What do you see?

 In Benefit Venture Blog

Clearly many entrepreneurs see things that others do not. Not surprisingly we tend to have differing perceptions of things.

For instance take a look at the picture to the right:

Which line is longer?

I expect you answered the vertical, unless you already know about the Müller-Lyer illusion, named after a nineteenth century German sociologist. If you did, you’d have given the right answer immediately, which is that both lines are the same length.

However, chances are high that you did choose the vertical. That would have been intuitive. A good entrepreneur would be happy with that choice, but would also have remained skeptical. A bit of reflective introspection and checking the facts would have soon reversed the choice to the correct answer.

Entrepreneurs love going with their gut, but this is combined with the ability to evaluate options. Don’t be fooled—by comparison with managers they may seem impulsive, but what is critical for them is the evaluation of risk. Their resources are either their own or ones for which their have a high degree of responsibility. Hence, conversely to the popular idea that entrepreneurs are defined by their ability to take risks, they always consider the downside and take only calculated risks, always except of course the unsuccessful founders.

According to a 2017 study by CPP Inc., a firm that publishes the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment, there are two top personality traits of entrepreneurs: intuition and perception (grasping the meaning by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding). Individuals with a preference for intuition are significantly more likely to become entrepreneurs than those who have other personality traits like sensing or judging, according to the firm’s findings. I can confirm this as an entrepreneur, being both an iNtuitive and Perceiving type in Myers-Briggs terminology!

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