Traits and motivations
In the U. S. A, entrepreneurship is imbedded within its national culture, and a new business is born every ten seconds on average! In the appendices; References 1-3 show figures for entrepreneurial activity across the globe. These were derived from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2005 summary. Section Two: The Entrepreneur as ‘the individual’ I will now discuss the psychology of entrepreneurs in terms of their personalities, behaviour, characteristics, traits and motivations for achievement.
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The personality characteristics of entrepreneurs have been studied widely, and many tests have been devised in order to find out their specific attributes. Between 1946 and 1949 Cattell devised such a test that set down a set of sixteen personality factors and used a questionnaire in order to evaluate the different personality types. Another test was the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) that is based on four aspects of personality:A combination of four of these letters would then be able to give a personality indicator, and Goldsmith and Wharton, 1993 (in Bolton and Thompson, 2004, p.23) stated that entrepreneurs seem to fit the ESTP personality indicator: Extroversion, sensation, thinking and perceiving.
However, other research by Roberts, 1991 (in Bolton and Thompson, 2004, p. 23) showed that entrepreneurs can also be labelled as ENTP’s and ENTJ’s. These distinct characteristics are typical of entrepreneurs and the way they operate. They like to spot opportunities in order to make a difference. They will drop everything in order to pursue the opportunity, putting the idea together straight away.
Entrepreneurs such as George Lucas and Bill Gates clearly show dedication through their long working hours and inability to quit even though they do not need to work!! Entrepreneurs do not like to be beaten, they like to win, however, if beaten they are able to bounce back quite effectively. In research carried out by Roberts (in Bolton and Thompson, 2004, p. 20) it was revealed that only 12% of entrepreneurs were motivated by wealth whilst 39% were motivated by the fact that they sought independence; and 30% were responding to a challenge.
Bridge, O’Neill and Cromie (1998, p. 42) state that ‘.. it is the possession by individuals of a trait, or traits, that predisposes them towards enterprising behaviour’. They believe that these traits are the motivation for achievement, risk-taking propensity and the desire for control. Again, you can clearly see that traits such as these are present in many entrepreneurs, and this list closely links to that of Gallups twelve ‘life themes’ mentioned previously. Wickham (1998, p. 39-41) comments that even though there does not seem to be one single ‘type of entrepreneur’, there does seem to be a consistency in terms of the traits that they possess.
He defines these traits as: hard work, self-starting, setting of personal goals, resilience, confidence, receptiveness to new ideas, assertiveness, information seeking, eager to learn, attuned to opportunity, receptive to change, commitment to others and comfort with power. Entrepreneurs are also always looking for a way in which they can make a change, whether it is financially or socially. This is what motivates a lot of entrepreneurs; basically, they are not satisfied with things at the present time in their eyes).
Most entrepreneurs enjoy the actual journey itself from the first idea to the end product. Entrepreneurs come from a wide range of different backgrounds, some poor and some rich; however it is very difficult to determine who could potentially be an entrepreneur. Webster (Wickham, 1998, p. 16-17) identifies that there are four types of entrepreneur; Cantillon (opportunity spotter); industry maker (creates an entire industry based on one idea); administrative (operates within an established firm); small business owner (responsible for owning and running their own venture).
However, this does not tell us who could potentially be an entrepreneur, although Wickham (1998) does state five general personality types that could potentially be entrepreneurs. Anita Roddick was born in the UK in October 1942, and after leaving school she trained as a teacher. In 1970 she met Gordon Roddick, and together they opened a restaurant and a hotel. In 1976, Anita and Gordon Roddick opened the first Body Shop, using i?? 12,000 of their own savings, originally she wanted to share and exploit some of the ideas that she had seen whilst travelling around the world as a teacher.
Six months later a second Body Shop was opened, and by 2004 there were 1980 stores worldwide in over forty countries. The Body Shop is very well-known for its environmental and ethical strategies, offering only biodegradable products and refillable containers. Anita had visited many third-world countries on her travels, and seen how they use natural products to look after themselves; therefore she arranged a form of trade in order to bring products such as cocoa butter to Body Shop stores in 2003 Anita Roddick was knighted by the queen.
