Crazy About Success: 4 Things Entrepreneurs And Psychopaths Have In Common

by Brian Roberts

It's common knowledge that the spoils of success in the Western world, like status and wealth, are often enjoyed by a select few. But would it surprise you that the same small group who makes a killing could be capable of it, too?

Believe it or not, psychopaths exhibit many of the same traits as successful people.

Although it's no shocker that high-profile politicians are certainly similar (just turn on the TV for proof), the parallels between killers and megabrand builders are more similar than you'd think.


If you ever get the chance to visit Facebook's California headquarters, you'll notice a sign that reads, “What would you do if you weren't afraid?”

If you were a psycho, you wouldn't have to ask yourself this. That's because one of the most common attributes of psychopaths (and successful entrepreneurs) is a lack of fear.

Coupled with a burning motivation and a lucrative goal, grit will be what takes you from where you are to where you want to be. Fear, or lack of it, is what separates the doers from the wannabes, whether that's fear of failure or fear of rejection.

Like a psychopath stalking a victim, a successful entrepreneur will relentlessly pursue his goal day-in, day-out for as long as it takes, regardless of what or who is in the way.


Showtime's most watched TV series, "Dexter," profiles a seemingly harmless family man who moonlights as a serial killer. One of the hallmark traits of the show's lead is his attention to detail.

Whether carefully avoiding capture, planning a kill or blending in with the general public, he pays careful attention to all the variables. Entrepreneurs with prowess apply the same thinking to their businesses, carefully mapping out everything from a target market and testing, to design and launch.

So much for the blind risk-taking myth, eh?


Whether you see it or not, you probably avoid what you know you should be doing. That's because the most important tasks are often the ones that make us the most uncomfortable.

You know, that phone call you've been avoiding or that email you've been dreading to write. Procrastination is the biggest threat to your success because it's not only the least obvious, but also the most constant.

Most people just write off these distractions as a byproduct of business, but what it really means is you have a lack of priorities. Psychos and successful entrepreneurs both know that focus is key.

If can be delegated, delegate it. If it can be eliminated, eliminate it. Even if that "it" is another person.


Probably didn't see this one coming, right? That's exactly the point.

Dynamic, articulate, outspoken, well groomed and sharply dressed, it's impossible not to be drawn into their aura. This trait was left for last because it's actually the end result of the first three.

Psychopaths and intense entrepreneurs captivate groups both big and small because they're all focus and no fear. Whether looking at you as a potential partner or potential prey, neither feels social anxiety or self-doubt.

What makes all of this so charming exactly? Regular folks aren't used to such an intense level of attention. Most people are either jittery and anxious or just distracted, thinking about whose text or post they need to respond to.

Furthermore, just like any exceptional salesperson (isn't that what any good entrepreneur has to be?), entrepreneurs aren't worried about what to say next. That's because their responses are entirely dependent upon what you say.

Of course, a psychopath is only this charming because self-gratification is his end game. He is purely selfish. However, any entrepreneur worth his weight in gold knows that to succeed, he has to be just the opposite: selfless.

Unlike the psychopath driving mad down a one way, an entrepreneur has to focus on long-term relationships that develop into two-way streets.

Photo Courtesy: Showtime/Dexter