Understanding who you are is an important endeavor, and vitally important when it comes to the entrepreneurial spirt. What are your aspirations? Where do you begin? No matter how successful the business owner, they all started off with the same questions.
To begin with: An entrepreneur is someone who creates or organizes a business while taking in a higher level of risk than they normally would. Translation: They extract value others may not see, or they go places where others are not willing to tread.
By definition, an entrepreneur is a soul set on seeing things that aren’t there, understanding human behavior, and willing to envision something much larger than themselves. As you can see, nowhere in the definition does it outline a level of success. Why? Because success, for the entrepreneur, is determined by them, or more pointedly, what type of entrepreneur they are. For those just starting down this path, it may be as terrifying as it is exhilarating – and if you understand what I mean, you are already on the trail to becoming an entrepreneur.
But what kind of entrepreneur are you? Knowing where your strengths are will lead to greater success down the road. It also leads to a you have better understanding of your future customer journey, how employees will engage with you, and much more. This is simply the first step, and nowhere near the end of your professional development journey.
So, batten down the hatches while we sail the open seas of discovery. The ways to navigate starting a business are endless, but let’s begin by understanding who you are. Different entrepreneurs are going to create different businesses, strategies, and visions. Here are 11 different types of entrepreneurs.
#EntrepreneurGoals. The Lucrativepreneur has taken all the steps, identified who they are and what they want to give to the world – and then accomplished it. They are the ones who are not focused on leaving behind a legacy. Why did we start with them? Because everyone must have a barometer, and no matter where you fall on the continuum, here is the end goal.
This is the ideal most people envision when they dream of starting their business. TV appearances, interviews, red carpet gowns, and financial security like they’ve never seen before. Any type of entrepreneur, technically, doesn’t start at this point, but finishes here during their career. For the Lucrativepreneur, there is no such thing as failure, and in fact the majority of them understand that most businesses won’t make it (about 20 percent of businesses fail in the first two years, 45 percent in the first five).
#IWantItAll. Ever hear about the guy who wanted to open a pub? No, but you know there are thousands of them in the world today. The Wannapreneur is characterized by a ton of new ideas, all the time, but very little follow through, or no success when they do. Basically, they are stuck in a perpetual cycle of idea and forget. Sometimes roadblocks include capital, or maybe time, energy, knowledge, planning – the reasons are numerous. The result, however, is the same. Big dreams, no action.
Tips if this is you: Focus. Focus is going to be your best friend. Don’t run to the next idea until you’ve done your research and planned. Distractions from the end goal will abound and will interfere with your success every time. You must be driven. Ask yourself: Do I want to own a business, or do I love the idea of owning one?
#ShowMeTheMoney. The Success-Firstpreneur knows what they want – monetary success along with high metrics. Don’t confuse this with being all about the money. As for many entrepreneurs, once they step out of the “dreamer” phase, this is where they land. They become more focused on the revenue as the measure of success because it’s the easier one to watch. If they invested $1,500 in a small startup and finished the year with $30,000 profit, they are successful. Guess what? If they had that same startup and ended with $1,800, they are still successful. Of course, their next step would be to scale it, but you get the idea.
Tips if this is you: Don’t get lost in money. While every business owner wants to be financially successful, many businesses just aren’t in their first couple of years. Still, focusing on cashflow itself isn’t a problem (Warren Buffet is a great example of a Success-Firstpreneur!) as long as you ensure the focus on finances doesn’t turn toxic. It’s a metric, and simple as that.
The Twinzies Entrepreneur
#DoubleTheCompany. Also known as the Imitator, you rinse, wash, and repeat other ideas and capitalize on them. They say imitation is the best compliment, and this form of entrepreneur is the epitome of it. Here, the plan is to imitate what is already working while making small changes to make it your own, from branding to marketing strategy, and more. The idea is not to break what already works, but to exit from one company to the next as you scale to keep success flowing.
Tips if this is you: Plagiarism is bad. The idea isn’t to make an exact duplicate. As they say, there isn’t much new under the sun. While we may use the same ingredients, that doesn’t mean the sauce will taste the same. Focus on making small changes to your business to differentiate it from the original inspiration. Your idea shouldn’t be a direct carbon copy, but instead focus on what can be changed and improved upon.
The Jack-of-All Trades
#OneStopShop. Amazon. Ebay. Etsy. While these are marketplaces that offer other seller/creator merchandise, they’re essentially a Jack-of-All Trades type of business. The skillset here is highly mixed, where you may not be a master of any one aspect, but you are great at a lot of them. You may have a business that is made up of a lot of different pieces, each segment not doing a lot individually, but when they come together as a whole, the availability of your services or offerings is broad enough to perhaps give you a greater market share. What’s most powerful about this type is the versatility.
