Start - Personality - Transformation from employee to entrepreneur

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We each have challenges. We each live life in the best way we can. Until we learn a better way.

Important Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

But think about this: Would you rather continue blaming someone or something for a circumstance that might actually be within your control to better? Or at least within your control to work around? For me, recognizing where I was blaming someone or something for holding me back, for keeping me from being my best self , was a vital step in becoming the kind of business owner who actually feels free, not just employed by the woman in the mirror.

She helps experts, coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs to discover their truth, write with confidence, and share their stories so they can transform their past into hope for others. Learn more at AmyKAnderson. The Prison of Perspective Finally my own boss, I thought everything would improve right away. You resent your clients. You lead with the problem. You long for the days when you were employed. Make the Break The flipside of this perspective prison is what I call an entrepreneur mindset. This mindset is about the following principles: Responsibility.

You own your circumstances and realize that, for the most part, your choices are creating your reality. In contrast with prior studies e. This could be due to the fact that we examined all five individual EO traits together, whereas previous studies often looked at single traits.

Are you ready to be your own boss?

Not controlling for other traits may lead to the conclusion that there are spurious differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs, caused by shared variance between the individual EO traits. Alternatively, need for autonomy and need for achievement may also be important in other occupations.

Being self-employed is very different from being an employee

For example, people with a strong need for achievement may pursue a managerial career instead of becoming an entrepreneur Cromie, Hence, it may be difficult to discern differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs on these two traits, because there may be ample variation within the group of non-entrepreneurs. It therefore seems advisable that future studies compare entrepreneurs to people in specific occupations, such as managers or white-collar employees. We could not find support for Hypotheses 1b to 5b, which postulated positive direct effects of the five individual EO traits on entrepreneurial success.

Most traits were unrelated to the intercept and slope of revenue and number of employees. One trait formed an exception to this: proactivity was negatively related to the slope of revenue. Entrepreneurs who scored high on proactivity were more likely active in ventures with decreasing revenues over a three-year period, whereas entrepreneurs who scored high on need for autonomy were more likely active in ventures with decreasing numbers of employees over a three-year period.

As a result, they may experience a negative growth in revenue because they continuously invest their resources in new products or services. This could be tested in future studies by relating proactivity to outcomes such as return on investment. Some authors have argued that researchers should abandon research on entrepreneurial personality, because many studies, including ours, fail to find significant relationships with outcomes such as venture performance Gartner, For example, Frese proposed that personality drives entrepreneurial actions, which in turn may lead to success.

We therefore focused on one such environmental factor, namely venture life cycle. In general, our findings support that venture life cycle moderates several relationships between individual EO traits and entrepreneurial success. A first pattern of findings offered support for the differentiation perspective. Entrepreneurs who scored high on risk taking, need for achievement, and need for autonomy attained higher revenues compared to entrepreneurs who scored low on these traits, when their ventures were in later, mature phases.

Having a strong inclination to take risks may help mature ventures to move into new markets or adopt new strategies, while having a strong need for achievement may help promote a competitive stance towards competitors.

6 Traits You Need to Be Self-Employed

Entrepreneurs who scored high on innovativeness, risk taking, need for autonomy, and need for achievement had higher numbers of employees in their ventures compared to entrepreneurs who scored low on these traits, when their venture life cycle was high.

A strong need for autonomy related to lower numbers of employees when venture life cycle was low, but to higher numbers of employees when venture life cycle is high. However, a mature venture life cycle implies that the venture has grown in size Rutherford et al. Hence, entrepreneurs with a low need for autonomy may refrain from moving their venture into later life cycles. A strong need for achievement, finally, was associated with higher amounts of employees when venture life cycle was high, but lower mounts of employees when venture life cycle was low.

Possibly, having an achievement oriented entrepreneur in charge may offer a competitive advantage for established firms in later life cycles, because these entrepreneurs have an innate desire to outperform competitors. A second pattern of findings offered support for a situation strength perspective. Entrepreneurs who scored high on need for autonomy attained higher growth rates in number of employees, compared to entrepreneurs who scored low on this trait, when venture life cycle was low.

Need for autonomy may help entrepreneurs grow their firm when the environment is still ambiguous and uncertain i. Interestingly, the relationships became negative when venture life cycle was high. Entrepreneurs scoring high on need for autonomy may choose cost-reducing strategies, such as downsizing and layoffs, to ensure venture survival in these mature life cycle phases.

