Types of Entrepreneurs

Knowing what type of entrepreneur you are will help you in the long run. You’ll be able to maximize your strengths, continue to develop your skills and increase your confidence.

You can also take the pressure off yourself to be every type of entrepreneur at the same time, as if that was even possible. You can be yourself as an entrepreneur, but you need to know the pros and cons – the upside and downside – of your particular type. One of the benefits of knowing yourself is that you can bring in people on your team with strengths and skills that complement yours or fill in for your weaknesses.

The following are brief descriptions of the different types of entrepreneurs that are common:

The Innovation Entrepreneur:

If this is you, then:

  • You come up with big ideas that are true innovations
  • You are extremely passionate about your ideas
  • You have a whole new way of thinking
  • You love to stand out from the crowd

Challenges associated with this type:

  • You need a lot of capital
  • You need a lot of patience
  • You need to be totally committed to bringing your innovation into reality, no matter what

The Working Hard Entrepreneur:

If this is you, then:

  • You are focused on working hard
  • You start small and think about effort to grow (not about raising capital)
  • You are motivated by your dreams and will work hard for them
  • You roll up your sleeves and do the work yourself

Challenges associated with this type:

  • Limited too much to you as an individual and your effort (albeit you do the hard work)
  • Not usually scalable
  • Not investable (more like the owner of a small business)

The Serial Entrepreneur:

If this is you, then:

  • You are always looking for the next big thing that is going to redefine the future and enable you to launch a new startup
  • You are adept at brushing off past negative experiences and just see them as part of your journey
  • You are excited to start and sell multiple companies
  • You look closely at trends and will change direction on a dime
  • You are excited about making money
  • You are comfortable with high risk

Challenges associated with this type:

  • You may not be in a business for the long haul
  • You may conflict with other types of entrepreneurs
  • You may be impatient

The Continuous Improvement Entrepreneur:  

If this is you, then:

  • You are seeking ways to imitate other successful businesses but to improve on the ideas
  • You are always seeking to make a product better
  • You aim to gain an advantage in an existing market

Challenges associated with this type:

  • You may always be compared to the original company with the original idea that you emulated
  • You won’t necessarily be seen as “innovative,” although you do have an innovation streak in you, and you can still have a very successful business with product enhancements that meet customer needs

The Analyzer Entrepreneur:  

If this is you, then:

  • You need all the information about something
  • You have analyzed an idea from all possible angles
  • You will not launch a product until it’s nearly perfect
  • You need deep understanding before taking action
  • You rely more on data than intuition or your “gut”

Challenges associated with this type:

  • You tend to move slowly
  • You could suffer from ‘paralysis by analysis’ in your thinking
  • You are not comfortable with ambiguity or high risk

The Intuitive Entrepreneur: 

If this is you, then:

  • You rely on your intuition and your instincts – your gut feeling
  • You effectively zero in on opportunities that others may not see yet
  • You have the courage to defy conventional thinking to listen to your intuition

Challenges associated with this type:

  • You are more impulsive
  • You may not look at data as much as you should to make sound business decisions

Other types exist as well, but are less common, including:

  • Wealthy entrepreneur who buys promising companies
  • World-changing entrepreneur who thinks at a global, macro scale (less about making more, all about making global impact)
  • Jack-of-all-trades entrepreneur who needs the perfect partners and investors to succeed
  • Wannabe entrepreneurs who like to talk about it but never really become an entrepreneur

Clear Distinctions

Besides knowing what type of entrepreneur you are, you should also be clear about whether your company is a small business, an investable and scalable startup, or a social entrepreneurial endeavor. You can have a team and a staff of 25 people and be a small business because you lack the ability to scale. It’s more about making a living for yourself, not about making investors money.

You can also have a team and a staff of 25 people and totally be a startup that has an investable and scalable idea for a growing market that will make investors a boat load of money. And if you are aiming to solve a social issue to make the world a better place, then you are engaged in a social entrepreneurship endeavor. You are not interested in or planning for profits. You are basically a non-profit in the works.

The One Quality

No matter what type of entrepreneur you are or where your company falls on the scale, the one quality that is consistently found in successful entrepreneurs is self-confidenceIt doesn’t mean you don’t get butterflies in your stomach from time to time or that you feel the mojo 100% all the time. But your confidence may be derived from the power of your ideas, your experience, your intuition or your research. Whatever fuels your confidence, continue to strengthen it. Yet, you should also not be afraid to admit you don’t know something and have to learn something new. There is a difference between confidence and arrogance. Once you accept what type of entrepreneur you are, your confidence will flow naturally.