By Tim McNeely

As an entrepreneur, you have a mission to provide the best services or products possible to your clients. You also want to build a very successful business and are committed to doing your personal best in all areas of your life. That makes you a driven entrepreneur — a person who is highly motivated to make a difference in this world.

According to a recent survey by AES Nation*, about three-fifths of entrepreneurs fall into this category.

Driven entrepreneurs tend to have three personality traits in common and they tend to have them to a much higher degree than their peers, who may also possess these traits.


Driven entrepreneurs tend to be extremely focused on excelling at all they do. They can be highly competitive and often thrive in challenging situations. This drive toward accomplishment and achievement is the first hallmark of a driven entrepreneur—93 percent of driven entrepreneurs and 61 percent of other entrepreneurs report this personality trait.


Driven entrepreneurs are curious, habitually seeking to deepen their understanding and broaden their knowledge. They know that this open-mindedness allows their business to be nimble and responsive, leading to greater success. It is also a quality that improves their overall well-being. This trait is present in 80 percent of driven entrepreneurs and only 33 percent of other entrepreneurs.

Larger purpose

Driven entrepreneurs are looking to create social value, perhaps even to change the world. Their view ranges far beyond their business and their loved ones; they wish to have a meaningful impact on the world and leave a legacy of good. This trait is present in 55 percent of driven entrepreneurs and 18 percent of other entrepreneurs.

Steps to improve your business

All entrepreneurs want to improve their business, regardless of whether or not they consider themselves driven. Surveyed entrepreneurs report taking the following steps to increasing their success and competency.

• Self-directed learning — Whether keeping up with trade journals, reading business books or even researching specific questions, all entrepreneurs report some kind of self-directed acquisition of knowledge.

• Educational platforms — This refers to enrolling in management, business education or professional development.

• Peer support — This refers to reaching out to others in a similar line of business to network and learn how to handle any issues that arise. This kind of activity ranges from informally keeping up with your classmates from your undergrad program or business school, to creating a board of advisors, to joining a trade association or a mastermind group. 100 percent of driven entrepreneurs and 95 percent of other entrepreneurs report peer support activity.

Involvement in a formal group that is designed to help its members excel can be far more effective than informal peer support. Mastermind and CEO groups provide the best places for entrepreneurs to truly accelerate their success. They have an executive director to run the group, as well as membership fees, which range anywhere from $100 to over $100,000 per year. This buy-in helps to guarantee the commitment of members to each other and their common purpose.

All of these approaches to improve your business and your own leadership skills can help your business and your employees improve outcomes. Reported results include an increase in employees’ self-awareness and motivation, development of employees’ self-confidence and improvement in their overall well-being.

*Survey of 759 North American entrepreneurs who are senior management (all C-level executives) who have at least 25% stake in their privately held businesses. The revenues at the companies had to be at least $5 million annually in each of the past three years.

Timothy J. McNeely is an Investment Advisor Representative with Dynamic Wealth Advisors dba Lifestone Family Office. For more on how you can adopt the habits of a driven entrepreneur and make your business even better, contact Tim McNeely of LifeStone Family Office by visiting, by phone at (661) 368-0947 or on twitter at @timmcneely.

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