They inspire, but they also intimidate. What if you weren't born with Jobs' creative genius or Gates' iron will? There's good news for the rest of us: Entrepreneurs can be guided to success by harnessing crucial attributes. Scholars, business experts and venture capitalists say entrepreneurs can emerge at any stage of life and from any realm, and they come in all personality types and with any grade point average.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, you don't have to be Type A--that is, an overachieving, hyperorganized workaholic--or an extrovert to launch a successful business. "Type A's don't take the risks to be entrepreneurs," says Elana Fine, managing director of the University of Maryland's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, adding that the same goes for straight-A students. "Very often it's C students who become entrepreneurs."