Business development · 5 May 2017

The entrepreneurial traits that make business leaders stand out

entrepreneurial traits
Founders were more likely to identify as unique and as natural leaders than employed counterparts

A new study has uncovered the entrepreneurial traits needed to succeed as a business leader, revealing significant differences in the personalities between founders and employees.

According to a Vistaprint survey of over 1,600 small business owners and full-time workers, entrepreneurs were likely to be more confident, ambitious and goal orientated.

Possession of strong independence was uncovered as the one of the most common entrepreneurial traits, cited by almost half of small business owners. Twice as many full-time employees cited “wanting to be liked” as an important aspect of working life.

Founders were also more likely to identify as unique and as natural leaders.

However, the greatest gap between the two career choices emerged in the enthusiasm for getting up each day. Founders were twice as likely to be passionate about their work than those in full-time jobs.

One misconception that could be put to rest is that running a small company needs to be an exhausting, all-consuming exercise. Despite the obvious commitment needed to succeed as an entrepreneur, three times as many founders said their working life was flexible compared to regular workers.

The findings also suggested the busy early years of running a firm could eventually pay off. While the average hours worked by younger entrepreneurs exceeded counterparts in regular employment, by the age of 55 the tables had shifted, with small business owners working ten hours less each week.

Commenting on the entrepreneurial traits uncovered by the study, Oliver Harcourt, head of Vistaprint UK, said those who chose to “live their dream” would reap the long-term benefits.

“We speak to small business owners every day and overwhelmingly these passionate individuals have positive stories to share,” he said in a statement.

“The survey highlights some of the benefits that can be achieved when starting your own business, whether it’s more time for your family, the ability to evoke change in your community or a renewed love for your job.”

Employees could be starting to take notice – the survey found a third wanted to one day found their own company. For those looking to start a business, ambition, passion and confidence are the entrepreneurial traits that could make the difference.

Find out what entrepreneurial traits you can learn from these successful business people:

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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