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So, you want to be an entrepreneur…

Being an entrepreneur does not have to be a mystical experience. Georgina Peters found that, if you understand how entrepreneurs think ...

By Georgina Peters 01 December 2006

Being an entrepreneur does not have to be a mystical experience. Georgina Peters found that, if you understand how entrepreneurs think, it’s easier to consider the possibility of becoming one.
So you want to be an entrepreneur

What is the anatomy of an entrepreneur? There is no blueprint for the perfect entrepreneur, but research and experience suggest that entrepreneurs share a number of common characteristics.

There are a profusion of wish lists of the traits required by entrepreneurs. Tim Waterstone, founder of the eponymous book chain and a successful entrepreneur, observes that great entrepreneurs share the following characteristics. They:


  • Are inspirational leaders
  • Believe their vision is right and don’t falter in their belief
  • Derive energy from being the underdog Are driven by a strong desire to beat the competition – to defeat the enemy
  • Combine enormous energy with fortitude and tenacity
  • Demonstrate courage – by taking risks
  • Have a deep respect for the people on their team and value team-building
  • Understand how money works (not necessarily in a technical way, but in an intuitive way)


Does this correlate to research done by consultancies that work in the human resource field professionally? Research by the Hay Group identified nine core competencies essential to entrepreneurial success:



  • Integrity
  • Initiative
  • Commitment
  • Drive and determination
  • Directiveness
  • Confidence
  • Self-direction
  • Selling
  • Leadership


One could draw many favourable comparisons between the two lists. The thing to keep in mind is that there are numerous other lists, rankings, and profiles available for your review. In my own research on the topic, if you distil the essence of a lot of similar lists, these six attributes appear to be the anatomical profile of an entrepreneur. And it’s worth noting at the start that entrepreneurs simply think, thus act, differently.

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