OnRamp Business: The Four Types of an Entrepreneur
Written By: Dan Steininger, President and Co-Founder of BizStarts
As seen on the July 13, 2015 post in Milwaukee Business Journal OnRamp Blog.
Authors Clay and Phillips in their book The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity from Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and other Informal Entrepreneurs claim that former drug dealers and even murderers are highly creative. They asked former ex-cons where does their creativity come from? Their response:
“Look around this room. There are about 100 weapons in here. I could kick in that sink and make a knife. I could melt the plastic on the chair and make a razor. The pipe in this building is an arsenal of weapons.
Entrepreneurship, they point out, is something that requires the desire to be opportunistic and resourceful and alert to every detail around you.
Marty Zwilling in a recent article in Innovation News quoting from John Dini and his most recent book: Hunting in the Farmers World: Celebrating the Mind of an Entrepreneur , indicates that the roots of entrepreneurship go back 10,000 years to the hunter gatherer stage of our existence as human beings. Like our ancestors, modern entrepreneurs are “hunters” that look for for, new innovative solutions to problems they see.
He defines four types and you can place yourself in one of these categories:
1. Technicians. The good news is that technicians are entrepreneurs who have previously learned a skill or job so well that they can do it without a manager. The bad news is they may not be good at managing people, or even managing basic business. Technicians can become true hunters when they learn to provide for both employees and family.
2. Inheritors. These are former employees who find themselves thrust into owning a business, due to family ties or evolution. Unfortunately, most inheritors have been farmers for too long, or never had hunting instincts. The best ones learn to be hunters, or revert to that mode, allowing their business to grow and change with the requirements.
3. Acquirers. Entrepreneurs, who are willing to acquire an existing business, and believe they can make it a better business than previous owners, are clearly hunters. Farmer acquirers, who want to manage a proven opportunity, with no change, buy a franchise. Hunter franchisees move on quickly, or end up owning the entire franchise system.
4. Creators. These are the ultimate hunters. They build businesses as their lifestyle, not as a job. They love the continuous hunt, for investment capital, resources, talent, and new markets. Only a few of these slide into farming, as the company grows in employees and products. The remainder usually exits within five years, to start the process over again.
Ask yourself where you fit in the scheme of things, and what drives you? The way you answer that question could have significant impact on your selling and sales management, hiring and building infrastructure.
About the Author
Dan Steininger is the president and co-founder of BizStarts. BizStarts facilitates the creation of new companies in southeast Wisconsin. He currently teaches courses on innovation for the UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education for business leaders. Contact BizStarts >>
OnRamp offers conversation and connections among the entrepreneurs who are shaping Wisconsin’s economy, and brings corporations and start-ups together at statewide events. View other OnRamp blog posts >>