Type of entrepreneur

The word entrepreneur can describe a person who is creative and driven and who succeeds to start a business/company.

Entrepreneurs can change directions on things, create and design new approaches. Other ways to try to describe them are words like high autonomy, anti-conformity, and taking responsibility (accountability)  in a combination with visionary thinking.

Positive attitude towards work and devotion – well the list can be long

Entrepreneurs has different characteristics who makes them succeed with their tasks. Within the research about entrepreneurship that has being done among other things in the USA and places like MIT and their Enterprise Forum one has been able to distinguish five different archetypes. It was observation I made there that was the starting point in my research.

Later on in the years around 2007 I came up with my first thoughts and later on the first embryo that there could be a sixth one. It is this research that lead to the world’s first Entrepreneur Profile Test that was launched in 2010. And the 6th archetype that I had the privilege to launch at The International Conference on Thinking in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in 2009.

In brief, this research has come up to that entrepreneurs can be distinguished in six different types or roles.

The Starter, – Professional, – Serial, – Innovator,  – Lifestyle and the sixth one The Workstyle.

The startup entrepreneur.

This is a type of entrepreneur who can be best described as obsessed with the creative process.
He/she starts companies with good intentions, builds it up and get bored easily.
The person is almost never still, he/she likes to take the leap and is often first with new ideas.
This type of entrepreneur is often not able to finish things and can sometimes find it difficult to make money on the idea of the company.  

The person may for example; willing to sell ‘’half the building’’ and instead start a new one. Furthermore, he/she is quick to generate enthusiasm among those around them and to sell their idea. As a personality profile, this archetype can be described as a person with a strong sense of the task in relation to the logical analysis. 

This person sees the substance of a process, and therefore the initialization of an idea.
This type of archetype usually has a strong extroverted orientation exemplified by the ability to sell the idea itself or the idea and also enthuse others. He/she is often innovative in their ability to present something new and can think of new things as things are done. He/she caught often the spur of the moment more than a long term basis.

There is here a strong orientation on impulse, high energy in the moment, and might therefore have a limit to the planning.
The archetype has a high degree of flexible approach. He/she has also a tendency to see either structural members or parts in relation to the whole, and this is reflected in the energy devoted to ‘’the start’’. There are feelings that are dominant in the start of the process or activity. It is not always a comprehensive analysis that characterizes the thought patterns in this situation, but rather a behavior that can be said to be of the nature of “gut feelings”.
‘’The starter’’ is largely extrovert and captures easily up external factors in their environment. Short-terms goals are necessary conditions for the archetype to function on this process. Impulsiveness is the basic feature of this behavior.

The professional entrepreneur.

This type of entrepreneur is often very long-range. The company that he/she builds shall survive as long as himself. He/she wants to start a fast-growing company and stay in it for life. He/she also may acquire companies who ‘’the starter’’ or ‘’the inventor’’ created.  The so-called ‘’Professional’’ archetype undergoes all the phases of entrepreneurship, and this means that the company will develop all phases of ‘’starting’’, profitability, and the administrative phases related to scaling the venture. This archetype includes a person with all-round ability and often is both stubborn and strategic in thinking. This is a complex archetype that requires versatility and ability to be able to develop oneself in order to manage all the different phases that appear along the way.

This archetype is often a so-called ‘’life’s work’’.

As a personality profile, this archetype can be described as a person who balances a strong sense of the task with the ability to see its long-term usefulness to the business. He/she can put the task in perspective, and this shows in its sustainability of the venture. In its holistic integrated approach, such as opposed to ‘’the starter’’, ‘’the inventor and ‘’the administrator’’, this archetype has a significant strategic capability, combined with balancing short-term with long-term. He/she can free himself/herself from the more emotional elements of entrepreneurship, i.e., the personal motives. And can usually distinguish between the venture and the person. This person exhibits a perspective in balancing personal motives vs. entrepreneurship. He/she is often more thought-driven than emotionally driven, which often appears in analytical and strategic capabilities.

The professional entrepreneur exhibits a significant pattern of planned behavior and has an underlying tendency to see the big picture in his task. This archetype may have both an extrovert and introvert orientation. They also tend to have a high degree of control over the situations that arise along the way. This professional archetype can often show like the serial archetype shows a high degree of control over situations that arise along the way. However, from different perspectives and characteristics and therefore capacity, the serial does it from flexibility and feeling and the professional archetype from planning and holistic point of view.  The ability to solve problems without previous knowledge or experience using different methods linked to different skills.

The serial entrepreneur.

This is an entrepreneur type who wants to both “have and eat the cake’’. This includes a mixture of the starter and the professional entrepreneurial types. He/she builds often up a traditional company, with a goal that it be sold to another builder or a larger company later on. If not so they can come up with ideas like expand firmly in another place/town/country etc. Money that a serial entrepreneur earns is often therefore used to build a new company which replaces the old. In some ways, this type of entrepreneur sells the ‘’cake’’ but still has some left at the end of the day.

Sometimes than can also start a “chain company” or so-called franchise as a business model. Therefore, the name serial is adequateAs a personality profile, this archetype can be described as a person who has a strong ability to see the big picture in the processes. He/she builds this holistic view with a high degree of emotion. He/she also balances the ability to control their impulses and the ability to see details of the venture’s strategies as they unfold. This is a distinct talent for being able to integrate different parts of the business process.

