What Are The Traits Of An Entrepreneur? Part 4

This is one part of an ongoing series on

Our curricula, Entrepreneur Journey, focuses on teaching high school students how to become entrepreneurs. One part of the curricula is devoted to the traits of an entrepreneur. Whether they are embedded at birth or developed as a young adult, you will find entrepreneurs who have specific traits helping them succeed at what they do. 

What are some traits entrepreneurs have in common? 

Work History

For most entrepreneurs, what they have learned in an industry has helped them identify needs they can address. For example, a good number of companies have been created by employees of Intel, Cisco, Hewlett Packard, and more in Silicon Valley. This shows how entrepreneurs get ideas by working in an industry and identifying needs or areas for innovation.

This is also where serial entrepreneurs are important. Although entrepreneurs can find needs in an industry to satisfy, they can often be limited by the lack of managerial experience needed to grow a company. However, serial entrepreneurs launch a company, sell it, and repeat this process. In most cases, they sell the business to a company that has the managerial experience for it to grow efficiently and successfully.

Internal Locus Of Control

Do you feel like you are in control of your life and destiny? If so, you may make a great entrepreneur. People with an internal locus of control generally feel that way. This is opposed to people who have an external locus of control, as they feel like life happens to them and they have little control over their future. In other words, outside-generated events of life are the main causes of success and failure.

If you plan things in your life, believe you are where you are because of your actions, and see a direct link between your behaviors and your success or failure in life, you may have an internal locus of control. According to the work of Julian Rotter (1954), a person's locus is internal or external.

Think about how students respond to a grade they received on an exam. Did the students blame the professor for a low grade, or their classmates who distracted them? Or did they say they had not worked hard enough or didn't understand well enough? Entrepreneurs see the world around them as controllable, taking credits for both successes and failures.