What Makes an Entrepreneur

What Makes an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are driven, focused, and fearless. We’re often well-educated and well-spoken. We’re creatures of habit, committed to our routines despite an occasional bout with A.D.D. We like big ideas, risky situations, and critics. We hate complacency, failed goals, and a short runway.

As competitive as we are, we are united by these things. Entrepreneurs are just a different breed. We have a unique mindset when it comes to business and a unique approach when it comes to work. We see challenges and failures as opportunities, not obstacles. We often act first, and think second.

With that in mind, I wanted to learn more about the make-up of people who act and think in this way. What common characteristics do we have, and what backgrounds do we share? By pouring through a variety of entrepreneurial studies and surveys from the past few years, our TechnologyAdvice research team was able to piece together the anatomy of the modern entrepreneur.

Many of the numbers are not surprising. There’s a constant conversation about the overall lack of female entrepreneurs, so it makes sense that 59 percent of entrepreneurs in the United States are men. Entrepreneurs are also generally healthier (aside from the sleep deprivation) and more educated (aside from the 18-year-old whiz kids creating virtual reality platforms in their parents’ garage) than the rest of the American workforce.

Others results are a bit unexpected. Did you know that far more entrepreneurs (45 percent) believe it’s important to save for retirement compared to non-business owners (32 percent), or that 73 percent of entrepreneurs believe good fortune played a role in their success? It’s also interesting to note that while immigrants make up just 13 percent of the US population, they account for nearly 26 percent of entrepreneurs.

Of course, there are also a few stats that may draw a pause. One university study shows that one in 25 business leaders might be a psycopath — a rate four times higher than the general population. Another survey shows that entrepreneurs are three times more likely to rebel as teenagers — a stat found in the overall illicit activity index, which sounds like a terrifying read.

The conclusion is that there’s no one path to success when it comes to starting a business, but there are indeed a variety of characteristics that are often present. Check out a few more in our “What Makes an Entrepreneur Infographic” below, and let me know your thoughts on some common entrepreneur traits in the comments below.

What makes an entrepreneur infographic

Rob Bellenfant

Rob Bellenfant is the founder and CEO of TechnologyAdvice, a Nashville, Tenn.-based company that is dedicated to educating, advising and connecting buyers and sellers of business technology. The company was named to the Inc. 5000 list of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies in 2014.