The Classic Entrepreneur: Exploring the Brighter Side

sunrise.jpgThere are always two sides to a coin, and there is both good and bad in people. Recently, I explored the dark side of the classic personality profile of an entrepreneur. I also sparked a bit of debate. Some people don’t like admitting that even the good guys have bad sides.

It hurts to take a good look in the mirror, doesn’t it?

But as I said, there is good and bad in all people, and that goes for entrepreneurs, too. Let’s take a look at some of the positive aspects of the classic personality profile of an entrepreneur:

Making it Happen

If a project isn’t progressing, an entrepreneur is the one who will get the ball rolling. With high energy levels and plenty of drive, an entrepreneur makes things happen. They’ll motivate, they’ll push, they’ll work hard to achieve the desired outcome.

Nothing’s happening? Business is boring? You can guarantee an entrepreneur will stir the pot and get some action going. He doesn’t wait for someone else to tell him what to do. If a problem happens, an issue arises or an obstacle occurs, an entrepreneur starts thinking of ways to resolve the situation.

Entrepreneurs tend to be forward-thinkers and highly creative individuals. They often apply their natural analytical skills to think up new methods to achieve goals faster or better. Entrepreneurs often come up innovative ideas to resolve issues, and they’ve advanced technology in the world beyond belief.

Nothing is too tough for an entrepreneur. Since these people love challenges, they tend to not be discouraged in the face of difficulty. Setbacks aren’t an issue, and they don’t become overly emotional or take things personally. The entrepreneur takes a direct approach, thinking, “We have a problem. Let’s fix it.”

Now would be great, and yesterday even better.

Racing Thoroughbreds

Entrepreneurs tend to make excellent leaders and businesspeople. They love the fast pace and complexity of managing a business or building a startup company.

They’re the thoroughbreds of the management world. They comprehend complex situations and easily undertake projects that involve planning, strategic decisions and multiple levels of organization or implementation.

Farsighted, an entrepreneur doesn’t just see the tree – he sees the whole forest and the forest’s potential, too. That doesn’t mean an entrepreneur can’t focus, though. On the contrary. This individual focuses right on the immediate task so he can progress to the next.

Entrepreneurs are realistic. They accept what is, and they deal. They like facts, visual progress, and status reports. They’ll look at plenty of options before taking decisions, too – after all, they want the most optimal solution to achieve a goal.

They’re great problem solvers. Entrepreneurs have the ability to identify all the pieces of a complex puzzle. Then they work on solutions – often faster than others do. They also generally notice problems or potential obstacles quickly, too.

Get Up and Go

The entrepreneur is the action-minded enterprising person that motivates and directs. The calmer people who prefer slower paces and routine help tamper the entrepreneur’s headlong drive, and the entrepreneur keeps business from stagnating.

Entrepreneurs often make some fantastic deals or get good bargains. They connect, they talk, they listen, and they remember all sorts of details about others that help them find exactly the right person for the job or exactly the tool they need to get ahead. Ask an entrepreneur if he knows someone who does X, Y or Z, and you’ll probably get a great referral.

Creating change and opportunity is another fantastic effect cause by an entrepreneur’s personality. These people open up new businesses or discover new opportunities all the time. They help create jobs and better work environments.

They go after goals that positively influence other people. People who fit the classic entrepreneur personality profile to a T. created many of the world’s greatest inventions.

Untrained Puppies

Entrepreneurs tend to be poor in relationships, but they aren’t usually deliberately trying to cause conflict. They trust people, and when they give the gift of trust, they give it all. (Many an entrepreneur has been burned because of that trusting nature, too.)

They’re often blunt and direct, so you can always be sure that whatever an entrepreneur says, he means. There is rarely a hidden secret motive or some unspoken trap to figure out. You know exactly where you stand with an entrepreneur at all times.

You may have your feelings hurt a few times, too. While an entrepreneur likes to be direct and straightforward, he or she often doesn’t realize that this just tromps all over other people’s feelings.

