The 6 Types of Entrepreneur

What kind of entrepreneur are you?

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Are you a world-changer? An innovator? An opportunist or a jack-of-all-trades? Maybe you’re a serial entrepreneur — or are you actually a ‘wantrepreneur?’ These are the six major types of entrepreneurs out there, and you likely fall into one of these categories.

[Related: 5 Success Tactics for Trailblazers in Business]

No one type is better than the other, although the wantrepreneur isn’t quite on the same level as the others just yet. It is important to understand your niche so you can hone the talents you have, develop skills that are lacking, and figure out your stride to optimize opportunities.

Here’s a breakdown of the six types and tips for figuring out which one you identify with most. Use this when strategizing about your next move and remember that you might be more than one type. After all, who says a world-changer isn’t also a jack-of-all-trades?

1. World Changer. You are keenly aware of your environment, both on a local and global scale. Maybe you were an activist or environmentalist in a past career, and it is very likely you have green leanings when doing business. You likely created your company in order to make a positive impact in the world, believe that success is measured by impact and when it comes to social media you almost certainly have a Twitter account. You know the world is changed one person and one company at a time, and you are committed to living by Gandhi’s words.

2. Innovator. You are all about creating a product or service. As an idea-man (or woman), innovation is more important to you than actually owning a company, and that is OK. You have a knack for coming up with new ideas or making old ones better. However, that also means you may need to excel at delegating, and hire a CEO to take care of the tasks you don’t enjoy. While you trust your instincts, you also do a lot of research. It’s likely you have a goal of creating an empire, and a tool like Evernote is your biggest crutch.

3. Opportunist. You have a “gift” of intuitive timing and are able to choose the right locations. Some people may call you impulsive, but that’s just another way of saying opportunist, especially when so many of your right-time/right-place moves have paid off. Like the innovator, you also trust your gut while conducting solid research. However, you could be a little better at planning ahead if you want to build an empire.

4. Jack of All Trades. Diversification is your middle name. You aren’t afraid to explore trends or to step in when needed. This makes you think risk can be scary and exciting, all at the same time — you truly believe there are no great rewards without great risk. However, you’re also a bit of a follower, which means you need to find the right investors, stakeholders and partners to be successful. You likely became an entrepreneur to take advantage of the self-starter lifestyle or simply because you didn’t want to work for anyone else.

5. Serial Entrepreneur. You’re flexible and always looking to the future for the next big thing. The ‘Thomas Edison’ of entrepreneurs, you can take a lot of stress and brush off past negative experiences with ease. A total leader, you might struggle with actually learning from your past failures (it’s not automatic). You measure success in being better than the competition and in how much money you make. You might jot down your ideas on Twitter — or even on a napkin.

6. Wantrepreneur. You’re not an entrepreneur yet, and you may never be. You’re rich with ideas, but the groundwork still needs to be done. It’s up in the air: should you win the lottery, you would start a business, take a vacation or invest in a business you’ve kind of started already. You want to enjoy the self-starter lifestyle and consider yourself an idea person, but you need more motivation to become one of the other five types of genuine entrepreneurs.

Which type of entrepreneur are you, and how can you use that to your benefit?

Murray Newlands is an entrepreneur, investor, business advisor and a columnist at BusinessInsider.com, Inc.com and Entrepreneur.com. He runs San Francisco-based PR agency Influence People and is the author of How to Get PR for Your Startup: Traction

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.



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