How to Predict if You Will Be a Successful Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is tough. Do you know what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur?

What if you could take a quiz to learn if you are likely to be a successful?

Steve Case, former CEO of AOL, describes the three key ingredients to successful entrepreneurship as people, passion and perseverance. Most successful entrepreneurs would probably agree with him, though they might nuance it differently.

While this makes sense anecdotally, now there is research to support it. And a quiz that will generate a score for you.

The Research

Angela Lee Duckworth at the University of Pennsylvania has developed a psychological personality trait called Grit that she defines as perseverance and passion for long term goals.

Angela and her colleagues demonstrated that grit predicted achievement in a number of tough domains over and above measures of talent. Among cadets at West Point, those higher in grit were less likely to drop out than their peers, even when controlling for SAT scores and rank in high school. Among adults, grit was associated with educational attainment and fewer career changes. Among adolescents, grit predicted GPA and, inversely, hours watching television.

While her research does not study successful entrepreneurs explicitly, a strong case could be made that a study of entrepreneurial achievement would yield similar results.

How to Use Grit in Your Startup

  • Take the short quiz below to find out how gritty an entrepreneur you are. Do you have what it takes to be successful? What do you need to work on?
  • Ask key hires to take the quiz. Or ask interview questions derived from the quiz. Don’t hire anyone for a startup who cannot demonstrate a high degree of grittiness.

Do you know of other predictive measures for successful entrepreneurs or startups? Leave us a comment. We’d love to hear about it!

The Quiz: 9 Questions to Calculate Your Grit Score

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Andy Jagoe About Andy Jagoe

Andy is the founder of Venturegrit and has 20 years of experience founding, funding, and leading venture funded startups. More about Andy's background. You can also find Andy on LinkedIn and AngelList.