When you think of an entrepreneur, do you think of an intense, type A personality who is relentless about success? Do you think of someone who is fiercely independent? You wouldn’t be entirely wrong. There are certainly entrepreneurs who fit that description.
What you may not realize is that there are many others who do not. As it turns out, entrepreneurs vary widely when it comes to goals, working styles, and personality types.
Here, we’ll explore six different types of entrepreneurs, and how each can use their talents to succeed.
Which one are you?
1. The Opportunity Seeker
Opportunity seekers are predictors and trend-watchers. They know what is likely to be popular with customers in the near future, and are able to rush to market with products and services that meet those needs.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean capitalizing on the emerging trend itself. Many good opportunists have found ways to cash in by starting businesses in complementary industries.
For example, as smartphones became more popular, and more expensive, people began to realize that there was a big market for accessories and repair services. Today, you can find stores in every city that will replace broken smartphone screens, and sell you a variety of accessories.
In addition to being able to sniff out great opportunities, these folks are experts at sales and promotion. They enjoy the process of marketing their products, and engaging with potential customers.
There are a couple of potential negatives though. Many opportunity seekers tend to be a bit impulsive. In addition to this, not all opportunities pan out.
This is an entrepreneurial type that should be prepared to temper excitement with thoughtful planning. Or simply be prepared to absorb some losses alongside your successes.
2. The Serial Entrepreneur
Some people are in love with being in love. Serial entrepreneurs are in love with launching new enterprises.
While many start a business with the dream of growing it long-term and passing it onto their children, serial entrepreneurs have a different plan. They will grow a business until it’s a success and move on to start another company.
In many cases, the serial entrepreneur earns their money by selling the companies they start. Others create long term profitability by positioning their companies for franchising. Some simply build a powerful team to run things while they busy themselves with their next venture.
If this resonates with you, that’s wonderful. You’ll just need to be aware of a few things. Serial entrepreneurs have to be relentlessly honest with the people they work with. Even if you aren’t one for long term commitment, chances are you will work with people who are putting their hearts and souls into your business.
When you are ready to move on to your next business, be certain to do so in a way that is ethical and considerate.
3. The Multi-Talented Entrepreneur
Some people are drawn to the idea of starting a business because it allows them to learn new things, and engage their talents in many ways. These are the entrepreneurs who are heavily involved in every aspect of their business. They are truly, hands on business owners.
The multi-talented entrepreneur can do a little bit of everything. They make it their business to be able to jump in and help with any problem. People who work for a multi-talented entrepreneur can count on them to stay and work late when the going gets tough.
Just be aware that there’s a fine line between being willing and able to help, and micromanaging. Use your skills to hire great people, train them well, then trust them to do their jobs!
4. The Hustler
Fubu founder Daymond John created his company with a collection of sewing machines in his mother’s apartment, and marketed his business via graffiti. He’s the classic example of a hustler entrepreneur. He started small, worked with what he had, and built his company from the ground up.
Hustlers are talented at getting friends and family members to pitch in, and help them with their budding enterprises. They are the entrepreneurs who will take on second jobs, cut expenses, and bootstrap whatever funding they can to move forward.
In addition to this, they are great motivators. Nobody works as hard as a hustler, and that makes a big difference when it’s time to ask the rest of your team to put in extra effort.
There are a few risks though. Hustlers are prone to burnout. They can also overwork their team members, or leave them feeling unappreciated. Finally, there comes a time when a good entrepreneur should focus on getting funding from investors, not simply by working harder.
5. The Buyer
Some people start businesses, only to realize life as an entrepreneur just isn’t for them. Sometimes, they simply close up shop. In other cases, they seek out a buyer to take on their company, and continue making it grow. They buyer is on the other end of these deals.
A buyer seeks out businesses to buy, and grow. They are talented at assessing a business, and determining its growth potential. They can spot undervalued assets and opportunities. Buying is often low risk, as long as there’s a proven market, and the existing business is stable.
There are a few potential drawbacks here. It takes quite a bit of capital to purchase a business that has potential. It’s less expensive to buy a struggling business, but also significantly riskier. Unless of course, the buyer has a track record of turning around struggling businesses – perhaps in a particular niche.
6. The Expert
The expert works hard to develop their talents, then they use those skills to launch a successful business. The expert is the talented software engineer who goes on to launch her own tech startup. They’re the master woodworker who goes on to build a company making custom furniture.
Because they are so good at what they do, the expert is often able to grow their business through referrals and recommendations. Many prefer to keep their businesses small in order to provide the best possible service. When they do hire employees, they tend to keep training in house. This helps them to ensure consistency.
One issue is that experts can sometimes be resistant to business growth. They want to be successful, of course, but they are driven more by their love or passion for their craft, than by pursuit of profit. This is admirable, but can be frustrating to investors and partners.
Summing up types of entrepreneurs
Which entrepreneurial type describes you? No matter which one (or ones), successful entrepreneurs have all kinds of personalities, backgrounds and talents. Knowing your type simply provides insights into the ways in which your style can work for and against you. With dedication, any entrepreneurial style or spirit can make the future bright.