Not everyone has what it takes to launch their own business.
Those who do tend to share some of the same traits and characteristics, according to a new study from U.S. Trust. Passion, a sense of social responsibility and a desire to help others are among the qualities many entrepreneurs have in common.
The research revealed the five attributes that business owners, especially successful ones, share:
- Passion for work: More than 90 percent of the business owners surveyed have a clear sense of purpose in their lives, with 75 percent of those considering meaningful work an important aspect of that purpose.
- All in financially: Successful business owners have a close financial link between their personal and business lives. The research shows that 40 percent of high-net-worth entrepreneurs have most of their income and financial assets linked to their business.
- Health conscious: More than 75 percent of those surveyed believe their health is their most important personal asset. Despite that, 35 percent admit to sacrificing their health to better their careers.
- A desire to help others: Prosperous business owners feel aresponsibility for the needs of those around them, especially their employees. Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed generally put the needs of others ahead of their own, while more than 90 percent say they wouldn't cut the number of workers they employ to manage their tax or business risk. This can cause them some difficulty, however. Close to 60 percent say the desire to help others often conflicts with their personal, work, financial and social goals.
- Socially responsible: More than 90 percent of entrepreneurs think giving back socially is a critical aspect of their lives. They also place a greater importance on giving back to society than non-business owners.
Another commonality most entrepreneurs have is hard work. The majority of business owners of high- and ultra-high-net-worth business owners weren't handed their success on a silver platter. Nearly 60 percent grew up in middle- or lower-income households and just 8 percent inherited their business. Overall, nearly 80 percent of the business owners surveyed are their company's founder. [10 Productivity Secrets Entrepreneurs Say Really Work ]
Given how much, both personally and financially, entrepreneurs have invested in their business, many are worried how various threats may affect their personal reputation and wealth. Specifically, 44 percent are focused on protecting their businesses from lawsuits, 42 percent are concerned about how to defend their data from a cyberattack and 33 percent are worried about how to find business advisers they can trust.
Business owners’ personal identities are closely tied to their companies, said Keith Banks, president of U.S. Trust.
"Running a company is a tremendous source of pride for them," Banks said in a statement. "As devoted as they are to their businesses, they have to be sure to avoid unnecessary risks that could jeopardize the reputations they are trying to protect."
The study was based on surveys of 640 adults of high net worth and ultra-high net worth, of which, 118 are business owners, with at least $3 million in investable assets, not including the value of their primary residence.