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Type E Personality What makes entrepreneurs tick?

By Janean Chun

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Is there such a thing as a classic entrepreneurial personality?If you pondered the seemingly divergent personas of Donald Trumpand Bill Gates, you'd think not. But a recent study by theHagberg Consulting Group in Foster City, California, shows thatentrepreneurs do in fact tend to share certain characteristics thatset them apart from their Fortune 500 counterparts.

"We compared the 400-plus entrepreneurs in our databasewith executives of top companies," says Richard Hagberg, thecompany's president, "and found 10 traits in whichentrepreneurs showed a statistically significantdifference."

Yet, lest a superiority complex sprout up, Hagberg points outthat not all these characteristics are healthy for a company'sgrowth. For example, he says, entrepreneurs tend to betask-focused, which makes them "not particularly sympatheticto issues or to people outside of that task. This gets in the wayof the long-term loyalty and bonding necessary to sustainrelationships. An entrepreneur might go charging up the mountainwith guns blazing and, if he's not careful, turn around andfind there's nobody behind him."

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