Entrepreneur’s are like untrained puppies. They get so excited that they pee all over someone’s floor without realizing it. When scolded for the innocent behavior, that poor little puppy of an entrepreneur can’t help but say, “I didn’t mean to…”

And yet, the typical entrepreneur has plenty of self-control. This person handles pressure and stress very well indeed. Rarely discouraged, always motivated and continually moving forward, the entrepreneur seeks out environments that let him release pent-up energy…

Kind of like that wiggly, excited puppy.

Highly Trainable Dogs

Puppy-like behavior aside, many entrepreneurs score highly in the ability to absorb knowledge and become highly skilled individuals. They seek out the knowledge they need. Many entrepreneurs have no formal education because they rely on their own ability to self-teach.

What interpersonal skills they lack, they can learn. Entrepreneurs often make great negotiators, because they can directly manipulate a desired outcome through what they say and how they act. It’s a game. They love it.

That means they can learn to get along better with others, too. They learn how to encourage and motivate people or how to be less hurtful with their blunt discourse. They can figure out the best way to work with individual people to put together a crack team that excels.

So there you have it, the good and the bad of the typical entrepreneur’s personality profile. They’re great people to get the job done, certainly. But they’re a challenging individual to deal with on a daily basis.

That’s why we’ll be discussing some tips on how to work effectively with the typical entrepreneur. Stay tuned.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

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  1. 1. Motivated? Not so much… well, if I’m interested then yeah, but you sould’ve seen me procrastinating on this paper due tomorrow… which I just finished 20 minutes ago… but if I’m in charge of what I’m doing, it’s a completely different matter!
    2. Fast? Yes. Impatient? Yeah, I’m guilty of that too. Problem solver? I LOVE solving problems!!! Probably why I adore coding so much… it’s just a bunch of logic puzzles… my favorite!
    3. Motivational? I don’t know… I suppose I haven’t really had the opportunity to motivate many people, so I wouldn’t know.
    4. Too trusting? Definitely. Blunt? A little too much. Excitable? Hehe yes. My boyfriend laughs at me because I get so excited about my projects sometimes.
    5. Self taught? Completely. Only programming course I ever took was FORTRAN, and I had only made sushi a few times when I started Sushi Day.

    Yay! I’m not all bad! Still… I am very tempted by Darth Sushi. :D

    Awesome post, James, I love how you were able to break down the entrepreneur’s profile so well!

    Allison’s last blog post..Taste and Create 5

  2. They sound almost like a machine :)

    Very true though. I wonder when you were writing this if you were self-evaluating yourself, James? ;)

    Also I’d like to through in there that entrepreneurs often times are generous and donate to the community and needy. Probably most of the time there is an end to their means but there are many out there that do charitable work and don’t expect to get anything out of it.

    As an entrepreneur myself, I’ve done a few things where I’ve helped a few people but never mentioned my name or business. I simply saw my expertise would make their life a little easier if I did this or did that.

    John Hoff’s last blog post..The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Heard – You Never Learn From Your Successes

  3. @Allison – FORTRAN. Geez, that brings me back to my college days.

    As far as motivational, I think my good energy over something I feel or an idea I have motivates people to either help me (because they want to ride my success as well) or motivate themselves because they are around great energy. It’s not as much that I’m being a motivational speaker. For me, anyway.

    John Hoff’s last blog post..The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Heard – You Never Learn From Your Successes

  4. @ John – Well, researching the profile had me pretty much going “check… check… mmhm, check… Harry, am I like- Oh. I am? Okay, check…” Harry himself read both posts and told me I fit the bill perfectly.

    It’s not news, though. I’ve known for quite a while what my own particular personality is, with all its quirks and bright sides. I suppose I didn’t realize that I fit the classic symptoms of an entrepreneur so well. I thought I was just… well, like that.

    And to pick up on something you mentioned about robots, yes. Entrepreneurs tend to be managing machines.

    @ Allison – considering you nearly fit the “dark side” to a T and the “bright side” to a T as well, I’d say I have you pretty pegged ;)

  5. James,

    Man I heart you for this, finally I have commendation for cutting ties with most of my family.

