A lot of people do it. Even a lot of entrepreneurs themselves do it. The assumption made is that all entrepreneurs are the same. After all, each has an idea for a business, develops it, and launches it. However, knowing which type of entrepreneur one falls under is significant to the health of the business and the health of the business owner.
Blood type is crucial because red blood cells have a substance on the exterior called antigens. The antigens help the blood cells distinguish its own from other cells in the blood. A foreign antigen, or lack of one, can cause the red blood cells to attack and destroy the unknown cells. Blood of an incompatible type can cause the blood to attack its red blood cells.
Far be it for an entrepreneur to unwittingly attack their efforts but employing a one-for-all mentality. Each entrepreneur thinks differently, is motivated differently, and has varying belief systems or priorities. The belief that a one-fit-for-all entrepreneurial disposition and approach to goals and problem-solving can be as risky as a belief that a pint of blood is a pint of blood so just use it if a patient is in need and one is available.
This listicle proposes to enumerate the most common entrepreneurial states of mind (the entrepreneur types), and what characterizes them to help each business owner recognize their type of entrepreneurship. There are likely to be overlaps in type. Entrepreneurs are likely to share attributes. Each business owner is the one, to be honest with themselves about which type they most closely resemble.
Types of Entrepreneurs
This entrepreneur type is motivated to build a highly successful business very quickly. They are passionate about the subject matter of the business. One might even say what they do is in their blood. They typically reach revenues of five million within two to four years. Part of that success is the fact that the owner develops new marketing strategies for the new product.
They go to the market; in fact, they often create a new market altogether and immediately identify how to reach that market. They are not shy in shedding the former and adopting the new. A forward push prevails until revenues reach 100 million. To this mindset, the indicator of success is infrastructure. A vision and implementation plan are seen through that image. The drive and charisma attract the best talent, the well-heeled investors, and the most lucrative customer base.
Because of a need to control the details, though, they create a mixed culture of enthusiasm and commitment vs stifling unhappiness among those who surround them. They know how to attract the best, yet do not know how to keep them. They can be a perfectionist. The guts are accepted along with the glory.
Due to the novelty of the creations, one can say this type makes the rules. And certainly, there is little competition in the beginning. Some of the personal sharp edges may come from shareholder resistance. They believe unwaveringly in their idea, but shareholders can be slower to bring on board, which the entrepreneur may find frustrating.
Michael Jackson and Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs and Michael Jackson are two examples. Jobs led the way in creating electronic devices that have changed the way people live and the way they conduct business. He has created the standards of manufacturing and implementation, as well as public use. He has influenced lawmakers’ responses.
Michael Jackson was not the first to do a music video, but he certainly brought the practice center stage, pardon the pun. Michael was unimpeachably a master vocalist, dancer, and choreographer. And he was an avant-garde writer of lyrics. How many songwriters today record a song without an accompanying video?
This entrepreneur type resembles a hunting dog. All they need is the scent of a well-timed opportunity and they are in hot pursuit. They are not shy. They are also not a quiet, stealth hunter. Everyone around knows when an opportunity is in the nose, so to speak. They are motivated by dreams, willing to work hard to achieve them, and willing to start low while aiming high. The modus operandi is to climb aboard an opportunity at the right time, ride the wave until it crests, and then temporarily disappears below the surface. The indicator of success to this individual is the revenues earned while not actively engaged in projects.
Though very focused, this business owner type tends to make quick decisions, particularly those related to revenue generation. An impetuous demeanor can make for an emotional roller coaster for those surrounding this type. They get rid of distractions quickly and do not relent easily.
That there are hits and misses in the pursuit of dreams is a given; disappointments and rejections are a part of the process. The flip side of this type is that they tend to burn out. They are not quick to seek raised capital. They are more inclined to think all that is needed is just harder work.
Mark Cuban is one of the best examples of this type of entrepreneur. His first entrepreneurial endeavor was at age twelve when he sold garbage bags to pay for a pair of expensive basketball shoes. He skipped his senior year of high school and went straight to university enrollment. He is opinionated and not shy about expressing them.
Professionally, he has made a lot of apologies and paid some fines for not controlling his tongue. Because he challenges himself, he does not automatically consider that others might not be on the same page. This type tends to tire others on their team quickly, especially those not accustomed to brusque truthfulness.
