Are entrepreneurs crazy, or just really—really passionate?


What is an entrepreneur?

To be clear when I say entrepreneurs, I’m not talking about small business owners. They are two different species. A small business owner could technically call themselves entrepreneurs, however the objectives and views tend to differ between the two. An example would be that a small business owner could just want to be self employed as a career objective; in contrast to an entrepreneur who wants financial freedom.

Entrepreneurs – an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and initiative […], a term applied to a person who is willing to help launch a new venture or enterprise and accept full responsibility for the outcome.

Most people involved with startups understand too that if all you really want is to make money as an ‘entrepreneur’, you’re doing it wrong. There are plenty of different and arguably less stressful paths to follow to realize that goal. If you want to make a difference though, then become an entrepreneurial founder.

Three disorders plaguing entrepreneurs

In casual conversation, people are quick to throw out the word ‘crazy’ in reference to those people who quit their stable day-job to create a business. Rational people understand that most businesses fail within the 1st year, so why go through all that stress? Or if anything, just do a little something on the side, right?

Not only having the actual needed skill and or knowledge is important to successful entrepreneurs; but having the right ‘attitude’ or ‘psychology’ is of equal if not greater importance. Keeping that in mind, this psychological profile for startup founders could possibly be summed up by three disorders, or none.  Some smart people are debating this very thought.

Literally “below mania,” it is a persistent elevated mood characterized by a decreased need for sleep, and extremely outgoing personality, competitiveness, and a great deal of energy. However, unlike full “mania,” hypomaniacs are fully functioning and are actually more productive than others.

Delusions of Grandeur
A delusion in which one believes oneself possessed of great importance, power, wealth, intellect, or ability.

A consuming self-absorption or self-love; a type of egotism. Narcissists constantly assess their appearance, desires, feelings, and abilities.

One has to be tenacious if they are to try and create something new, so I would argue that if someone didn’t have these psychological traits then we should probably question their resolve. In the midst of all the negativity, and horrible obstacles that will inevitably get thrown your way, how would you keep that idealism to push forward? Almost every entrepreneur I know that’s really trying to change the world with their grand idea has all these qualities — it comes with the territory. But does this make us crazy or just passionate?

I say a bit of both.

That ish cray

Einstein defines  insanity as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results, and yet this can run quite parallel to many a entrepreneur strategy plan. Knowing when to keep going, because you’re right there.. or when to actually take what you learn and pivot is incredibly difficult to discriminate. The known fact is that besides your skills and knowledge, sometimes it just comes down to dumb luck…. and that can be maddening — yet we continue to trot on because we know we got this!

What do you think? Do you think you posses these traits, or something completely different? What other disorders and/or qualities do you think are essential for an entrepreneur?

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