fence entrepreneurs to measure themselves against. In this video, we talk about some of the surprising traits successful entrepreneurs share. These aren’t characteristics you can choose to do, but are rather born with or into. For example, did you know that people with ADHD are 300% more likely to start their own business? Check it out and see if you share some of the traits!

Video Transcript

They’re Psychopaths.

According to 7 studies highlighted by the Proceedings of the National Academy for the Sciences, people of a high social class, like successful entrepreneurs, are likely to “behave more unethically than [their] lower class [counterparts].” Included in their unethical decision-making tendencies:

  • Stealing valuables from others
  • Lying during negotiations
  • And cheating to win a prize

They Have ADHD.

According to Psychology Today, “people with ADHD are 300% more likely to start their own business”. A couple of successful entrepreneurs with ADHD: Sir Richard Branson and Charles Schwab

They Live in the Middle of Nowhere.

Forget LA and New York, the highest entrepreneurial activity rates belong to Oklahoma and Montana, with 470 per 100,000 adults creating businesses each month.

They’re Old.

It may seem counterintuitive, but in The Coming Entrepreneurship Boom, a white paper produced by the Kauffman Foundation, “the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity belongs to the 55-64 age group over the past decade. The 20-34 age bracket has the lowest.”

English May Be Their Second Language.

A report from Research Perspectives on Migration states that in every census from 1880 to 1990, immigrants were more likely to be self-employed than natives. And that In 2006 foreign nationals were named as inventors or co-inventors in 25% of American patent applications, up from 7.6% in 1998. In all, a quarter of America’s science and technology start-ups, generating $52 billion and employing 450,000 people, have had somebody born abroad as either their CEO or their CTO.

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