The serial entrepreneur has an ambivalence in terms of planned versus flexible approach and exhibits both orientations in their actions. They also tend to have a stronger ability to see the overall picture than the details of the business. Feelings are often a dominant influence for the decisions this archetype takes and including the decision of whether to sell and/or start anew. To do this requires a high degree of analytical ability. This is combined with a high degree of external orientation, i.e. there are various external factors that this archetype draws attention to.

Like ‘’the starter”, ‘’the serial’’ entrepreneur is largely an extrovert and gains motivation from outside factors in their environment. The orientation focus is both short-term and long-term. This archetype can often show evidence of short-term thinking and like the professional archetype, and like the serial archetype shows a high degree of control over situations that arise along the way.            

The innovator entrepreneur.

 This type of entrepreneur is one that may not always work alone. She or he has the invention to guide their activity. They often do not fit well in the large organization and sometimes working towards starting a business out of frustration along with other similar archetypes with the same interest. For them, freedom and fortune-seeking are often a common denominator. These entrepreneurial types are most often found in sectors such as IT, Telecom, Biotech, and Green technology. They usually possess significant technological knowledge but may need at their side someone with financial acumen as well as someone with a customer focus to make the venture succeed commercially.

They often find new ideas or products along the way. Moreover, their ventures are often acquired and refined over time. As a personality profile, this archetype can be described as a person who is primarily controlled by emotions, basically a ‘’trigger’’ in behavior. This, combined with an ability to capture the details and the challenge to solve, is the basis of ‘’the inventor’’. This type of builder often has a strong attention to detail, and often will focus on the parts of the process. This type of entrepreneur often has strong attention to detail and often will focus on the parts of the process.

 He/she is significantly introverted in terms of controlling the activities and objectives and is flexible in approach. This type of entrepreneur can sometimes find it difficult to see the limitations with respect to time in relation to targets. The innovator archetype has a significantly flexible approach to their task and shows a detail orientation to provide the conditions for invention. This feeling can be the dominant condition for gaining the power to invent. Other necessary ingredients are analyzed based on the conditions that existed before the invention. This will often be done with a high degree of introverted conduct and a short-term approach. Impulsivity is another factor that provides the basis for the success of the invention; alternatively, that impulsivity gives success to the innovator. 

The lifestyle entrepreneur.

 Is an entrepreneur who creates the company itself for its own sake; this is in order to obtain and maintain a particular lifestyle. For this type of entrepreneur  financial success can be a strong driving force, but the person may also prioritize leisure activities like recreation or foreign travel. This type of archetype operates mostly companies with a limited number of employees with high margins and a strong focus on sales. The lifestyle entrepreneur’s priority is often minimizing risk rather than investing in risky projects. His/her ventures often maintain a solid credit rating because there are rarely any cash flow problems. The archetype is different from the others in respect of the company, exists for the entrepreneur, and not vice versa. That may limit the company’s growth.

The lifestyle entrepreneur has a tendency to run their businesses with a customer-oriented focus. As a personality profile, this archetype can be described as a person who sees entrepreneurship from an overall perspective, this fills the basic needs of the entrepreneur through life. In this regard, he/she is an emotional person with entrepreneurship as a central element in his/her life. He/she usually has a high ability to motivate himself and work independently i.e., control time itself. 

He/she builds the business for their own personal planning, and a group is often of secondary importance. This archetype will measure the business as well and its results in economic terms and has a tendency/ tends to plan their activities. The lifestyle entrepreneur has a strong ability to see the overall picture, combined with a strong “gut feeling.” Extrovert behavior is typical of this archetype. With the perspective of ‘’Lifestyle’’, the archetype is long-term orientated in their actions and has a high degree of impulsiveness at the center of their choices.

The work style entrepreneur.

 This is an entrepreneur who is the antithesis of the lifestyle archetype. The work style archetype enjoys life, but not outside of work, through it. The work itself is the driving force. The money, therefore, plays a smaller role since the work is so exciting – within itself. These archetypes often run companies with no or few (approx 1-4) employees, low margin, and a lower focus on sales. Furthermore, the entrepreneur quite often invented something new or developed a unique process or such.

They can sometimes be so-called ‘’ mavericks’’, or a lone wolf but see themselves as -individualistic rather than lonely. The archetype may have few areas of interest and therefore find it easier to focus on certain parts of the process or areas of interest or pure curiosity than to always look at the big picture. As a personality profile, this archetype can be described as a person who usually gets satisfaction from the stimulus at work. The work within itself provides the basic incentive for existence. This archetype can combine both thought and emotion, but emotions are the most central. He/she prefers a planned way to work but may live a more flexible lifestyle; this can sometimes cause difficulties in terms of boundary conditions. For example, work and free time merge with entertainment; the work itself is the pleasure.

The approach to work, this archetype, is often able to develop a high degree of expertise in specific areas. The work style has a strong motivation to go deep into certain things and therefore finds it easier to see the development opportunities such as in some parts of the process. The work style entrepreneur operates within a planned approach, which provides for the stimulus work provides. There is a high degree of analytical orientation to data. The archetype exposes both an extroverted and an introverted attitude, and in the same way, there is in this archetype both short-term and also long-term orientation. Impulsive behavior can sometimes be central to this archetype’s behavior.

“Thank you Mr Peter Russo –  former Director of Entrepreneurial Institute,  Boston University School of Management for all your help through all these years of my studying and guiding me on my research –   entrepreneurs and “how the think” that help me to figure out the 6th archetype (workstyle) that was later launched at The International Conference an Thinking in 2011. That also gave me the privilege to contribute with these six archetypes in my TEDx talks in April 2018 where you were of big help and support! 

It has been an honor to work with you / Stefan L”

© Stefan Lindstrom