What Kind of Entrepreneur Are You?

August 04, 2016

There are entrepreneur characteristics, like commitment, goal-orientation and hands-on involvement. But there are different types of entrepreneurs, and knowing which type you are can help you make the most of your positive characteristics while side-stepping potential landmines.

Here are some of the different types of entrepreneurs. The Millennial Entrepreneur  Millennials are often criticized for being lazy or entitled, or for having a poor work ethic. The truth is, the millennial work ethic is different, not necessarily better or worse. Millennials are shying away from the idea of punching in at 9 and punching out at 5; rather, they view work as more task- or project-based. In true entrepreneurial fashion, millennials are the architects of the gig economy. Having seen their parents get laid off from companies they may have worked at for a dozen years, they are far less invested in loyalty than previous generations. They may also have had a more challenging start to their career, having to compete with far more experienced workers for their first job. Faced with poor job prospects and a mountain of student loan debt, and encouraged by rapidly improving technology, many millennials took advantage of the opportunity to forge their own path. The Millennial Entrepreneur personifies outside-the-box thinking. When jobs were hard to come by, millennials created their own. When they couldn’t get traditional funding, they came up with crowdfunding. They embrace the technology that lets them do more. The Millennial Entrepreneur may take lots of risks. Being young, they may feel as though they are invincible or have little to lose. Seeking advice from an experienced mentor may help Millennial Entrepreneurs learn the right risks to take, as well as how to mitigate others with business liability insurance, for example. The Go-Getter Entrepreneur While entrepreneurs are, by definition, self-motivated, the Go-Getter Entrepreneur takes it to a whole new level. The Go-Getter Entrepreneur hits the ground running as soon as they get out of bed. They see every problem or roadblock as a challenge, and they may often be juggling more than one business at a time. The Go-Getter often started out as the kid who sold rocks at the beach, or who was walking other people’s dogs for fun and profit at eleven years old. The Go-Getter knows that, while planning and preparation are important, it’s not necessary to have every detail buttoned down before acting. A Go-Getter often learns by doing, and may be willing to start a business in an industry they have little experience in. The Go-Getter can sometimes lose interest in a venture when it comes time to pay attention to the details. Outsourcing certain functions like accounting or social media management is a good way to keep the Go-Getter focused on what excites them. The Social Entrepreneur The Social Entrepreneur, according to the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, “drives social innovation and transformation in various fields including education, health, environment and enterprise development.” The Social Entrepreneur applies the attitude and motivation of an entrepreneur to social issues, whether through a non-profit or a for-profit entity. Some Social Entrepreneurs may employ a non-profit model that recovers some costs through the sale of goods and/or services, or they may create a for-profit enterprise whose primary goal is to provide a socially responsible or beneficial product or service, and whose secondary goal is to generate financial returns. Social Entrepreneurs are changing the way social issues are dealt with altering the nature of philanthropy. As such, they may need to educate those who have years of experience in the non-profit sector as well as the donors and benefactors they try to woo. The Reckless Entrepreneur Entrepreneurs are risk takers by definition. Some, however, raise the bar on risk taking to the point where they become reckless. The line between calculated risk-taking that can help a business thrive and the recklessness that can sink it can be blurry. The Reckless Entrepreneur may eschew security in their private life as well. Participating in extreme sports or other thrill-seeking activities, especially without taking the necessary precautions, is a good indicator of recklessness. Another sign is going forward with a significant decision, such as introducing a new product line or securing funding, without performing the due diligence necessary to make sure the move is prudent. The Reckless Entrepreneur doesn’t consider the worst-case scenario. One way to spot a Reckless Entrepreneur is by their refusal to protect themselves against risks they can’t control but can mitigate. An entrepreneur who insists they don’t need liability insurance because ‘I’ll never get sued,” is reckless. Making sure your company is protected with commercial general liability insurance just makes good business sense. Which type of entrepreneur are you ? Or are you a combination of types? Tell us in the comments below.