How Entrepreneurs Brains are Wired for Success

Are you willing to flex and stretch your perception of an entrepreneur? The “entrepreneurial spirit” is alive and well and may perhaps include you.

Entrepreneurs are a rare and perhaps undervalued group of people who dream, act upon their dreams, and sometimes succeed in achieving what are perceived as superhuman feats. Typically, we think of entrepreneurs as people who create new businesses with different and improved products and services.

Are you willing to flex and stretch your perception of what an entrepreneur is and does? My rationale is that the “entrepreneurial spirit” is alive and well in more people than we think, perhaps in you. Limiting our entrepreneurial gifts to creating business enterprises robs us of the potential for some really big and positive changes in other areas of our lives.

What characterizes an entrepreneur’s values, beliefs and behaviors? How are they wired for success? Why do some people succeed and others fail? The following sections provide two checklists for entrepreneurial success and failure. The lists are based on the author’s expertise in practical neuroscience and his experience working in both entrepreneurial and traditional environments. You will learn whether the entrepreneur’s pathway is right for you, and how well equipped you are to embark on this wild and wooly journey with great outcomes.

The Successful Entrepreneur’s Brain

How many of these characteristics do you possess? You may be further along the pathway to entrepreneurial success than you think. Imagine any three or more of these characteristics as your initial “stepping stones” to living the life of your dreams.

  • Strong desire to do things one is unable to do in traditional settings
  • Vivid and compelling future outcomes become your GPS
  • Willing to change, learn, adapt, and flex
  • “Can-do, will-do” attitude
  • Positive mental attitude
  • Attitude of gratitude
  • Balancing self-interests with best interests of others
  • Effective communication skills
  • Imagination plus practical thinking and action
  • Creates a small, diverse “dream team”
  • Practices cooperation and collaboration, rather than competition
  • Willing to live in an outer world of risk and uncertainty
  • Resilient in the face of obstacles, ridicule, and failure
  • Intuition and inner drive that can overpower logic and reason
  • Strong inner fortitude to ignore and bypass fear
  • Staying on-course, no matter what
  • Picking one’s self up after failure and moving forward
  • Continuous learning and improvement
  • Thrill of exploration, experimentation, and discovery
  • Chosen pathway is fun each and every day

Obstacles to Entrepreneurial Success

Combinations of three or more obstacles will likely limit or cripple your potential success as an entrepreneur or change agent. These “deal breakers” may be more important than the characteristics listed earlier as contributing to entrepreneurial success. Caution: Your desired outcomes may not be what you think if you resonate with these obstacles.

  • Fear of failure, economic risk and ruin, ridicule
  • Flying solo rather than having diverse co-pilots
  • Resistant to changing self, but wanting others to change
  • Attempts to manipulate and control people and situations
  • Values competition over cooperation and collaboration
  • Poor communication skills
  • Dominating self-interests
  • Needing to be perfect and right
  • Low tolerance for errors and mistakes
  • Waiting for the right time and place
  • Procrastination
  • Negative mental attitude
  • Desiring extrinsic rewards more than intrinsic benefits
  • Living in the past, which limits imagination
  • Obsessive use of data and facts
  • Absence of self-confidence
  • Belief that you are not ready and the time is not right
  • Low trust in your brainpower and caring nature to create
  • Abiding by other people’s opinions and decisions
  • Believing that “Fun” is something you experience after you succeed

In summary, expand your thinking about entrepreneurism to include what you can positively change in your home and work to improve the quality of life for all. Leverage your positive entrepreneurial brain characteristics in nearly everything, not just in building business enterprises; any one characteristic will serve you and others in positive, life fulfilling ways.

I challenge you to make one difference in one area of your life; you will multiply the effect and reduce the time needed for success, when you enlist someone like you to join with you. “Don’t Fly Alone.” The power of your brain, combined with your caring nature, is the greatest power in the world. You can do it!

Stephen F. Hager is a co-founder of The HADRON Group, Inc, along with Deanna S. Phelps. Hadron is the world’s leading developer of practical neuroscience solutions for entrepreneurial, career, personal, and educational success. Stephen is a lifelong learner, author, public speaker and seminar facilitator. He has dedicated his life to educate and help leaders, teams and organizations live better and less stressful lives through practical neuroscience. You can reach Stephen at; the consolidated web site for The Hadron Group