Throughout my career I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a really interesting mix of personality-types, from all walks of life. Some had their own businesses, worked successfully for others, or were in the process of going it alone.
For anyone looking to run your own business, the type of personality and mindset you have can be more important than the background you actually come from. By understanding yourself better you can find out what kind of entrepreneur you should look to be to give your business the best chance at success.
This article is a short guide on the types of entrepreneurs (and would be ones) that I’ve met. By understanding them I hope that you can get a good insight into the kind of person or leader that you wish to become.
1. The Bright Young Things
I’ve met many young graduates who are struggling to get their first break in the competitive jobs market. As barriers to entry have lowered, some of the more inventive candidates went on to start their own online businesses instead of applying for 1000+ jobs. Moreover, as technology allows us to work anywhere in the world, many can now work on their business at the same time as taking a gap year down under.
2. The Inheritors
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs or wealth, it’s expected that these people will be the next generation of industry leaders. They have also had the emotional, financial (or both) backing from a young age to go out into the world and crack on with business. They are naturally confident and with money already in the bank, they aren’t afraid to take risks. Most of the larger companies are headed up by these type of personalities and as expected, they can go on to create some great brands.
3. The Technicians
Technicians have spent 10+ years learning their trade working for another company. Eventually the time comes to go it alone as a contractor or self employed. For the more ambitious, they looked to actually hire several people and build a proper business like the one they worked for 10 years previously. I would say (as the founder of Deviceful) this is where I sit.
4. The Necessitates
If you can’t find a job, make one! I’ve got a few friends who have left senior roles in recent years. Unfortunately many have struggled to get new jobs for various reasons. A couple have started their own business because they have no choice and the mortgage still needs paying. One becomes a handyman and seems to love their new found freedom. The other actually built their own digital publishing business that was recently acquired resulting in more financial freedom.
5. The Commander Rikers
I’ve met so many people who fall into this category. They are the star performer in the business they work in and many are actually effectively running a business that’s owned (or captained) by someone else. They are brilliant at what they do but many worry that their skills might not be best applied as an entrepreneur. Because they get paid well and are usually appreciated by the board, it’s hard for them to justify the risk of starting up on their own. When they do make the jump, however, they always seem to be successful.
6. The Hustlers
Remember this guy or girl at school. The Del Boy of your class who turns their hand to selling absolutely anything. Be it packets of crisps or multi-million pound football agent transfers, these types are always looking to make a margin and usually do well in life.
7. The Social Entrepreneurs
My cousin started her own social enterprise 15 years ago. It was focused on providing schools with access to high visibility clothing / merchandise that children could wear to be safe when walking to school. They left good paid jobs to start it but the calling was too strong and they were driven by a clear and compelling why.
8. The Working Parents
It’s really tough for a lot of new mums (and some dads) who want to get back into work after having children. Many struggle with choosing between their career and the hard wired desire to be there for the children. For some, they’ve realised there is a way to have both. Many are using their creative skills to provide cottage industry offerings like homemade bath-bomb soap, a range of craft beers, local stage schools and in the case of my wife, her own online florist business. This allows them the opportunity to run a business on their own terms whilst not running the risk of missing out on priceless moments with their children.
9. The Procrastinators
These are the folks who have so many great ideas but never get around to taking action. It’s the friend you that has a really restless mind and is forever coming up with solutions for everyday problems. They are great people to know but they usually lack the confidence or focus to actually apply themselves. One day an idea will spill over enough that they may actually make the jump. Good luck to them!
10. The Talkers
For them, starting a business is easy. Becoming a millionaire by next year is simply a choice not a possibility. They’ll get around to it once they’ve finished playing xBox. I’ve met a lot of people like this and although very talented (quelle surprise) last time I checked, all of them are still on their xBoxes. Don’t fall into this trap as actions only ever speak louder than words.
Hopefully one of those personality types has struck a chord with you. The main take-away (for me, at least) is that inspiration and success can come from many places and in many different forms for all different types of people. There’s no ‘one-size fits all’ way to become an entrepreneur. If you’ve got an idea, a reason, and a want all you need to do is get up and start.
I really hope you do.