Copyright, Nicholas A. Bibby, all rights reserved
I have made the point that the one trait common to
all entrepreneurial hearts is a drive toward “independence,”
and I added that varying levels of that independent spirit serve to
create a scale on which we could find and define different types of
entrepreneurs. I’d like to expand on those thoughts.
The notion of differing “types” of entrepreneurs
is only important if one is in some way connected to the world of self-employment.
And frankly, unless a person has a direct use for this type of information,
the subject is boring. But guess what? At least 25% of Americans are
plugged directly into the subject as small business owners, employees
of those businesses, or family members of entrepreneurs. As stated before,
using a broad brush to define the entrepreneurial personality will not
work for serious entrepreneurs because it leaves too many possibilities
to examine, too many roads to travel that are unnecessary as one decides
on their future. In a nutshell, it is neither forward thinking nor efficient
to lump together, all the players and all the personalities. Making
broad assumptions about the entrepreneurial personality can also lead
to danger and business failure.
Over time I have identified at least five distinct
entrepreneurial types, and that discovery represents a major step up
from the “quick fix” tests that claim to evaluate one’s
entrepreneurial personality in a few minutes time. You know the tests
I’m talking about. The ones found in pop magazines. The multiple
choice questionnaires that help puff up the ego and encourage us to
think of ourselves as independent, entrepreneurial leaders with “all
the right stuff.” Folks, not all of us have the right stuff for
the entrepreneurial lifestyle, but then again, most entrepreneurs do
not possess the right stuff to make it as great corporate staffers at
the highest levels. Why? Because they tend to upset the apple cart and
make other staff uncomfortable.
The question is not whether a test says a person
can be or should be an entrepreneur. The issue is whether or not a person
knows in their heart what “type” of entrepreneur they are,
if any, before the journey begins. There is little or no value associated
with a 15-minute personality test that gives people a green light to
buy a franchise. Could that test possibly provide better analysis than
a system that allows a person to “think through” ownership
issues on their own? There is little value in those tests, and there
is little value in pursuing an entrepreneurial lifestyle based on what
other people claim to be “hot” new opportunities. It is
the opinion of the prospective entrepreneur that matters most, but unfortunately
we have been conditioned to accept salesmanship and promotion rather
than thinking for ourselves. The more informed and definite we become
concerning our traits and objectives, the better choices we are able
Determining entrepreneurial type is an integral part
of the personal analysis process for anyone planning to succeed in the
grueling world of self-employment.
Now, here is a very abbreviated description of differing
entrepreneurial types. Think of them as existing on a continuum spanning
horizontally left to right with an increasing need for operational and
concept independence as the list progresses. No one type is better,
stronger, or more capable than another; they simply have different personalities
First, is the Intrapreneur. Although tied to the
“other owned” organization where they are employed, the
intrapreneur enjoys independent responsibilities where risk and reputation
are part of the assignment. What kinds of assignments would those be?
Heading up a take-over or merger. Implementation of a new business development
The Franchisee is next. The most comfortable person
in this role desires full ownership, but needs/wants/sees the benefit
of total systems association and support.
The Business Opportunity Buyer desires ownership,
but leaves the support fold after learning the business.
The Independent goes in owning the business and knowing
the business from day one. And, that which is not known will be hustled,
figured out, and dealt with on the fly. Generally, when it comes to “franchising a business” this is the type of entrepreneur who becomes a franchisor.
Finally, the Practical Visionary (?) with the question
mark following the term grabs for the greatest measure of independence.
This person follows their heart and their dream with great gusto, but
the question mark is attached because until the vision is proven, its
practical value and acceptance by the marketplace remains a question.
There are other measures and caveats to consider
with entrepreneurial types, and I have addressed those matters in great
details in other formats. Certainly anyone considering the entrepreneurial
lifestyle would have to dig much deeper for answers beyond this introduction,
but there you are none-the-less; a logical break down of types within
Nicholas Bibby, MBA and MA Counseling is a “franchise consultant” specializing in due diligence for those interested in “buying a franchise” and guidance for successful entrepreneurs when “franchising a business.”