Entrepreneurs take their ideas and turn them into reality, creating jobs that contribute to their local ecosystems. However, not all entrepreneurs are the same. I have discovered that there are several different types of entrepreneurs. Each entrepreneur type is motivated differently and has their own rules for success in business. Therefore, it is important to understand that not all entrepreneurs are the same and what works for one entrepreneur type may not work for another.
The following looks at ten different entrepreneur types. Can you figure out which one you are?
The social entrepreneur type is keenly aware of their local, national, and global environment. Many social entrepreneurs are activists or environmentalists who want to solve social problems and change the world. Their main goal is to make the world a better place and create a business that makes a positive impact in the world. They measure their success not by the earnings of the business or their wealth, but by their impact. Social entrepreneurs tend to start nonprofits or companies that dedicate themselves to social good. Social entrepreneurs can often be so focused on the mission that they forget they need earnings to support their mission.
The innovative entrepreneur type is constantly coming up with new ideas and inventions. Like social entrepreneurs, they aim to change the way people live for the better. Innovation is more important to them than actually owning a company, however, many take their ideas and turn them into thriving business ventures. Innovators are motivated and passionate about their ideas. They tend to be engineers and enjoy the technical aspects more than the operational aspects of the business. They are not motivated by money, but by the mission and impact that their ideas will have on society. This means that they need to be good at delegating, or partner up with someone to take care of the tasks they don’t enjoy or are not good at.
The hustler entrepreneur type is a jack-of-all-trades who works hard and puts in a constant high level of effort. They aren’t afraid to explore trends. They think risk is scary as well as exciting and believe there are no rewards without taking some risks. They start small and work toward growing a bigger business based on hard work rather than money. Hustlers are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. They start their own businesses because they don’t want to work for anyone else. Hustlers are self-starters and tend to want to do everything and micromanage others. Hustlers will benefit from having the right investors or partners to help them focus their energy and keep them from burning out or wearing out team members.
The imitator entrepreneur type sees the success of others and tries to copy them. They use what others have done as their inspiration and work to improve upon what others are doing. Imitators are a combination of innovator and a hustler. They are willing to think of new ideas and work hard but begin by starting a clone business and copy what others are doing first. Imitators have self-confidence and determination and learn from other people’s mistakes. They like to play it safe and measure success by their lack of failures so they copy a successful business model to avoid making any mistakes. They see what works then figure out how to make it relevant to their business. However, imitator entrepreneurs are often playing catch-up and comparing themselves to the original.
The researcher entrepreneur type loves to learn. They take their time and research every possible scenario and outcome for strategies to start or grow a business. In some cases, the research ends up becoming an excuse for not taking action. They figure that with greater preparation and information, they will have a better chance of having a successful business. They rely on facts, data, and logic instead of their intuition. They develop detailed business plans as a way to minimize their chances of failure. To the research entrepreneur, success means not failing. They fastidiously pore over every detail of a question before making the call, which often leads to analysis paralysis.
The determined entrepreneur type is also known as “wantrepreneur”. While they have not made it yet, they believe they will. They are rich with ideas, but the groundwork necessary to have a successful business eludes them. They understand the value of entrepreneurship and they see that success is possible which is their carrot to keep going. They want to enjoy the trappings of having a successful entrepreneurial lifestyle and consider themselves as an idea person, but they need more motivation to assemble all the pieces or to spend sufficient time to create a successful business. They know that starting and growing a business is hard and that it takes time but they have a tendency to hop from one idea to the next becoming serial starters. Determined entrepreneurs rarely achieve their ambitions of having a successful business and suffer despair and frustration in their lack of success.
The buyer entrepreneur type uses their wealth to fuel their entrepreneurial spirit. They are often serial entrepreneurs with plenty of business experience. They know that buying a well-established existing business is less risky than starting from scratch, so they use their fortunes to buy businesses that they think are underperforming. Once a business is acquired, they make management and structural changes they feel necessary to scale the business quickly and expand profits. They measure success by how much more profitable they can make the business. Buyer entrepreneurs are confident in their ability to grow their acquisition’s profits- sometimes too optimistic. As a result, they are prone to paying too much for their acquisitions and getting in over their head.
The builder entrepreneur type is flexible and always looking to the future for the next big thing. It is not uncommon for them to have several businesses during their lifetime, even in different industries. Builders measure success in terms of infrastructure such as the number of employees they have, assets they own, or the volume of office space they occupy. Builders are accomplished entrepreneurs who have gone through all the stages of building a business and seen success. They focus on scaling their business and leaving a legacy that extends beyond their lifetime. They understand their time is their most valuable resource so they use it wisely. While builders excel at attracting talent, investors, and customers, their relentless focus on business leads to higher turnover including key employees and spouses.
The opportunist entrepreneur type is highly optimistic and a master promoter. They enjoy marketing and selling. They are skilled at identifying well-timed money-making opportunities- they jump in at the right time, ride the wave of growth up, and jump out at the peak. Opportunist entrepreneurs measure success based on the amount of money they make, as well as the amount of recognition and external approval they receive. Rather than build a business from scratch or buy an existing one, they look for business opportunities where they can leverage their skills and network to create both residual and renewal income. They are impulsive decision-makers when it comes to money-making opportunities. While their ability to act quickly and decisively can serve them extremely well, it can also be the cause of business failures.
The specialist entrepreneur types are often professionals such as accountants, doctors, or lawyers. Specialists know what they are good at and spend their entire careers in one industry. They measure success based on their personal income. With an aversion to selling, their primary weakness is in operations. They are also reluctant to take many risks. They examine each business decision with analytical precision and rely on the tried-and-true methods of networking to pursue new leads. Over time, specialist entrepreneurs tend to become complacent as they reach their business and financial goals.
Entrepreneur Type Conclusion
Not all entrepreneurs are the same. What works for one entrepreneur may not be right for you. Each entrepreneur has a unique set of circumstances, motivations, and flaws. Understanding your entrepreneur type will make you feel less like a square peg in a world of round business opportunities.
What entrepreneur type are you?