The Psychology of being an Entrepreneur

businesswomen vs businessmenIn a recent article in the europe business review,  gender and psychology are explored in relation to entrepreneurship. What are the differences between a female and a male entrepreneur? What kind of psychological traits affect whether or not a businessperson will become an entrepreneur? What is the main ingredient that is present in ALL types of entrepreneurs?

Let's just get this tidbit out of the way first. Men and women are different. This is true, in the most basic point of fact. Men and women differ psychologically, physically, emotionally, and they differ in their motivations.

And so it came as no surprise when this article brings up the raw statistics associated with female entrepreneurs (in the US) versus male entrepreneurs. In the US, 1 out of every 4 business is run by women. According to, men and women tend to start their business for different reasons. Women tend to start businesses to be able to make the puzzle piece of their home and personal lives fit with the puzzle piece of their careers. Men, on the other hand, tend to start their business for a much more fundamentally basic principle: to make money. Interestingly enough, women's business tend to grow slower than the businesses of men, but retain more positive revenues, as women, on the whole, take fewer risks and are more calculating in their business decisions. Not surprisingly, women's business tend to provide more family-friendly benefits to their employees.

One must remember, however, that the female entry into business-ownership is fairly recent in the United States. The article points out that women weren't even allowed to have American Express credit cards in their own name until 1974. How's that for putting-it-into-perspective?

Aside from the gender debate that will rage on until the end of time, there is also a gender-oblivious aspect to an entrepreneur-- their psychology. There are many psychological traits, found by studies, that are inherent to the most successful entrepreneurs. Some of these traits are obvious -- a need for success and achievement and drive. Some others might surprise you. A dislike for ambiguity, a greater inclination to take risks than most people.

Along with different psychological traits, entrepreneurs can come in all different sizes, shapes, colors, and categories. We have our run-of-the-mill amateur entrepreneur who starts a business with little understanding of the grandeur of the work ahead of them, making mistakes along the road to either failure or success. These successful entrepreneurs become seasoned, and they will now understand what it takes to make a business profitable. Then there are the serial entrepreneurs (we're looking at you, Gilles Babinet) who are thrill-seeking and enjoy thinking up many business concepts, powering full-steam ahead.

Despite all the differences, relating to gender, relating to psychology, economic standing, starting in a particular market, etc., there is one unanimously agreed-upon trait that each and every entrepreneur must have.