Overall, our findings clearly show that venture life cycle needs to be taken into account when examining the relationships between individual EO and entrepreneurial success. Novel theoretical models should explicitly address the exact role of each individual EO trait in these different life cycles. As we demonstrated, various perspectives e.

Future studies need to take into account that while some factors may explain absolute differences in performance between ventures, other factors may explain change in venture performance over time—these factors are not necessarily the same. Moreover, other environmental factors might also be taken into account, such as environmental dynamism, hostility, and industry type Frese, , to fully understand the influence of entrepreneurial personality on venture performance.

Some methodological and conceptual limitations can be discerned in the current study. First, one of the strengths of our study is that we used separate sources for independent and dependent variables—by measuring venture performance with objective financial data—thus decreasing common method bias Podsakoff et al. However, our study is cross-sectional, so we cannot make any claim about the causality of the relationships.

We took this perspective, following Person-fit theory Caplan, and the attraction-selection-attrition model Schneider, when developing hypotheses.

For example, scoring high on the five individual EO traits may lead a person to pursue a career as an entrepreneur, after which successful entrepreneurial experiences may in turn lead to gradual changes in personality and a further increase in individual EO. We believe that it is an important challenge for future entrepreneurship research to disentangle both processes. Second, we randomly selected entrepreneurs from a database, resulting in a diverse sample.

This sample was similar to the general population of entrepreneurs, save for age and gender. However, entrepreneurs constitute a heterogeneous population Gartner, , so it might prove beneficial for future studies to focus on specific groups of entrepreneurs e. Alternatively, multilevel studies could help us better understand the interplay between the individual and the environment in entrepreneurship. Finally, we operationalized individual EO by adapting measures of innovativeness, proactivity, risk taking, need for autonomy, and need for achievement. We revised these measures because they were originally not designed for employees—let alone entrepreneurs.

During this process of revision, care was exerted to ensure the final measures would still be reliable and valid, following recommendations by DeVellis We assessed face validity, item variance, internal reliability and factor structure in a pilot study. In addition, we retested internal reliability and factor structure in the main study. Nonetheless, we believe that these measures can still be improved and need to be further validated. Moreover, one might argue that alternative operationalizations of individual EO are possible.

We chose to operationalize competitive aggressiveness as need for achievement in view of earlier described similarities between both constructs Kollmann et al. Many practitioners feel that the personality, beliefs, values and behavior of the entrepreneur are of the utmost importance in explaining venture behavior Chapman, While the role of personality in entrepreneurship has often been criticized Gartner, , our results demonstrate that entrepreneurial personality merits attention.

First, entrepreneurs differ significantly from the general population on a number of personality traits. A better understanding of the differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs can help practitioners and trainers to better detect and support entrepreneurial potential early on. For example, nascent entrepreneurs could be matched to team members based on their personality profiles; an entrepreneur with low innovativeness could be matched to a team-member who scores high on this trait.

Making The Transition From Employee To Entrepreneur

Second, these traits may help or hinder an entrepreneur in the pursuit of entrepreneurial success. While we found links between individual EO traits and entrepreneurial success, we also found that venture life cycle needs to be taken into account. Early on, one should focus on having an entrepreneur in charge who has a strong need for autonomy, as this could help to grow the venture. Later on, focus should shift towards risk taking, innovativeness, need for autonomy, and need for achievement, as this could help mature ventures to obtain a competitive advantage.

Our study shows that individual EO—that is, the constellation of five personality traits: innovativeness, proactivity, risk taking, need for achievement, and need for autonomy—offers a meaningful perspective to study and understand entrepreneurship.


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First, we find that entrepreneurs differ from non-entrepreneurs; as entrepreneurs score higher on innovativeness, risk taking, and proactivity. For ventures in an early life cycle, having an entrepreneur in charge who scores high on need for autonomy may help grow the venture in terms of number of employees.

For ventures in a later life cycle, having an entrepreneur in charge who scores high on risk taking, innovativeness, need for achievement, and need for autonomy may help to differentiate from, and thus outperform, competitors. We will hence forward speak of need for achievement as the counterpart of competitive aggressiveness on the individual level.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

Five Common Weaknesses of Entrepreneurs

Journal List Psychol Belg v. Psychol Belg.

go to link Published online Jun 4.