Small Business Startup News

What Makes Serial Entrepreneurs Tick?

Written by Tim Morral
Published: 10/11/2013

Fast Company uncovers the motivations and behaviors behind some of the world's most successful serial entrepreneurs.

Serial entrepreneurs are individuals who are in the habit of continuously inventing and launching new businesses. While others dread the difficulties of the startup stage, serial entrepreneurs embrace it, and return to it time and time again, starting a company from little more than an idea.

Serial Entrepreneur Motivation

Not surprisingly, serial entrepreneurs have unique skills and personality traits that not only make new business startups appealing to them, but also enable them to succeed from one business launch to the next. Not everyone has the innate characteristics it takes to succeed as a serial entrepreneur, but for those who do, the rewards can be substantial.

A recent article in Fast Company set out to identify the characteristics that differentiate serial entrepreneurs from other startup owners. Citing research by Wayne Stewart, associate professor of management at Clemson University, the article shows that serial entrepreneurs are more common -- and more successful -- than many people think.

"We've seen some evidence that one-third of all ventures are initiated by serial entrepreneurs," Stewart told Fast Company, "And that those ventures have higher growth."

According to Stewart, higher rates of growth and overall success among serial entrepreneurs can be attributed to three factors. Serial entrepreneurs are: (1) more driven by success, (2) more likely to take an uncertain course of action, and (3) more likely to do something unproven.

Additionally, Stewart's research shows that serial entrepreneurs are focused on creating wealth and pursuing personal development as well as the development of their ideas and business concepts. Serial entrepreneurs are also restless and are more comfortable moving on the next startup once their current business reaches a certain stage of development.

"If you are going to end one venture and go to another, you're [probably] bored once you are into a daily decision-making managerial role," says Stewart.

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