But to link this to career choice and self-employment (you knew that link was coming), this Wall Street Journal article on Phelps' business prospects reminds us of the "flash in the pan" danger that confronts many would-be entrepreneurs like this champion. You receive some press or momentary attention for your product or personal brand and then it fades. How do you prevent that from happening? According to his agent, by being patient (long term goals) and strategic; he described the marketing efforts in the lead up to Beijing with an uncertain payoff.
And as pointed out in this New York Times article, resilience and flexibility in the face of change are some of the best methods past Olympic champions like Bruce Jenner have dealt with the silence after the gold dust settles. And where have we heard this before? The top two personality dimensions that correlate most with entrepreneurial success are openness to experience and conscientiousness defined as:
- Conscientiousness "indicates an individual's degree of organization, persistence, hard work, and motivation in the pursuit of goal accomplishment;" and
- Openness to Experience is seen in a person "who is intellectually curious and tends to seek new experiences and explore novel ideas."