Tips if this is you: Don’t bite of more than you can chew. Because you’re so good at a lot of different things, you can run into doing too much and spreading yourself too thin. The temptation to have a large array of products or services can be high in this type, so remaining focused enough to improve what you do well is a better strategy.
#InspireTheWorld. What characterizes the Innovatorpreneur is their views of business as an opportunity for dreams to become reality. You want to go where no one has gone before. You want to give something to the world. What drives you isn’t the bottom line – though innovators tend to be very successful when things take off – but what vision you create. Steve Jobs is a prime example here. It’s always about the vision and how you can drive humankind forward.
Tips if this is you: You can get lost like the Wannapreneur, but in a different way. The Wannapreneur never brings anything to fruition due to lack of focus or follow-through. For the Innovatorpreneur, it could be getting locked on an idea you don’t have the capital, resources, or knowledge to bring into existence. It’s recommended to have a dream and go for it, but be willing to have backups and alternatives to feed the dream.
#KnockKnock. The Opprotunitypreneur takes risks because of high-energy, positive attitudes, but does so at the right time to capitalize. And that’s the key there: At the right time. They are a studious, researching markets and understanding trends so they can capitalize on them immediately. This, of course, means they must have the ready capital, resources, or knowledge to do it.
Tips if this is you: My mother used to say, “All money isn’t good money.” That is very true here. Remember that all opportunities aren’t good opportunities, and you must do your research.
#PassTheBusinessPlease. The Serialpreneur is a particular breed of entrepreneur who consistently comes up with a new idea, actualizes them, then gives them to someone else to manage/run once they’ve reached a certain level. Oprah is a great example of this. She has her line of footwear, Harpo Studios, O Magazine, and much more. She doesn’t personally run all of them, but they all add to her portfolio and fall under a singular brand. It’s about growth within a brand or umbrella company. Even each individual business don’t deal directly with each other.
Tips if this is you: Much like the Jack-of-All Trades, you must make sure you don’t do too much. In this instance, however, it’s more about making sure things are viable – or they may become money pits. Opening too many businesses, scaling too fast, or having less than competent managers can quickly lead many businesses to ruin. Establishing each to a certain level of stability and success before making the transfer of operational power will be paramount.
The Digital Crownpreneur
#ANewEra. What do influencers, TikTok royalty, Instagram mega-accounts, and digital-first publishers all have in common? They focus on a digital-driven business, be it streaming, social media, influencing, celebrity, or crafting products. Digital nomadism – where people live in a nomadic manner but connect with the world through remote work – has been on the rise. Digital is the name of the game here. From small scale (an at-home Etsy business just starting out) to large scale (Cory Kenshin’s over 11 million subscribers on YouTube), this is a world built on digital innovation.
Tips if this is you: Understand the digital world is more saturated than ever before. It’s easier to start something here, but not easy to be successful. Most of those who are successful in this sphere would say it took them years to build to the level they are. In some areas – pure internet celebrity, for example – age also becomes a factor. Have a plan and execute while networking and become an expert on trends.
#Intrapreneur. The Corporatepreneur is special. This is because they are more of an intrapreneur than an entrepreneur. They operate from lower risk options, developing businesses from the inside in executive positions and then moving on to the next opportunity. Think CEOs, CMOs, or CROs that have similar titles across different companies. They come in to fill a need, then take the company to new heights of success before going on to the next company. The Corporatepreneur is about the challenge and thrill, without the high risk of loss that comes with starting an entire business from scratch.
Tips if this is you: Don’t let the thrill take over. Jumping from one company to the next is not guaranteed success, and there are ways to innovate from within a singular company. Balance your thrill-seeking with experience, knowledge, and good opportunities.
#WhereDidTheyComeFrom. This is the dream of most small business owners. Why? Because the Hustler is an underdog success story. They may start with a small business, but their bootstraps-style work ethic enables them to grow to great success. They tend to “explode” on the scene, making everyone wonder what they did, because it looks like magic. They “got their shot” through marketing, strategy, timing, or placement. Whatever the apparent sorcery, their success is well earned.
Tips if this is you: Don’t give up. Take care of yourself. Things can be a struggle here, to be sure, and you can find yourself facing burnout quicker than anyone. Don’t be dissuaded from moving forward, and realize almost every business starts right here.
Where to next?
No matter the sort of entrepreneur you are, it’s never too late to start. Follow us through the Steer Your EntrepreneurSHIP series as we explore different aspects of business, growth, and innovation. We’re in full support of seeing what your entrepreneurSHIP looks like, and we’re eager to give you all the tools you need along the way.