As an entrepreneur, I'm always curious about entrepreneurship. I came across this article by Cardiff Garcia in The Observer (the magazine of the Association for Psychological Science). It highlights similarities and differences between entrepreneurs and most people. You can read the article (best method), or just read my synopsis (okay method):

How Entrepreneurs are the Same (as most other people):

  • They don't care any more about financial success than most people.
  • They don't care more about money.
  • They don't care any more about following family traditions.
  • They score the same on the trait of conscentiousness.
  • They do not crave more risk.
  • They are no more ruthless.
  • They are not more spontaneous.
  • They are no more outgoing.
  • They are not more agreeable.
  • They don't have better problem solving approaches.

How Entrepreneurs are Different (compared to most other people):

  • They possess a greater belief that they will succeed when compared to most people.
  • They are less likely to care what others think of them.
  • They display more intensity toward their work.
  • They are willing to sacrifice more (in terms of time with family and/or money earned).
  • They find it harder to balance work and their family lives.
  • They find it harder to get support from friends and family for what they do.
  • They score higher on "need for achievement," for example by setting difficult but obtainable goals.
  • They score higher on "self efficacy," the belief that they can accomplish certain tasks (not tasks in general as it turns out). 
  • They are much more stress tolerant.
  • They are more likely to expect success (generally and in specific situations).

How Entrepreneurs are About the Same or Just Slightly Different (compared to most other people):

  • Slightly more autonomous than most other people.
  • Slightly more likely to believe they control their own destinies. 
  • Just marginally more risk takers.

How entreprenuers are Sometimes Different (than other people):

  • Entrepreneurs in tech industries are more innovative, but entrepreneurs in other industries are not.

The Article's Bottom Line

Being an entrepreneur is tough. Entrepreneurs need to be up for the rigors of entrepreneurship.