    [Entrepreneurs tend to be poor in relationships, but they aren’t usually deliberately trying to cause conflict. They trust people, and when they give the gift of trust, they give it all. (Many an entrepreneur has been burned because of that trusting nature, too.] —> me- me – me

    That’s exactly why and it just feels great to be a true entrepreneur at heart. ;-)

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..A Letter to My Parents

  6. Damn, I better circle the wagons, I’m surrounded by entrepreneurs. ;)

  7. @ Harry – don’t worry, they’re *good* entrepreneurs – surely a Sith Lord such as yourself can take them on… muahahahahah!

    Now, FORTRAN… :) believe it or not, we still use it up here (in fact, I was hired to work on a FORTRAN code, and only had one half-semester course in it…)

    @ James – btw this is a great article.

    And yes, my last blog post (still) rocks. Until tonight, probably… ;)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..rocks.

  8. Great article, James. I find that I don’t fit much of this, but I can start developing good habits now :)

    RLD: Taekwondo Happiness’s last blog post..Invincibility

  9. James – all of this is so true. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m terribly blunt – then I take offence when people are the same with me.

    But, on the positive side – it is so exciting getting things done. Even when it means solving problems – like the taxman.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..Business Success Is Only A Deathbed Away

  10. Truthfully, I don’t think that there’s any single profile that fits an entrepreneur. People get into entrepreneurship for many different reasons. Some are driven by a desire for wealth beyond what they could get in an ordinary 9 to 5. Others are hungry for power and wish to build an empire. Others are rebels at heart and dislike reporting to any sort of authority figure. Some may be extreme social phobics who function fine online, but fear actual face-to-face interactions. Still others, are drawn by the flexibility and convenience of working from home.

    I think that you’ve got it right in this post, though. One thing entrepreneurs DO have in common is that they get it done. If they don’t, then they are not an entrepreneur at all – just someone who talks and dreams about entrepreneurship.

    Laura’s last blog post..Ten Questions to Ask When You Are Offered A Writing Project

  11. @ Laura – It’s important not to combine the concept of entrepreneurship (starting a business) with a personality profile of a typical entrepreneur. They are very distinct in concept and very different.

    People get into entrepreneurship for different reasons, yes. However, the typical individual who would either be very good in business or who does well in business has a classic profile. Not all entrepreneurs succeed, and those who don’t most often don’t fit the personality profile of a classic entrepreneur.

    What you named are all traits of entrepreneurs: hunger for power, wish for an empire, rebels at heart, disliking reporting to authority, functioning well online and doing poorly face-to-face. They like flexibility and convenience too – it’s all about control.

    Also, remember that these are classic traits. We’re all individuals and unique, and there are always exceptions to the rule. There are also varying degrees within the profile, too. I might fit this profile to 98% while John fits it to 80% and RLD fits it to 60%.

    Go read that “dark side” of an entrepreneur posts, and you nailed ‘em all.

  12. @ RLD – We’ll convert you yet :D

    @ Catherine – You and I are peas in a pod, m’darlin’!

    @ Brett – You rock. So does your theme. I saw where Harry’s at with it today and I’m impressed.

    @ Harry – S’okay bro. I got your back ;)

    @ Monika – It does feel great. It’s also very difficult at times. I have definite sparks with most of my family save one – and that brother is so like me it’s not funny. We GET each other instantly while everyone else thinks we’re off with another crazy idea that won’t last. But for all that we’re criticized and not understood, people like you, me, and others are very good people. We follow the beat of our own drum, that’s all.

  13. @ James – :) well, I can’t truly rock without you & Harry, and I just got a look at the theme. One word -

    Incredible.

    Thank you so much, guys.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..rocks.

  14. @ Brett – This baby of yours was all Harry’s doing, not mine (for once! lol). I’m pretty damned impressed myself. Six weeks, dude…

  15. @ James – well, both of you have been helping me for sure.

    You better believe it – six weeks…

    “He” knows where I live, so it’s up to me to change or else…

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..rocks.

  16. @Brett and Harry – Brett, while we’re all surrounding Harry, do you have any more of those rocks?

    ;)

    Ok, just kidding Harry. We love you (and RLD)! Loved your comment and had me cracking up!

