The character traits of Australian entrepreneurs and psychopaths

On August 28, the Australian School of Business (University of New South Wales) released some interesting information about what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

There are many character traits that are commonly associated with men and women who decide to take the plunge and start up their own businesses.

They are intelligent, driven individuals who often have the gift of the gab and an all-consuming passion for what they do.

In addition to this, reveals the Australian School of Business, many also exhibit psychopathic tendencies; that is, they possess particular character traits that are also found in psychopaths.

PhD student Benjamin Walker and Professor of Business Psychology, Chris Jackson, undertook research on 605 people.

Australian entrepreneurs and psychopaths are persistent in adversity

After three laboratory studies, it was discovered that many psychopaths and entrepreneurs exhibit the same behavioural patterns when they fail or are punished.

“Psychopaths commit an offence, go to prison, then come out and commit the offence again, because they fail to learn from the prison experience,” said Mr Walker.

It turns out that many entrepreneurs have the same sort of reaction when their start-up businesses fail.

Instead of simply throwing in the towel, they often pick themselves up, go out and start the process of founding a company all over again.

While this may seem foolhardy, Mr Walker believes it could be the key to many an Australian entrepreneur’s success.

He said in an August 28 statement that “persistence in adversity” is a must-have quality if you want to be a successful business owner – or a successful psychopath.

Australian entrepreneurs and psychopaths are risk-takers

Apparently psychopaths are more likely to take risks than other people.

According to the Australian School of Business’s research, many entrepreneurs share this fearless attitude, both in their working and personal lives.

He said that, unsurprisingly, many business owners have a penchant for extreme sports, which is egged on by an “insensitivity to punishment”.

This is definitely a character trait that can come in handy when you’re trying to make it in the competitive world of business.

However, there are many pros and cons to risk-taking in the business world. While the rewards can be huge when a risky venture turns out to be successful, the losses can be equally enormous.

Mr Walker explained that entrepreneurs who are open to taking risks can take advantage of changes in the market, which can happen quickly and without notice.

This often gives them a heads-up on other businesses and organisations in their particular field, who could take a more sober approach to the market and withdraw when the going gets tough.

The take-home message from this interesting study is that you won’t go far as an entrepreneur without being willing to take some risks.

Australian entrepreneurs need to be fearless, but forward-thinking

Having said that, it is important to pair this fearless approach to the business world with sound, strategic business planning.

When it comes to running a business, there are some things that should never be left to chance.

These include the short- and long-term goals you have for your company, what direction you want to head in (e.g. what markets you would like to crack, and whether you would like to specialise in a certain product or service) and how you are going to get there.

If you are persistent in adversity and confident in the risk-taking department, but could use a few pointers when it comes to small business planning, you might want to enlist the services of a business consulting firm.

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