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How Entrepreneurs' Minds Work

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 8 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Entrepreneurs Entrepreneur Business

When we think of the word ‘entrepreneurs’, we often think of people like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Alan Sugar – all highly successful business people – but what is it that sets them apart from other mere mortals who have gone on to carve out successful business careers?

The people mentioned above do have some things in common but it would be totally untrue to say that, as entrepreneurs, they all have the same personalities. The actual truth lies more in the types of characteristics they all possess which are traits that are common to most entrepreneurs whatever business they’re involved in.

Desire For Control

From a very early age, most entrepreneurs want to have total control over their own destiny. They’re not interested in climbing up the career ladder and having to ‘grease palms’ along the way. Whilst most people’s mindsets are, to a certain extent, limited by their belief that what happens to them is partly dictated by external influences as well as their own efforts, an entrepreneur has no concept of this. Instead, they believe that their success and their future are solely determined by the choices they make.

Risk Takers

If you asked them, many entrepreneurs would state that they don’t see themselves as risk takers even though that’s how they might be perceived by the rest of society. Instead, they’ll often say that, on the contrary, they attempt to minimise risk wherever possible. But it’s the nature of the reward that drives them forward and into taking risks. So, where most of us might be risk averse and always settle for the risk-free path, successful entrepreneurs will always weigh up risk versus reward and they are quite happy to take risks if the potential for rewards merits it.


Entrepreneurs enjoy creating things – be that new innovations into the market place or introducing new concepts that challenge the norm - they are driven in their pursuit of the novel and new which challenges society’s conventional way of doing things. Good examples of that were when Anita Roddick launched the ‘Body Shop’ and Bill Gates had the vision of Microsoft being a company whose products would one day find themselves being used in almost every home in the developed world at a time when that idea would have been ridiculed.

Action Orientated

Entrepreneurs are go-getters. They won’t sit around waiting for things to happen – they MAKE things happen. What often separates an entrepreneur from other successful business leaders is that they are always focusing on opportunities as opposed to being all consumed with solving problems. They’re often driven by a sense of urgency and the need to achieve and they have a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of their specialist market and what is needed to turn their visions into reality.

Seeking Advice And Help

Successful entrepreneurs are not simply ‘go it alone’ people however. They’re great at orchestrating things and are not afraid to pull in help from outside or to seek other entrepreneurs’ advice. Through a combination of their skills, knowledge, passion, stamina and an overwhelming enthusiasm, they’re more able than most to attract key investment, partners and other employees that share their same vision.

One interesting aspect of entrepreneurs is that most of them will tell you that their primary motivation is rarely about money and getting rich. It’s far more a case of money being more of a reward or measure of their success as opposed to them striving to become wealthy.

You’ll also often find that because an entrepreneur is often fiercely independent and, whilst they're happy to listen to other entrepreneurs' advice, once a company has become too big to manage on their own, they’ll often leave to start up a new venture elsewhere, sometimes in a totally unrelated field. They can become bored very easily, are constantly 'doing' and have an unrivalled passion and dedication for all that they are involved in.

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