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Entrepreneurs following their passion succeed far more often than entrepreneurs who are in it for the money.

By Sujan Patel

Success isn’t defined by how well you did in school or how many degrees you have. It isn’t based on where you grew up or who your parents are. It comes down to your personality, your mindset and your outlook on life.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a type-A person to be a successful entrepreneur. In fact, it’s probably better if you aren’t. Entrepreneurs tend to be more “street smart” than “book smart.”

According to a recent study by CPP Inc., the top two personality traits entrepreneurs possess are perception and intuition. This is because success doesn’t come to those who are smartest. Success comes to those who see opportunities and take them.

Think you may have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Here are five other personality traits entrepreneurs must have:

1. Passion
Entrepreneurs aren’t in it for the money. While that may be an added bonus, the true benefit is doing what they love. Building a business takes a lot of time and effort. It means putting in longer hours and doing extra work. If you don’t love what you do, you’re not going to want to do what it takes to achieve success.

Entrepreneurs aren’t afraid of hard work because they are so focused on their dream and their vision. They don’t give up when a challenge arises. They stick with their passion and see it through. As Steve Jobs once said, according to the Smithsonian Institution, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

2. Motivation
Entrepreneurs are dedicated to their work. They aren’t reliant on a manager or colleague to push them toward their goals or to get their work done. Their drive comes from within and allows them to motivate others in turn.

In his book, “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t,” motivational speaker Simon Sinek writes, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

Entrepreneurs know how to communicate their dream and inspire others to join them on their journey to achieving it.

3. Optimism
When you’re just starting out, it can seem like getting your business off the ground will never happen. But entrepreneurs don’t think like that. They are optimistic about the future and are always looking ahead.

In his essay “Thoughts on Various Subjects,” Jonathan Swift wrote, “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” Entrepreneurs have a vision they share with others. Their team understands why they do what they do, what the goal is and what their role is on the path to success.

To be a successful entrepreneur, you must be goal-oriented. But it’s not enough to just set goals. You must make a plan and do everything you can to reach those goals. Everything you do must have a purpose.

4. Creativity
Entrepreneurs don’t think the same way as everyone else. They see the world differently and think outside the box. Businesses are built on big ideas, and those big ideas need to come from a place of creativity, from a way of thinking that differs from everyone else’s thinking.

In “Conversations with Maya Angelou,” Jeffrey M. Elliot quoted Maya Angelou as saying, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Entrepreneurs are always looking for new ways of doing things and how they can make them better. They aren’t satisfied with the status quo. By being creative, they come up with ideas that change the world.

5. Risk-Takers
Risk taking is par for the course when you’re starting a new business. But taking risks shouldn’t scare you. It’s necessary to achieve your goals, and successful entrepreneurs understand this.

In his book “The Four-Hour Workweek” entrepreneur and author Tim Ferriss writes, “What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”

If you’re afraid to take the leap, you’ll never get anywhere. Staying complacent will never allow you to achieve greatness. Entrepreneurs don’t let uncertainty and potential failure stop them from doing what needs to be done. Instead, entrepreneurs look at challenges and risks as opportunities, not as problems.

As businessman Robert Kiyosaki wrote on Twitter, “Everyone can tell you the risk. An entrepreneur can see the reward.”