    @James – good post. I think there would have been a little less controversy had you posted this post before the dark side one. But what’s the fun in that?

    John Hoff’s last blog post..The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Heard – You Never Learn From Your Successes

  17. @ John – there are many rocks in the world, it is amazing when you think about it…

    Right now, though, I could arm you with a lifetime supply of snowballs! Almost a foot of snow today… :)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..rocks.

  18. @ James – Yep, it seems that you do!

    @ Brett – My school’s physics department still uses it… I was hired to work on a research project coding in FORTRAN a couple of years ago, a couple of quarters after I had taken the class. :)

    Allison’s last blog post..Taste and Create 5

  19. @ Allison – FORTRAN coders of the world unite!!!

    I think you should try to make Darth Sushi… I’m sure it would be tasty, perhaps like fugu, with a touch of the dark side… ;)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..rocks.

  20. Hmmm. Yeah, I could fit much of this – one of the (many) reasons I left the corporate world and went out on my own was I just couldn’t stand hearing, “but, we’ve always done it this way,” one more time without becoming homicidal. Even when it didn’t work. Even when CLEARLY I had thought of a better way. Wait? Did you say BLUNT? ;-)

  21. Michael Martine, Blog Consultant says:

    I see a lot of myself in both this post and the last one. But I think truth be told I would be described as the “reluctant” entrepreneur. I am very driven, but (and I know this may sound odd) I resent it in many ways. Sometimes I feel like I just want to run and hide, but at the end of the day, I am simply not allowed to suck. I don’t want to be the one guy who can do it, but yet I will do it. Call it a finely tuned sense of fate, I dunno. :)

    Michael Martine, Blog Consultant’s last blog post..What Makes a Great Video Blog?

  22. @ Michael – I have a feeling that I may know what you’re talking about. It’s inevitable that someone so driven with big ideas needs downtime to let someone else take over, but there is no one but us. We have big shoulders my friend, and our visions are a heavy weight. It makes it a little bit lonely.

    That’s one reason why learning to trust someone else is so vital – and possibly so difficult at the same time.

    Which reminds me…

    @ Harry – Thank you for being there for me when I need you to. (And shaddap. I am not getting sappy.)

  23. @ Christie – Bet you my way was better ;)

  24. @James: It goes both ways, bro. Guess I can uncircle those wagons now :)

  25. @ John – now that Harry’s uncircled the wagons, what to do with the snowballs?

    Hmm. Maybe I can use them to chill my beer. ;)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..rocks.

  26. Please don’t mention snow. I can’t handle any more. While I was shoveling my car out yesterday (again), I took a look at my driveway. A real good look.

    My car is currently sitting in a hole. There are snowbanks nearly 11 feet high on either side (I shit you not) with a 4 foot snowbank in front. It’s like driving into a mechanic’s pit.

    I couldn’t even shovel high enough last night. I’m strong, but cripes. Shoveling snow and trying to throw it 11 feet in the air to get it out of the way takes some damned power, let me tell you.

    No more snow.

  27. You have received the brunt of the snow out that way this year, for sure (sorry, I said the “s”-word, didn’t I?)

    I’ve had enough of the stuff myself… I laughed pretty hard, though, at the mechanic’s pit analogy. :)

    I’ve been there, and it isn’t pretty. When I lived in Hamilton, up on the Niagara Escarpment, I had to keep a shovel *inside* the house – the drifts would often come half-way up the front door…

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..butterfly effect.

  28. Ha – I told my daughter to put the trash by the back door yesterday because we couldn’t get to the bins for all the white crap outside. She looked over, blinked, and said, “Did you know it snowed in the house?” There was a small drift of about six inches that had somehow blown through from under the door.

    I also have part of my front windows covered by a snowbank – and they’re about 5 feet off the ground.

  29. :) I miss my dog because of that – she used to lay in front of the front door and keep the snow from leaking in…

    Now that we don’t have her, I’ll have to replace the weatherstripping!

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..butterfly effect.

  30. @ Brett – I really want to! I just have to find the fish… the search is on! I don’t know if I’ve ever even seen it down here…

    Allison’s last blog post..Taste and Create 5

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