Attributes of Entrepreneurial Personality Type
Historically, successful entrepreneurs have been restless, focused on the future and insistent that others follow their vision. In a word, they were different. They did not learn like everyone else, they experienced emotional extremes and, above all, they were highly sensitive to constraint.
Today, a 4-year-old Albert Einstein might have been medicated because he hadn’t yet been able to talk.Today, a young Steve Jobs might have been told he wasn’t smart enough, simply due to his difficulty reading or complying in the current version of public education.
Today, our generation’s next great leader might be labeled a troublemaker, isolated, or held back simply because they cannot conform to our current, rigid classroom structure.
These elements spanned 12 distinct attributes, and with the right protection and support they contributed to entrepreneurs making their greatest contribution to humanity. But, when constrained by high levels of pressure and noise, these same attributes resulted in challenging behavior, suppression and psychological diagnoses.
The overwhelming reinforcement of historical and current evidence made it difficult to find an alternate path to success, and led me to the discovery of a previously undefined sub-population, the Entrepreneurial Personality Type (EPT).
The Entrepreneurial Personality Type (EPT) begins and ends with momentum, as EPTs are momentum-based beings. This means they are highly attuned to the sensation of moving forward. It affects emotional states and the fundamental understanding of their position in the world. Going forward is elation; going backward is a crushing learning experience; but going nowhere is like dying. Put another way, EPTs are affected by constraint, anything hindering their momentum.
It is important to view the EPT attributes through the lens of momentum, as each individual attribute can manifest positively or negatively due the amount of momentum or constraint the EPT feels. When properly protected and supported, the following list of attributes can propel EPTs to make enormous contributions to humanity:
- Momentum-Based: EPTs are highly sensitive to momentum, both physically and cognitively, and may identify with sensations of momentum more strongly than traditionally labeled emotions.
- Living Life Through Questions: Most people live life wanting answers handed to them; EPTs confront established norms and question the status quo.
- High Sensitivity and Awareness: This can often show as anxiety or hyperactivity when trying to control numerous inputs or distractions.
- Future Focus: EPTs have a propensity to envision a new future. This often goes by another term: visionary; or to the struggling EPT: hopeless dreamer.
- High Processing Capacity: EPT’s seek out and collect large amounts of data and process this information to cast a clear vision and make constructive decisions.
- Persistent Adaptability: EPTs aren’t chameleons, but they do maintain a persistent adaptability to new tasks and careers that move them toward desired outcomes.
- Intense Focus on Results (or Single Result): Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, EPTs are able to focus on their desired results, rather than focusing on mere activities.
- Bias for Improvement: EPTs see the world not as it exists but as it should be. They see what should be improved or evolved.
- Experimental/Experiential Learning: Yes, EPTs learn through books and data, but they truly seek the application of those learnings to feel momentum.
- Perception for Unique Connections: EPTs are able to see situations, problems and processes from different angles, with new resources or moving in new directions.
- Drive for Gained Advantage: This desire to get ahead could be in finding ways to increase income, or in escaping to a place that lowers pressure and noise.
- Innate Motivation: A constant drive to accomplish tasks, achieve goals and contribute to the world.
At times, EPT attributes can cause challenges in classroom education, relationships and business environments – each with naturally high levels of constraint. Misunderstanding of the EPT has also resulted in the systematic suppression of EPTs through negative reinforcement, behavioral change and even medication as their attributes and behaviors are mistaken as disorders. In fact, estimates show more than 50 percent of U.S. adults will be diagnosed with a clinical mental illness. Well-marketed conditions like anxiety, ADHD, depression and bipolar disorder are becoming so commonplace that diagnoses are growing at double-digit rates year-over-year.
Discovery of the EPT has the potential to disrupt business, education, psychology, parenting and self-improvement. It will change how we see and deal with people, how we educate and medicate our children, and how we provide counsel to adults in emotional distress.
It will come as significant comfort to millions of EPTs who believe there is something wrong with them. It provides a lens by which their support systems – families, friends, colleagues, teachers, therapists, coaches and mentors – can truly understand them, perhaps for the very first time. It illuminates a singular and powerful message for EPTs:
There is Nothing Wrong with You.
Alex Charfen is co-founder and CEO of CHARFEN, a leading training, education and consulting company helping entrepreneurs and small businesses find positive momentum and sustained growth. Alex has spent his life studying entrepreneurs and famous leaders throughout history, uncovering a previously mislabeled and misunderstood population among us: the Entrepreneurial Personality Type™ (EPT). Founded in 2007, CHARFEN was featured on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies in America three years in a row, reaching as high as #21.