Updated: Sep 9
Much is made of analyzing the personality traits of successful entrepreneurs.
Some appear outgoing. Others are introverts. Some lean right, others left. Some are flashy. Others are monk-like with their money.
Their diversity can lead one to the conclusion that there are no common personality traits among successful founders.
Rather than trying to understand who they are, let’s look at what they do.
We’ve had the opportunity to help many businesses improve their value, with some going on to exit their business for seven, eight, or even nine figures. As such, we have a unique vantage point from which to observe the owners who achieve the most financial success. This point of view has allowed us to observe three things the most successful owners do differently:
1. They read business books.
Our most successful customers are voracious consumers of business content. When a new business book hits the bestseller list, most have either read it or summarized its central point.
It’s not just the printed word. Many get information through audiobooks, webinars, or podcasts, others via YouTube.
The actual medium is less important to these successful founders. What’s consistent is their continuous learning pattern and the desire to leverage other people’s smart ideas and put them to work in their own company.
2. They join masterminds.
In the absence of having a board of directors or a boss, successful founders often use a peer board to hold themselves accountable and gain an outside perspective when they’re stuck.
Initially popularized by Napoleon Hill in his class book, Think & Grow Rich, a mastermind gathers a small group of peers to act as one another’s board. Often led by a chair, these groups become lifelines for owners as they navigate big decisions in their businesses and personal lives.
3. They ask questions.
The character trait that makes successful entrepreneurs inclined to read business books and join peer groups is their natural curiosity. They have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. No matter how successful, they never get full.
You may be surprised not to see the stereotypical attributes of successful entrepreneurs. Many founders are also action oriented, competitive, tenacious, etc., but all those common personality traits are who they are. Our interest is what they do.
Actions are the measure of a person. Take a look at what a founder does to stay sharp, and you’ll see a consistent pattern among the most successful entrepreneurs you know.