The 9 Personalities a Startup Needs to Be Successful

UPDATED: November 12, 2015
PUBLISHED: November 12, 2015

Entrepreneurship has enticed dreamers, visionaries, and creatives for centuries. In recent years, they have become a cultural obsession—even those who aren’t interested in being at the helm are lured by the temptation to create the next big thing.

Before you get swept up in the startup excitement, though, take a moment to double check your personality.

Why? Because there are several things that contribute to a startup’s success or failure—and one of the most overlooked influencers is personality. Time and time again, the most skilled workers become liabilities instead of assets—simply because they don’t have the personality and mindset required of startup employees.

Startups demand unique personal qualities and characteristics, like the nine below. Do you have the right personality to succeed?

1. The Visionary

The Visionary’s role is to inspire the team, suggest new ideas and encourage others. One of The Visionary’s most identifiable characteristics is their ability to think outside the box.

While The Visionary is able to supply grand ideas, this team member must also be able to communicate the essential details.

Most business founders and executives are visionaries (among other things), but they shouldn’t be the only people in the company able to visualize taking the business to the next level. It is important for numerous employees to possess The Visionary personality. When one dreamer loses enthusiasm, there is someone to pick up the slack.

Be careful that… your quick-thinking personality isn’t prone to impulsiveness and distraction.

2. The Follow-Through

Once The Visionary shares a dream, The Follow-Through takes the idea and runs with it. Workers with The Follow-Through personality make great managers. They provide the structure the company needs, not allowing everyone to get carried away with ideas.

While vision is necessary, The Follow-Through realizes teams need tangible tasks to keep them busy. The Follow-Through outlines roles, sets goals and ensures everyone understands their contributions.

The Follow-Through is approachable; team members feel comfortable bringing their ideas for review. This leader is also trustworthy, giving credit where credit is due.

Be careful that… your own goals aren’t sacrificed while fulfilling everyone else’s dreams.

3. The Mind Reader

The Mind Reader sees the overall vision of the company and anticipates the next move. These individuals require very little direction and thrive on self-motivation.

Intuition, innovation and invention are The Mind Reader’s specialties.

Be careful that… you don’t overstep boundaries and take liberties you haven’t earned.

4. The Been There, Done That

Nearly half of all failed startups blame a lack of market need for their product. The best companies are the ones that fill a hole in the industry. To do that, they depend on individuals with real-world experience.

The Been There, Done That has experience. These team members have suffered from the problem the company wants to fix. They bring knowledge from the trenches and reflect on their hands-on experiences.

They are humble and willing to acknowledge previous challenges. They are transparent and eager to help the company succeed.

Be careful that… your previous experience doesn’t lead you to become a know-it-all.

5. The Morale Booster

In a startup, it’s easy for everyone to get burned out. The Morale Booster keeps morale high.

When deadlines loom and stress mounts, it is easy for employees to start working in a vacuum. They tune out the rest of the team and focus on the task at hand. This technique is good for short-term productivity, but can be damaging in the long-run.

The Morale Booster keeps everyone connected to the team. These workers help balance individual contributions with team collaboration.

Be careful that… you don’t distract teammates and become a cheerleader at inappropriate times.

6. The Worker Bee

Everyone should have a little Worker Bee personality, but some people have this trait more than others.

The Worker Bee gets more done in a single day than anyone thought possible. Their productivity is off the charts. The Worker Bee never says, “That’s not my job.” They simply pitch in wherever they are needed.

Be careful that… you don’t get burned out.

7. The Go-Getter

Zealous, enthusiastic, passionate, dynamic, energetic and self-motivated are the adjectives most commonly associated with The Go-Getter.

These individuals are confident in their ability to succeed. They don’t discourage easily or second-guess their decisions.

Be careful that… you don’t run roughshod over your less-dominate teammates.

8. The Caregiver

The Caregiver puts everyone’s needs first. They are watching out for the customers’ and company’s best interests. The Caregiver is the ultimate team player.

These individuals come in early and leave late. They look for ways to make things run more smoothly and improve everyone’s experience.

Be careful that… you don’t have unrealistic expectations, assuming everyone should have your same priorities.

9. The Determined One

Perseverance is a personality trait that cannot be left off this list. With any startup, there are bound to be bumps in the road and mountains that need to be climbed. It doesn’t matter how great the idea, every business faces challenges.

How individuals deal with those challenges is what distinguishes the workforce assets from the liabilities. The Determined One digs a little deeper and perseveres through difficult situations, pulling everyone else along. Quitting is not an option.

Be careful that… you don’t succumb to workplace negativity. Stay strong!

Lots of kids want to be entrepreneurs when they grow up. And parents can actually influence their child’s entrepreneurial IQ by teaching them the 7 skills they need most to succeed.

Monica Eaton Cardone

Monica Eaton-Cardone is an entrepreneur and business leader. She excels at threat metrics analysis, product and technology system development, eCommerce retention, risk relativity, and agile process design. She has co-founded numerous successful companies and has earned a reputation for developing effective, innovative business solutions. 

As COO of Chargebacks911, Monica’s primary focus is helping eCommerce merchants mitigate risks and increase profitability through chargeback remediation. The company specializes in preventing chargebacks and disputing friendly fraud. Chargebacks911 was recently recognized on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies.