First Business

September 17, 2010

Psychology: The Entrepreneurial Brain

Did you ever wonder why some business people are successful and others are not, and yet they both call themselves entrepreneurs?

The answer often lies in how their brains are wired. Many successful business people have attention-deficit characteristics, qualities or tendencies.

"There’s a very high incidence of ADD among CEOs in small companies,†said Daniel Amen, M.D., a brain researcher and director of Amen Clinics Inc., a group of four brain-imaging centers in the United States. "These are people who take risks, need people to help them stay organized, don’t like working for other people, have a lot of energy and are good at multitasking.â€

Psychologists tell us that our personality is influenced by both our genetic makeup and by the environments in which we live and do business. Over 1,500 entrepreneurs whose companies had sales of over $1 million dollars were studied for Entrepreneur Magazine. The researcher Bill Wagner looked at their personalities, emotional intelligence and brain dominance. His research yielded two major categories of entrepreneurs: the generalists and the specialists.

This article will concentrate on the generalists. In the next article, I will examine the personalities and behaviors of the specialists.

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