Are entrepreneurs all the same?

Experienced entrepreneurs have learned they can turn their hand to anything, anywhere, anytime.

 

While all entrepreneurs have similar attributes, there are differences.

‘Entrepreneur’ is a pretty broad, and an often abused word. What kind of entrepreneur am I and what kind of an entrepreneur are you? I don’t necessarily have the answer to this question. It is something I have struggled with for many years. The only thing I can come up with is an entrepreneur is an entrepreneur, irrespective of the label you put on them.

To simplify all the labels used, we can turn to Wilson Harrell a famous entrepreneur and author, who said, “there are two kinds of entrepreneurs – buccaneers and farmers. It’s not important which one you are. The transition from buccaneer to the farmer is a difficult journey – few entrepreneurs make it. It’s better to be a happy buccaneer, than a miserable farmer”.

Well as entrepreneurs, I guess we are not perfect and maybe we all have a little bit of all the types described here inside each of us. Being an entrepreneur means being different things at different times to different people, which makes life very challenging and also exciting.

“I had to make my own living and my own opportunities, and I did. True entrepreneurs don’t sit around waiting for the opportunities to come, they motivate themselves and make them happen”. Peter Sergeant

The following is a number of labels I have come across over the years:

The Entrepreneur. An inside entrepreneur, or an entrepreneur within a business, who uses entrepreneurial skills while minimising the risks associated with those activities.

Intrapreneurs. Intrapreneurs are usually employees within a larger organisation who are assigned a special idea or project and are instructed to develop the project like an entrepreneur would, but usually, have the resources and capabilities of the organisation at their disposal. The intrapreneur’s main job is to turn that special idea or project into a profitable undertaking for the organisation

The celebrity entrepreneur. Some entrepreneurs are in it strictly for the fame that comes with celebrity status. They become more focused on getting a headline than actually running an organisation.

Serial entrepreneur. A serial entrepreneur is one who continuously comes up with new ideas and starts new businesses. The serial entrepreneur is represented as possessing a higher propensity for risk, innovation and achievement.

Social entrepreneur –  A social entrepreneur is motivated by a desire to help, improve and transform the community they live in, focusing on social, environmental, educational and economic situations. The social entrepreneur is driven by fixing social problems, not by profit.

Financial Entrepreneur. They think of little else but money. This can be a good thing for an entrepreneur but some are obsessed with making money at any cost. Spending your days with a calculator counting your money might be what you do, but is not entrepreneurial?

Ultrapreneuring.  There is no longer ‘cradle to the grave’ thinking, or building a business for your children and their children. Ultra growth businesses are not built to be passed on they are ‘built to sell’ from their inception.

Lifestyle entrepreneur. A lifestyle entrepreneur places passion for living before anything else. When starting an organisation they combine personal interests with the ability to earn the money to have the lifestyle they strive for and the freedom they yearn for. Some people just want to live the life and act the part.

They promote themselves as entrepreneurs, have lots of ideas about entrepreneurship but they don’t actually do anything.  A bit like a person who builds their own home and sees them self as a property developer.

Collaborative entrepreneur. These entrepreneurs don’t like working alone, they like to work with other entrepreneurs to develop products or build organisations. Beware two entrepreneurs working together may have different skills, but there is the real possibility of conflict as the business grows and they start to share the risks and rewards. 

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Personal Experience:

Some days I am a manager or administrator and this is not what I like doing. I like working on the big picture, solving problems along with motivating and inspiring people. I try to balance my life and avoid extremes, after all, I am not a high-risk taker.

It’s important you try and establish the type of entrepreneur, or entrepreneurial activities you want to be involved with in order to become more focused on what you want to do and become.

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