Perpetual thirst for data
This entrepreneur type is a quiet expert. The moment credentials like education, apprenticeship, or job training are in place, this behavior pattern emerges unabashedly. This person wants to examine every angle before committing, is not known to be a huge risk-taker, and is not a natural marketer. Most of this business owner’s new business comes from referrals and networking. The indicator of success to this owner is personal income.
This type loves to learn and has a perpetual data thirst. They are not quick to rush into a venture because they need a thorough understanding. This entrepreneurial type plans for as many contingencies as are reasonably possible. They usually come up with very well written business plans and mission statements. Decisions are more often data-driven than instinctual. The type will not begin a business without knowing the market, is slow to implement, makes every effort to minimize the chance for failure, is acutely averse to risk, and often has information overload.
This type is highly intelligent and does not naturally foster upward feedback on corporate culture. They may discount the input of those at a lower rank. Community contributions may be made but their motivations are sometimes questioned. Jeff Bezos exemplifies this type of entrepreneur. Jeff is well educated and very knowledgeable in his field of interest, which appears to be all things astronautical. All his efforts are directly or indirectly related to his dream of extraterrestrial colonization by humans. He can make others feel unimportant or unintelligent. One of his own secretarial employees called him a “corporate villain”.
He is slow to move in general because of his thirst for understanding, but he can also be slow in admitting when he is wrong and even slower to take action. This was evidenced in some years past when a non-profit organization found that his Amazon employees in three states depended heavily on food stamps. Only later did he issue a memo announcing a salary increase across the board. That was a surprising move in itself because there may not have been a case for raising every employee’s salary.
Always looking to improve
This type of entrepreneur is always in search of product improvement. They are not a natural innovator. This type questions the success of others. They look for the root of their success — a windfall inheritance or some other lucky break. They blame others for their immobility.
This type of owner is always looking for a competitive edge. They are content redefining an idea because doing so is a less stressful alternative. Product development is easy because ideas are easily benchmarked against the original. The benefit of learning from the original mistakes is a real benefit to this type, and they make constant comparisons. Not only that, if the original idea came from an innovator, then the business is perpetually evolving, which means the copy cat is always catching up.
They even copy business cards, websites, products, and services. A special note here is in order. Modeling the success of another is exercising wisdom. Taking what another has done well, and integrating it into one’s own ideas is a noble objective; simply copying another is not.
The entire fast food industry models this entrepreneur type. Certainly, Richard and Maurice McDonald were not the first to serve a hamburger. Diners and restaurants across the nation had done it for decades. But they were the first to offer a burger, soda, and french-cut potatoes in a more rapid-serve environment. Theirs was 1940 in San Bernardino, California.
Burger King followed in 1953 with the same essential but with a different twist — a burger that smelled and tasted like it had been cooked on the grill in the back yard. Arby’s followed in 1964 with its roasted beef sandwiches. Hardee’s and Wendy’s also followed in the 60s with its own spin on the original idea of a rapid-serve meal with a soda and fried potatoes cut smaller than steak fries.
The primary attribute of this type is wealth. They look for startup businesses that are promising so that they may be purchased and developed. They take less risk because the businesses are already established and showing promise. In making these purchases, this type can focus on other areas beyond the initial founding and funding. Innovation is of little concern because their attraction is to the business already founded and what it is doing.
Buying other businesses
Because this type of entrepreneur buys existing businesses that are relatively new yet successful, they often have to pay a high price for them. Probably the greatest risk is in resolving problems that come with the purchase of a given business. Wealth itself does not have a personality, so the attributes for this type are less obvious. Not all wealthy people are the same, so not all buyer entrepreneurs are the same except for the fact they are wealthy, and that they do buy other younger, smaller businesses.
One prominent example of this type is Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson. His baby, the Virgin Group, controls some 400 plus companies in varying fields. He is known neither for innovation, nor altruism, nor technical expertise. In fact, he is more reputed for his vices, but he has the money to buy other businesses, and he does.
You can always find out which type of entrepreneur you are
The good news is that there is always hope. An initial mismatched approach can be corrected. A lackluster beginning can be infused with the lacking elements resulting in prognosis for prosperity. The winner can take all by being honest with themselves about their entrepreneurial type and move forward, armed with that understanding.
Which type of entrepreneur do you fall under? Let us know in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.