TU50:  The Psychology of an Entrepreneur -Surprising Insights with Guest Krisztina ‘Z’ Holly

by | Dec 7, 2017 | Brain Science, Episodes, Guest Interviews, Personal Growth

Show Notes

Learn what goes on inside the mind of a successful entrepreneur and bring to life your own dormant projects!

Kristina ‘Z’ Holly, curator and host of first ever TEDx, as well as the founder of the podcast, “The Art of Manufacturing,” joins our own Dr. Ann Kelley to delve into the mind and personality of an entrepreneur. Through her podcast, Z speaks in-depth with inspiring and successful entrepreneurs and shares wisdom and insights about this population. Discover how risk, reasoning, and cognitive biases work towards entrepreneurial decision-making. The benefits of gaining the resilience that comes after failure is discussed, as well as how to use extroversion and open-mindedness to actually increase your own “luck” and ability to actualize your ideas.

Krisztina ‘Z’ Holly is a MIT-trained engineer, tech entrepreneur and startup wizard. She has served as Vice Provost for Innovation at USC and has been an advisor to dozens of companies and organizations, including the World Economic Forum and the Obama Administration.  In addition to her podcast, Z is also the Founder and Chief Instigator for LA Mayor Garcetti’s MAKE IT IN LA initiative.


Personalities of Entrepreneurs

Effectual Reasoning, Risk Taking, Cognitive Biases

Stereotype of power and selfishness, versus the drive to make a positive impact as an entrepreneur, specific examples

Average age of entrepreneur is 40s, not 20s.


Importance of partnerships and interdependence

Starting TEDx

Key to making impact sometimes is to recognize what you’re willing to give up

Risk Taking & Risk Aversion

Comparison of entrepreneurs and parents

“Trough of Sorrow”

Working in groups to start projects are more likely to be successful (up to 5)

Holding the mission above the brand, entrepreneurship as a helping profession


Using importance of mission to counteract knee jerk human reaction to take ownership

How does entrepreneur personality play out in relationships?

Examples of entrepreneurs who are driven by fanaticism

Sense of responsibility for business comparable to that of parent for child

Reality of what it takes to be an entrepreneur

Drive for money versus something more

Learning from failure vs. learning from success. Learn from resilience after failure, not failure itself.

Push comfort zone every day.


Different types of entrepreneur personalities?

Internal locus of control in entrepreneur

Richard Weisman luck study – you can cultivate your own luck through openness to experience and extroversion. Those self-described as lucky were much more likely to get answer correctly (they were open to new information and new input). Entrepreneurs fit into category of those who make their own luck. Internal locus of control about affecting world if you intake its information.

Entrepreneurs have world view in a way that they can affect the world.

Wrap Up & Outro


Resources for this episode:

The Art of Manufacturing Podcast


Richard Wiseman, The Luck Factor, Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 2003

6 Key Qualities for Entrepreneurs.

5 Biggest Hurdles to Entrenpreneurship


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