10 Personality Traits That Kill Entrepreneurship

Alana Horowitz

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Having a great business idea is only half the battle. You also need to be an effective leader. Even some of the most innovative entrepreneurs can be hindered by insecurity or impatience. Below are some red flags to look out for. But don’t worry if any of them sound like you. If you catch a flaw early on, you can prevent it from doing serious damage.

Self-doubt. Don’t second-guess yourself. If you don’t believe in your business, who will? Worrying is a waste of time and energy.

Anti-social tendencies. Even the best multi-tasker needs a solid team for support. If you don’t like working with people, or have poor intrapersonal skills, your business is unlikely to take off.

Control issues. There’s nothing more detrimental to team spirit than a micromanaging boss. We know you want everything to be perfect, but so do your employees. Have a little faith in them or they might not stick around.

Inflexibility. It’s important for every business to have a plan. But you don’t have to stick to every single detail. New companies stick out for being creative and spontaneous. If something goes wrong, you need to be able to re-evaluate and adapt.

Power. You want to be a strong leader, but sometimes authority can backfire. Researchers say that bosses who are too powerful tend to have less productive teams. Employees feel too intimidated to share ideas or offer input—too much authority fosters an unhealthy business environment. Your employees don’t have to love you, but they shouldn’t be afraid of you.

Lack of focus. Groupon had daily deals. Google had an amazing search engine. Every new business needs a focused mission to succeed. Eventually, you can expand your business (like Google did with mail, maps and more), but a lack of focus in the beginning will doom it. Neither consumers nor investors will get behind a business plan that’s all over the place.

Competitiveness. You want to be the best. You can’t worry about the competition until you’ve proven you are a solid competitor. Entrepreneurs who spend more time worrying about rivals than worrying about their own jobs will hinder development.

Perfectionism. In the beginning, you’re probably going to make mistakes. It’s how you learn. Failure can even be good, when it leads to new ways of thinking. If you obsess over everything that goes wrong, you might miss out on these new ideas.

Close-mindedness. You may think you know everything, but, chances are, you don’t. No matter how sure you are, listen to advice from others. Even if your way ends up being best, you’re a better leader for being open to suggestions.

Impatience. You’re anxious to get your product on the market and you can’t wait for your company to go public. But timing is everything. Don’t force your business to be ready to launch before it is. Give it time to properly develop, or it will crash and burn. The same goes for individual projects. Rushing through a task leaves more room for stupid mistakes.

Article courtesy of OPEN Forum