However, in December 2005 it was reported that Anita was ready to give away her fortune of an estimated i?? 51 million. Anita Roddick is a great example of how financial and social capital can be created together without destroying the original views of the founder. She stated (in Bolton and Thompson, 2004, p. 193): “I am, in my skin, an activist. I am trying to free guys in prison in America and stop sweatshops. When I went into business, I didn’t think you had to leave yourself and your beliefs at the door. ”
The Body Shop has strong environmental and ethical stances, and this can be seen by the way it advertises in its shops rather than nationally. Anita spotted an opportunity from her visits to third-world countries around the world, and in return she was able to give something back to them and the community. She is a clear entrepreneur, because she wanted to create something that would give something back to the world, and without affecting the environment. With the Body Shop she has clearly achieved this, her individual contribution to the cause has been tremendous and in turn she has become a popular social entrepreneur.
George Lucas George Lucas was born in California in 1944, and whilst still at high school he originally dreamt of one day becoming a racing car driver. However, just weeks before he was set to graduate in June1962, Lucas was involved in a freak car accident. After an illegal left turn by a friend’s car, Lucas’ Fiat Bianchina was clipped and it rolled five times before finally smashing into a walnut tree on a ranch owned by his family. The racing seat belts that were anchored to the floor miraculously snapped, which resulted in Lucas being thrown from the roof; thus saving his life.
Lucas said (in Kao, 1989, p. 61) “The fact is I could never have survived that accident if I’d been wrapped around that tree. . . . Actually, the seat belt never should have broken, under any circumstances. . . . “. This seemed to have given Lucas a very different outlook of his life. It had acted as a trigger. He began to study film at the University of Southern California, where he achieved an award for a short film; which in 1971 he made an extended version alongside Francis Coppola (acclaimed director of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now), the film was called THX-1138.
In 1973, Lucas released American Graffiti which was a financial success and provided a solid base for what was to be the most successful and influential film saga of all time: Star Wars. Star Wars was released in 1977, and re-wrote all box office records along with its two sequels: Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi; together grossing over i?? 1 billion worldwide. Lucas has also retained all the rights and ownership of merchandising licences to his star wars phenomenon.
Since the 80’s he also co-wrote three Indiana Jones films alongside Steven Spielberg, and during the 1990’s he has created three more Star Wars films; based before the original three films: Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. George Lucas also has his own film company, aptly named Lucasfilm Ltd, which is based on Skywalker Ranch in California. In 2005, George Lucas received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute for his contributions to worldwide cinema.
I believe that George Lucas is a serial entrepreneur, this can clearly be seen by the fact that even though he had created the Star Wars trilogy, he was still intent on creating three more Star Wars films; this led to the three very recent prequels to the original films. Just before Lucas became a director he noticed that the film market was flat; therefore he spotted an opportunity to do something different, and attract people back to the cinema. This is what makes him an entrepreneur, he is a project champion.
However, if it was not for the freak car accident that he was involved in, we may never have seen the global phenomenon that is Star Wars. Lucas stated: The accident made me more aware of myself and my feelings. . . . I began to trust my instincts. I had the feeling that I should go to college, and I did. I got the same feeling later that I should go to film school, even though everybody thought I was nuts. I had the same feeling when I decided to make Star Wars, when even my friends told me I was crazy. (in Kao, 1989, p. 61)
This shows that the accident acted as a trigger event that would shape the rest of Lucas’ life. Sometimes entrepreneurs have trigger events that let them realise their entrepreneurial talents, without knowing of them beforehand. This is what happened to George Lucas, and in effect it has made him a successful creator, writer, film director and entrepreneur. He has acquired both financial (through his Star Wars phenomenon success) and aesthetic (through the actual Star Wars saga and its merchandise) capital from his exploits.