The Man in Blue


The 4 traits of an entrepreneur

At last week’s Pause Fest, I was lucky enough to be sandwiched between the magnificently giving Jan Owen and the precociously talented Yuma Soerianto on a panel moderated by Mike Butcher that aimed to encourage inter-generational business learnings.

One of the themes which I was interested to explore was the nature of entrepreneurialism and ways you could encourage it in everyone from the ages of 6 to 60. People like Jan have a wealth of knowledge far beyond mine in this field, but I thought I’d briefly record my own thoughts here as a way of tracking my own journey towards a better understanding of it.

At its heart, entrepreneurialism is about problem solving. If we were to distill this type of problem solving down into 4 teachable aspects, I believe it would have to encompass:

1. Curiosity

An intense passion for finding out about the world and uncovering problems that need to be solved in it.

2. Understanding

Cultivating a desire to understand the “why” and the “how” of a problem, as well as the empathy needed to connect with people that are being affected by it.

3. Belief

Endowing people with the belief that they can personally take action and solve a problem is an incredibly important part of stoking their entrepreneurial fire.

4. Perseverance

Learning to deal with failure and continuing to forge ahead with your new learnings is a must for anyone trying to tackle a problem worth solving.

While the motivations and personalities of every entrepreneur are different, these four traits are something that I think every entrepreneur I’ve met have had in common with their peers, and these are the things that I think we can nurture and teach to upcoming generations so that our society is well prepared for a challenging future.

Cameron Adams Cameron Adams is a co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Canva, where he leads the design & product teams and focuses on future product directions & innovative experiences. Read a bit more about him ›