Three types of entrepreneur - which one are you?
What do you consider to be the attributes of the entrepreneur?
We usually think of them as driven and risk-taking, and perhaps great at getting businesses started, but not so good at managing them.
Is this a label you identify with?
Realising that there are actually now three types of entrepreneur means, if you feel that you don’t fit the traditional entrepreneur mould, this need not hold you back from creating your business.
The three types of entrepreneur
1. The traditional entrepreneur
The traditional entrepreneur is great at spotting a gap in the market and knowing just how to fill it. They are going about his or her usual activities when it occurs to them:
- It’d be really great if there was a product or service to make this possible / faster /cheaper or more convenient.
- I could take this product or service that’s working well in this market place and take it into another one.
- There’s no-one offering a solution to this problem in this place... yet!
- This is an opportunity to add value and make money.
They are taking in information from their environment and connecting it together in different ways to reveal problems and, more importantly, opportunities to solve them.
This type of entrepreneur is often in touch with general trends in society, ahead of the game in knowing what products and fashions are becoming popular, and what ones are on their way out. This form of entrepreneurship means stepping out of pre-set, habitual thinking long enough to see situations in fresh ways and come up with creative solutions.
Whilst this is a specific skill set and approach, the ability for us to see situations in fresh ways is actually open to us all.
2. The entrepreneur on a mission
Others starting businesses do so because they feel it is part of their life purpose, calling, personal, or spiritual development. They have been learning about themselves, their passions, and the lifestyle they would love to create. They want to spend more of their time doing what they love and contributing to their communities.
Maybe this is something they have wanted to do for some time but other priorities and fears got in the way. Perhaps they have been developing a craft or creative skill, or training to help people in a way they themselves have been helped. They become less willing to tolerate poor employers and work that doesn’t inspire them, and they decide to follow their inner wisdom and start their own venture.
They want to work flexibly and take their message to the world.
This group often participate in coaching to clarify the form their next phase will take, and explore the kind of working arrangement that’s right for them. Their form of entrepreneurship is often not obvious, even to themselves!
3. The social entrepreneur
This type of entrepreneur has come about relatively recently, enabled by the internet. It starts with gathering an audience with a specific attribute - an interest in a subject or lifestyle - cat lovers, people who like camping, people who identify with a certain style.
Pre-internet, this would have meant setting up a club and being governed by geography but, with social media, it’s entirely possible to gather a large audience, get to know all about them, and develop relationships of mutual trust.
Having brought together this group of people and nurtured them with relevant information and conversations, the potential business owner can ask the audience what they would like to buy - what problems they have that need solving. They can they either supply that product or service themselves, or source it from elsewhere. Or, they might attract sponsors and alliances building on their role as a gateway to that audience.
Unlike the other two types of entrepreneur, they don’t know what type of business they are creating until they have built that audience.
Perhaps you now have an idea of the type of entrepreneurship that best suits you?
It is good to know where our strengths lie and play to those, however, no business start-up can afford to ignore the other two approaches.
Every business needs to offer a solution profitably, know their audience, and make sure that offer fits them. And only by tapping into our passions can we find the inspiration to invest in developing our businesses over time and really enjoy ourselves in the process.
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