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What kind of entrepreneur are you?

It’s a journey.  It’s a disease.  It is exploring your potential or purging a daemon.  It’s bringing a vision to market or creating a toy for your child.  It’s often something that just happens to you through a process or passion.  It’s about the individual, not the business process or structure!  This post is about the you, and personal motivation.

My previous post was a bombshell of content.  It’s the way I tend to create.  A huge vision or concept forms under the surface of my work.  It’s often inspired by a challenge or problem space.  It’ becomes a nagging questions that I strive to decode.  It’s a curse of sorts for the serial entrepreneur and myself.  I mashed a tedious amount of concepts into a limited word count which is the best approximation of my internal dialog for my creative process.  That is clearly different for everyone to a greater or lessor degree.

What is an entrepreneur?  There are many many answers.  Some other blogs define business process, type, or method, I have linked samples below.  I am going to define entrepreneurs as:

  • Entrepreneur
  • Serial entrepreneur
  • Spiritual entrepreneurial

Each has a place in the new economy and everyone will have to tap into it this basic drive.  The jobs of the industrial revolution are dying off with the people who held them.  We should stop lumping anyone who starts something into the box of entrepreneur.  Some are just engineers or business men who fell into something.  Some are genius who discovered something.  Some are people with an abstract vision and are almost possessed to make it a reality.

An classic entrepreneur is like any scientific pursuit.  The problem is defined or divined into a hypothesis which is developed and tested.  The scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.  This often creates accidental discoveries that lead to new opportunities, or the result itself is a new opportunity.  These kind of entrepreneurs often create something, a company, or an industry exploiting the unique solution or insight.  This is a fantastic thing to experience, but is also rare as hens teeth.  One might suggest Google and it’s founders are the result of just such a venture.  These types of entrepreneurs tend to manage risk while being driven to the outcome.  They often find it mandatory to finish a vision even if it means going it alone.

A serial entrepreneur may act like an entrepreneur in the beginning, but is most likely not.  They are a person who is constantly bombarded with insights from the world around them.  Solving problems as they arise and developing a hypothesis along the way.  The formalities of a scientific method are a means to an end and sometimes sorely overlooked.  A serial entrepreneur will often employ others to refine the vision or idea into something tangible while the entrepreneur might be the sole creator.  A serial entrepreneur is often obsessed with what they see around them and keeps logs of ideas on what could have been and tracks them their entire life.   It’s this proactive vs reactive model that defines the two states of entrepreneurship at it’s core.  These entrepreneurs tend to accept risk without being clear of an outcome.  They often proceed without concern for the how’s and why’s and are compelled to forge ahead.

Then there is the spiritual entrepreneurs.  This is someone who feels the inspiration, but desires and even craves the security of a large enterprise.  They work within the framework and are inspired to create; within bounds.  While it’s similar to the other kinds of entrepreneurship, it’s the one with the least personal risk and collaboration at it’s core.  I often see these individuals discussing ideas with no intent to ever forge outside the safety of a larger company.  They are very willing to leave the idea behind if the resistance is to great.

In all cases it’s a journey and discovery.  We should not lump them carelessly into one bin.  Each has a place, but we must stop talking about them as a monolithic group.  We need to stop talking about the business structures as if that is entrepreneurship.  The discovery, exploration and risk profiles are vastly different and may or may not end up in a business at all.  You have to determine what your tolerance for personal risk is and how you work best.  Don’t buy into the glory that is entrepreneurship if you don’t understand what suits you best.

Creating opportunity is what entrepreneurship is about.  The act of creation is not just looking for answers to problems or taking risk to solve those problems.  It’s not taking  no for an answer.  It’s the defining passion of almost every entrepreneur I have met or worked with.  They strive or are cursed to succeed where others have failed.   It’s having people say; “it’s been done before” and replying; “then they did it badly.

The future is going to be different.  It’s going to change everything from how we work to the formation of corporations.  The work contract of the industrial era is over.  Corporations and worker relationships will shift dramatically.  The trend to globalization is on.  The question is, what will you produce and how.  The one thing I can offer is; know what kind of entrepreneur you are.  Then activate.  The world needs a little bit of this in everyone and a world without it, will perish.

Here are some other views on this topic:

A personal story

The 5 types:

Different types of entrepreneurship: What’s best for your business?

The different types of entrepreneur

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