12 Essential Characteristics of an Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur is a businessperson who not only conceives and organizes ventures but also frequently takes risks
in doing so. Not all independent business people are true entrepreneurs, and not all entrepreneurs are created equal.
Different degrees or levels of entrepreneurial intensity and drive depend upon how much independence one exhibits,
the level of leadership and innovation they demonstrate, how much responsibility they shoulder, and how creative
they become in envisioning and executing their business plans.
The Five Levels of Entrepreneurial Development
Brad Sugars, a world-renowned business author and founder of his own international franchise with nearly 1,000
offices worldwide, identifies five different types or levels of entrepreneurial mindsets, patterns of thinking, and belief
They begin with the basic level of the employee – and an understanding that good employees often evolve into
great entrepreneurs but that to become an entrepreneur one has to first adopt a perspective and seek out a role above
and beyond that of an employee.
• The employee sets goals mainly to impress others, to avoid confronting fears – including the fear of personal
freedom and success – and to conform to a comfort zone rather than pushing to learn more and gain new
• Because of self-imposed limitations, employees prefer to follow someone else’s game plan, and they lack the
desire to become a self-motivated and self-reliant entrepreneur.
• They focus primarily on personal security and their emotional motivation derives from a fear of insecurity and a
desire to be within the comfort zone of a secure situation.
Those who want a greater sense of responsibility and control over their lives and have the confidence to experiment
with that possibility often rise up from the ground level of employee status to the first level of entrepreneurship.
They do this by becoming self-emp