Adpated from USA Today 7/7/06
Ask someone what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, and they'll say you have to be a risk-taker, outgoing, workaholic. But look around: It's just not true. I've known people who've been successful entrepreneurs — making lots of money — who've either been a grouch, hate to take a risk, or don't get up before noon. How do they do it? They find a business that suits what I've named their "E-Type," or Entrepreneurial Type.
Based on my experience with thousands of entrepreneurs, I've developed a way of categorizing the different types of entrepreneurial types into nine categories. One of the keys to being a success in your own business is to find a business that fits your personal "E-Type."
Here are the nine E-Types I've identified:
•Adviser: Lots of people would like to be paid just for giving advice; usually it takes experience or education to be able to do so. Advisers include attorneys, accountants and financial planners. But many great salespeople also consider themselves — and are considered by their customers — as advisers.
•Administrator/Organizer: While the other E-Types are busily designing, building, buying or selling, it's the administrator who's taking care of the nitty-gritty aspects of business. This E-Type can work with people — organizing schedules, closets, weddings — or they can work with businesses — taking care of accounts, databases, order fulfillment.
•Builder/Creator: These E-Types encompass a diverse range of entrepreneurs — from artists to bakers to carpenters to designers to electricians. Those who fall in this E-Type are driven to create something tangible where it did not exist before.
•Caretaker: Our society has a great need to have people and things taken care of, maintained and assisted. That opens up opportunities for entrepreneurs who are patient and nurturing — whether of people, plants, or property.
•Communicator/Trainer: People who can transmit information or language are in demand, whether for business or personal interactions, sales, education or information.
•Entertainer/Host: If you thrive on interaction with people, you may fit this category. This E-Type includes the obvious — actors, musicians — but it also includes those who thrive when they create a positive experience for customers, especially in the hospitality industry or some service industries.
•Investor/Owner: If you've got money to invest, you might be able to put your capital to work for you. Being an active owner enables you to leverage your money into additional income without having to show up to work every day. This is also a good choice for a grouch!
•Seller: Great salespeople are always in demand. This E-Type also includes Brokers — those who act as a go-between helping others find the products or services they need. Real estate agents are perhaps the best-known broker, but you could broker almost any kind of product or service, such as autos, insurance, financial products and even wine or art.
•Technologist/Engineer: Were you figuring out computers, autos or engines when you were still a kid? Do you wonder why anyone ever needs instruction manuals? If so, then you're likely to be a Technologist/Engineer E-Type. Business options include consulting, software development, engineering and being a value-added reseller of technology.
What type of E-Type are you? By discovering the right business for your personality and skills, you've got a head start on the road to success.