What makes a successful entrepreneur?

What makes a successful entrepreneur?

The Founder Institute was asking what it takes to make a successful entrepreneur and here are the three answers they came up with. Agree or do not.

  • Genetics
  • Circumstance
  • Perseverance

Part One: The Genetics

Through measuring the intelligence quotient, fluid intelligence or even the big 5 personality traits and through lifelong observation of the participants the Founder Institute has been able to figure out three factores that best predict success: Fluid Intelligence, Openness and Agreeableness. Fluid Intelligence describes the capacity to recognise a pattern and adapt it to new situations. In a constantly changing environment and with high uncertainty, an entrepreneur needs to be adaptable to be able to survive, he/she needs to be quick on her feet and change when necessary. A high fluid intelligence permits to quickly learn a set of rule and then apply them to solve a new problem. A person that has a high degree of openness is constantly seeking new experiences and knowledge. His/her curiosity and thirsty for novel experiences, makes him/her question the status quo and strive for change. Entrepreneur who want to be successful need to challenge the accepted norms. And at last, it is about agreeableness. About keeping the balance not only in the team but most of all in your own emotion. An agreeable person is generally warm and considerate but knows when to be straight-forward, direct or even harsh. He/she knows when this shift is necessary. An entrepreneur has to be flexible.

See the whole infographic made by the founder institute:

That's the DNA for a successful entrepreneur according to the founder institute

Having these traits does not make you automatically a successful entrepreneur, but may facilitate your way to success. These traits are just the raw material you were given, you still have to shape it.

Part Two: The Circumstance

These natural inclinations come together with the circumstances, being at the right place at the right time as they say. It is about the right timing – sometimes the market might not be ready for an idea, sometimes you are not. It might be your personal circumstances like still being a High School Students that are hindering your success.

Part Three: Your Perseverance

And last but not least, after predisposition and the situation is right, you have to do more than just wait. Do not give up and pursue your goal even if they seem hard to attain. Fight! 

On your journey to success you will be facing problems, stress, negative inputs, quitters, self doubt…do not let this get you down! You will be lonely so maybe teaming up with another cofounder could be a good idea to give you strength. You will only succeed if you persevere.


All clear now? So let’s go! The Business Insider has written up some advice to make it easier for you to take the first step. Asking fathers of successful entrepreneurs about the advice they have given their sons, they came up with this impressive list:

  • See every detail of your business
  • Don’t give up.
  • Being comfortable is the enemy.
  • There are no shortcuts.
  • It’s OK to ask for help.
  • You are who you associate with.
  • Get into a business where you can be a big fish.
  • Simplicity is everything.
  • Your time is a precious commodity.
  • If you’re not being told ‘no’ constantly, you’re not pushing hard enough.
  • Learn to say ‘no’ and focus on what you do best.

I guess whit these we have some time to go 🙂

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