What are the typical bad personality traits and problems of entrepreneurs?


The list of personality traits entrepreneurs should have are all over the web. We all heard those, every startup blog has at least one post about how tolerance to uncertainty, risk-taking, the will to create things, the will to learn new things, etc will help you on the way.

What I never see however, is entrepreneurs talking about their weaknesses, self-doubt, ADHD-syndrome, unreliability, immaturity, or any other things that might (or might not) actually also help them on the way, but are considered negative traits.

I think it would help a lot of people if we knew what difficulties others have with themselves, so we could see it's not just us who are not perfect, and maybe it's possible to be successful without being perfect after all. :)

What do you consider the most common personality difficulties of entrepreneurs? How should we (should we?) eliminate them, to be more successful?


asked Sep 21 '11 at 08:34
Mihaly Borbely
715 points
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2 Answers



I absoulutely think showing the negative personality traits is very important, especially the self-doubt. Damn, I experience tons of self-doubt, and so do a lot of my colleagues.

I think that the process of becoming, what I call a 'true entrepreneur', entails a shit-load of learning. And not just technical stuff, like marketing, accounting, and whatnot. The most important part is that you learn a lot about yourself and other people. To me, that's what the whole journey has been, and continues to be, about.

Personally, I like to compare myself to my old-self, usually in 6 month - 1 year increments. Man, what a change! Here's the point:

  • The self-doubt is a lesson in strength and, quite frankly, stubbornness, but yes, we all have it
  • The unreliability becomes a lesson in responsibility, it's opposite. We have to learn how to be obligated to our customers and partners
  • The ADHD is a lesson in focus. When you learn, finally to schedule things and follow through with them, without distraction, the results blow your mind and it is transformational

Personally, I think that the most successful entrepreneur is the one that starts off with all of these negative traits, and over time, learns to overcome them or use them to his/her advantage. It's a process, and I think every entrepreneur could benefit from knowing that most, if not all, of us go through the exact same thing.

answered Sep 21 '11 at 11:03
Ryan Chatterton
921 points
  • Great answer. Rings a lot of bells. – Nextgenneo 12 years ago


Ryan's answer is excellent and what he outlines is also the same way people overcome additions.

That is, they commit themselves to personal Leadership and then they're able to share that with others.

But clearly the answer is a DOING (behavioral challenges) and not a THINKING/KNOWING.

answered Sep 22 '11 at 12:51
249 points
  • Love the distinction between DOING and THINKING. I think that's a big hurdle for new/aspiring entrepreneurs to understand a lot of the time. – Ryan Chatterton 12 years ago

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