Do you know of someone (a friend, perhaps) who always seems to be starting a new business? asks Paul Haarman, And then, after several years of doing this, that person is living the “good life” and no longer has to worry about money?
If you do know such a person, you might have identified an entrepreneur. But what exactly does it take to be one? What type of personality is best suited for entrepreneurship? Can anyone become one, or must they possess some inherent quality or trait which makes them more likely to succeed as an entrepreneur than others would?
As per Paul Haarman, many people assume that all entrepreneurs are born with such qualities and traits. Indeed, there do seem to be certain personality types that lend themselves more quickly than others towards becoming an entrepreneur. One widespread assumption is that successful entrepreneurs are risk-takers, but I’m not sure this has much to do with their success beyond the initial stages; after all, very few people who take risks succeed at them (that’s why they’re called ‘risks’).
Another popular belief is that all entrepreneurs are highly ambitious and laser-focused on achieving their goals at any cost, even if it means working themselves to death for years before finding success. But again, this does not seem to be supported by historical or current data. Some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs had extremely humble beginnings and did not start in life thinking, “I want to be a billionaire!”.
Therefore, I argue that there are four types of entrepreneurs:
(1) The Hobbyist Entrepreneur
This person takes risks, runs the business with laser focus but fails to get rich after working their butt off for years. In other words, they’re a hobbyist — not an entrepreneur. They may be proud that they have “their own company,” but chances are they don’t generate enough revenue to support themselves and their family. And if/when they develop a decent income, there’s usually someone else behind the scenes pulling the strings while taking most of the profits.
To qualify as a true entrepreneur, one must take on all four characteristics outlined below to succeed in starting and running a sustainable business that can grow from being profitable to being a multi-million-dollar enterprise.
(2) The Overachiever Entrepreneur
This person tends to be more risk-averse, less ambitious/focused on work but has a knack for making things happen explains Paul Haarman. This type of person is most likely an extrovert. It will make friends with others who can provide resources for their business one way or another (e.g., contacts, networking opportunities, etc.). They’re not as skilled as Problem-Solver types when researching and developing solutions to problems themselves, so they tend to partner up with Hobbyist entrepreneurs instead.
Successful Overachiever entrepreneurs have often been going from one successful business venture to over ten years or more. They usually have a team of highly-skilled individuals working for them who have been with them from the start, so they don’t need to work as hard on managing their business day to day anymore.
(3) The Problem-Solver Entrepreneur
This is the kind of person who likes being out in the field doing things rather than sitting behind a desk all day — “get me out of the office!” If you know anyone like this, you know that they’re not your average introvert. They typically prefer a minimalistic lifestyle and can be pretty frugal when spending money on themselves. This type of entrepreneur wants nothing more than to achieve real wealth while utilizing their analytical skills towards making money while also minimizing risk exposure.
Problem-Solver entrepreneurs are usually highly creative individuals who love “thinking outside the box”. They prefer juggling multiple projects at once rather than concentrating on just one thing. However, it’s important to note that this does not mean they are inherently lazy. Their drive often causes them to work harder to finish tasks in less time. They are likely the most successful type of entrepreneur when it comes to making money. Because they’re great at spotting opportunities and implementing solutions. To seemingly unsolvable problems through critical thinking and communication skills. I happen to know several people like this personally. So if you ever meet anyone like that, you’ll see what I’m talking about!
(4) The Accidental Entrepreneur
Perhaps you know someone like this? This is the person who has no idea that they’re an entrepreneur. When all this time they thought they were making money. This type of business owner does not fit into the traditional category. People assume entrepreneurs are supposed to be in. Still, I am including them here because of their unique characteristic of having no idea what’s happening. While they grow their businesses to over $1 million in revenue, more than 50% faster. Hobbyist entrepreneurs (more than 13 decades rather than 23 years).