Personality traits and business success: Is there a correlation?


Certain personality traits lend themselves to becoming an entrepreneur or taking leadership-focused careers.

The printing company, instantprint, examined the relationship between personality traits and business success. The ‘Big Five’ personality traits have been researched extensively, and their exact labels are still debated. The five personality traits represent a range of two extremes. For example, extraversion represents the spectrum between extraversion and introversion. Most of us sit in the middle of the spectrum and rarely meet the extremes of extraversion and introversion.

Here are the big five categories and how they impact an entrepreneur’s path to success.


Entrepreneurs need to be imaginative and insightful to build an innovative product in the first place. Open individuals often have many interests and a curiosity for the world around them. Creativity is an essential part of business ownership and can help individuals overcome obstacles in their company.

With creativity and imagination comes a passion for the process and the initial idea. Entrepreneurs are often passionate and motivated about what they do and spend a lot of time and effort on it.


Goal-directed behaviour and good impulse control are key entrepreneurial traits. Entrepreneurs often have a desire for achievement and need to go above and beyond for their goals. They will spend time preparing for tasks, meeting deadlines, paying attention to detail, and enjoying an organised schedule. Sometimes a conscientious attitude can result in a poor work-life balance and burnout.


A leader should get their team excited about working on new projects and facing new challenges. Extraversion refers to excitability, sociability, assertiveness, and emotional expressiveness. Entrepreneurs are often outgoing and have a large circle of friends and colleagues around them. They feel energised by others and love being the centre of attention. 


Employees need to be able to trust their leader. A business owner should have altruistic qualities and an affinity for kindness and affection. They need to be cooperative and caring for others – in other words, a team player. A leader is nothing without their team, and every successful business owner knows this.


Even the most successful of entrepreneurs have their more negative traits. Neuroticism refers to mood swings, sadness, emotional instability, and high stress levels. Business owners handle a lot of responsibility and often worry about the stresses in their lives. However, this neuroticism often stems from their passion and care for their work. They have a deep desire to succeed and excel at their passion.

Of course, if you are looking to succeed in business and these five traits don’t all exactly apply to you, it’s not to say that you can’t make a success of your potential company. With a passion for your products or services and lot of hard work, you can get it off the ground.

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