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Using Personality Tests to assess Entrepreneurs: The Apollo Profile

Entrepreneurs Apollo Profile Interpretation Guidelines

The Management level Apollo Profile report is appropriate for assessing “state of readiness” and potential for entrepreneurs. A Primary Factor is one considered as high importance. Using the Apollo Profile Summary Report a score in the Green range is a strong predictor of likely success as an entrepreneur, especially for Primary factors.

Note that some Apollo Profile factors are highly responsive to the person’s situation. For example Ambition may be lower if a person does not have a focus they believe in. However when a person finds their passion the score for Ambition greatly increases.

It is worthwhile to differentiate between “inventors” and “entrepreneurs”. Inventors may have originality and intelligence but may lack some of the other numerous psychological drives and attributes to convert the invention into reality. It is believed that the following comments apply to evaluating people as possible franchisees.

Apollo FactorInterpretation Guidelines for Entrepreneurs

Achievement Primary


Entrepreneurs need to have a strong desire to get results. A high score is appropriate.

RemunerationTypically entrepreneur’s rate remuneration lowly as they want to see their dreams fulfilled. A high score indicates excessive focus on doing it just for the money rather than the passion.
Ambition PrimaryThis is a critical factor for entrepreneurs. When they have a very high score for Ambition they are driving and fully committed to success. A more moderate score may indicate that they have not yet discovered the passion that is needed to fire them up. Note that the factor of Ambition is a measure of “current desire for success” which is not necessarily related to climbing a promotional career ladder.
Independence PrimaryMost entrepreneurs tend to be independent and free to pursue their goals regardless of what others may think.
RecognitionRecognition is not usually a dominant drive for entrepreneurs and a very high score can be seen as seeking recognition more for fame and glory than for success of the business plan or invention.

Assertive Primary


Self-confidence and adequate assertiveness are highly desirable qualities for entrepreneurs to resist knockers and stand up and express what they believe in.

CompetitiveIt is useful for entrepreneurs to be sensibly competitive. However being too competitive or under-competitive is counter-productive.
CollaborativeIt is valuable for an entrepreneur to be able to create win/win situations with others. In that way they often enlist the cooperation of other stakeholders.
CompromisingThere is a case that entrepreneurs tend to be reluctant to compromise which can lead to tunnel vision. A willingness to be flexible and make sensible compromises is a more successful stance. However over-compromising can diminish the likelihood of success.

Security Primary


People with high security needs are highly unlikely to take the risks needed to succeed as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs with low security needs should carefully analyse the risks involved before committing resources.

Responsibility PrimaryBeing willing to accept responsibility also means being able to say “no” when appropriate. Accepting the burden of too much responsibility leads to stress. A low score for Responsibility indicates lack of commitment or possible work overload at that stage of their life.
Stress Resilience PrimaryA stressed person is unlikely to conquer all the barriers in the way to becoming a successful entrepreneur. However entrepreneurs frequently suffer stress as they are stretched to their limits. Hopefully stress levels reduce upon attainment of their goals.
SensitivityA normal degree of sensitivity to the situations of others is useful in establishing support. Highly sensitive people frequently suffer from stress.

Power Primary 


Moderate to strong use of power assists entrepreneurs to forcefully achieve their goals when they need to. Too much use of power is likely to alienate others.

Decisive PrimaryIndecision is fatal for budding entrepreneurs. Similarly impulsive decision making and failure to think through decisions leads to mistakes. This may be accentuated by an artificially high sense of urgency. So sensible and analytical decision making based upon facts and information is most appropriate.
Persuasive PrimaryWillingness or inability to persuade others is a very common cause of failure for entrepreneurs. Like it or not, it is very important to be able to convincingly present and explain, especially to people who have influence or authority.
DirectiveBeing willing to issue instructions and orders to others is especially appropriate dealing with subordinates.
DelegatingDelegating is not just something a boss does to subordinates. For an entrepreneur it includes the willingness to conscript help from anybody involved in the achievement of the goals.
CoachingAs entrepreneurs enter a stage of maturity they should be willing to coach and train and educate others.



A high need to be liked can actually get in the way of being a successful entrepreneur because of fear of personal rejection. To be a successful entrepreneur frequently requires taking actions that may not be popular or supported by everybody.

TeamworkTeamwork may not be important if the entrepreneur is the sole operator. However if other people are working together to achieve common goals a sensible score for Teamwork is appropriate.
Extraversion PrimaryBeing naturally extraverted supports many of the tasks needed to be a successful entrepreneur such as seeing the big picture, networking and presenting the business case. Many introspective people find these elements difficult. Many inventors are introspective and are challenged in becoming an entrepreneur because they are uncomfortable with extraverted activities.
IntimacyThe willingness to form close relationships is not particularly important for most entrepreneurs. However a normal need for friendship may help an entrepreneur obtain the support of others that do value close relationships.

Goal-setting Primary


Ideally entrepreneurs should have clearly thought out and documented goals and timelines.

Innovation PrimaryA high score for Innovation is a vital characteristic for entrepreneurs. This factor also indicates flexibility and creativity which can be seen as the nucleus or well spring that drives entrepreneurs to want to see their ideas translated to reality.
Proactive  PrimaryProactive versus reactive. Ideally an entrepreneur should be proactive and a strong planner and look beyond today to well into the future.
Analysing  Primary It pays for entrepreneurs to be analytical, whether by natural instinct or by diligent application. Failure to research and analyse  pros and cons thoroughly can lead to much lost time, money, and effort.



It is useful to have a “normal” score for Altruism. However some entrepreneurs may well be motivated by altruistic desires of helping mankind/ humanity/ the environment which can be appropriate.

TrustA normal degree of openness and trusting is desirable, even in business transactions – however many inventors become quite paranoid regarding the intellectual property and secrets and may need to be sensibly trusting with the right people.
LoyaltyNo more relevant to entrepreneurs than to the general population.
ConformingDespite their passion, entrepreneurs need to be willing to comply with acceptable standards of behavior and ethics. A low score for Conforming indicates a person may need to take care not to go outside proper rules, laws and boundaries to achieve their goals.



A low score for Conscientious is most appropriate for entrepreneurs. This enables them to see the big picture and get their priorities right.

DetailBoth high and low attention to detail can be appropriate for entrepreneurs. High detail entrepreneurs need to be careful to get their priorities right and not get bogged down. Low detail entrepreneurs need to be careful that they do attend to important detail.
Self OrganisationThe most effective entrepreneurs typically are good prioritisers and only as self organised as is needed to get the job done. Excessive self organisation can become counter-productive and lacking of time management flexibility.

Note that true entrepreneurs are quite rare and special. That means that most people will not match very well with all the Management level norms calibrations provided. Even successful entrepreneurs are not likely to score exactly across all factors either, as the calibration is the aggregated result of observations and studies of many different entrepreneurs all having different styles.