Everyday I talk to people who are contemplating starting their own business. Often their motivation  is a reaction to something in their work life…a bad review or work environment; a lay off or fear of one.

Other reasons range from the “I want to make a lot of money” to ” I don’t want to have to listen to a boss telling me what to do” to “I want to have more time for the other things in my life”.

While these reasons are understandable reactions and frustrations, they are entirely the wrong reasons for starting a business. You’re on firmer ground if you have a product, service or skill that you feel has a market and you are passionate about providing. Determination and perseverance count too! Even so, before we open the doors of that new business there are many practical questions to ask and answer regarding finances, marketing, your business model and plan…to name a few.

But one area that I think is rarely if ever addressed and I believe is critical to any new businesses survival is an understanding of the personality of the person who will be running it by the person who will be running it!

After all, regardless of the knowledge base or MBA’s we may have accumulated, how we use that information is going to be mediated by our values, beliefs, background and a myriad of other factors coming together every day to create decisions that will affect the success of our business.

How we feel and behave toward such things as money, success, competition, work relationships or roles, organization and planning emerge from what I call our Business Personality.  It is that aspect of our personality that specifically affects our orientation to business decisions. What’s our management style? Do we have an optimistic  or pessimistic view of risk and change?

An understanding of the elements that make up our business personality and an ability to use it in the service of our business is critical to the success of that business whether it is a start-up or established.

Do you know what yours is going to say about the choices you’re going to make?