It turns out entrepreneurs have many similar personality traits. That’s probably not too surprising, however, these traits are not evenly distributed. Different entrepreneurs possess different levels of each trait. It is because of this that different entrepreneurial types have emerged. There are different tests and articles detailing these traits.
In general, entrepreneurs tend to have various combinations of the following personality traits:
Diplomatic – Diplomats value protocol. As the trait may hint, they work very well with people, and tend to inspire loyalty among clients and workers. They set very high standards for accuracy and following proper procedures.
Authoritative – This is the entrepreneur who goes into business because they are an expert at something and have the self discipline and attention to detail to handle business ownership on top of that. They do very well in businesses with high consumer demand where consistency and reliability are valued. They do not feel a need to work in ‘fun’ or ‘sexy’ industries.
Managerial – The manager is goal oriented. They tend to be sharply focused on outcomes and continually adjust processes to get the results they want. They appreciate loyalty and tend to form close relationships with their teams. However, their decision making largely focuses on systems and outcomes.
Innovative – These entrepreneurs often go into business because they conceive new and better ways to make and do things. They often remain successful because they are constantly adding new products and services, and improving processes and procedures.
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs
Collaborative – These entrepreneurs work great with people. They recognize others’ strengths and are able to find ways to use everyone’s strengths to move business ideas forward.
Motivative – A motivator is great in tough times. They persevere when things are going poorly and motivate people to stick to their game plan when things are tough. They do very well in businesses that require them to lead teams in order to succeed.
Enthusiastic – These entrepreneurs are energetic and socially astute. They are driven, competitive, and independent. They lead because they set a great example for working hard and persevering. They are excellent at leading people and do great in customer oriented businesses.
So, why should you care if you are one of these personality types or some combination of them? Here’s why:
1. Knowing Your Potential Weaknesses Can Help You Fill in Any Gaps
Chances are, your combination of entrepreneurial traits will leave you better suited for some tasks, and a very poor match for others. For example, you may find that you are excellent at coming up with ideas and motivating people to work hard, but on the other hand, testing may reveal that you are not detail oriented and that you get frustrated with formal policies and procedures.
Once you are aware of this, you can act to close any gaps. First, you can challenge yourself to improve in areas where you are lacking. You can also bring people onto your team who have the talents that you lack. This combination of self improvement and maximizing the talents of others is key to your professional growth as well as the success of your company.
2. You And Your Team Members Will Know What Everyone Brings to The Table
Not only should you test yourself to learn which entrepreneurial traits you have, you should encourage everyone on your team to do so as well. Let them know that even if they never plan on owning their own business, success in a startup is much more likely if they can adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. Only good things can happen when your team members view themselves as innovators, diplomats, managers, and collaborators.
Also, when you know each team member’s strengths and the areas in which they can be natural leaders and groundbreakers, that makes your job as their leader that much easier. You can avoid frustrating people by giving them tasks that aren’t related to their talents. Conversely, you can help your employees grow by giving them opportunities to shore up their weaknesses.
3. You Can’t Exploit Your Strengths if You Do Not Know Them
The frustrating thing about talents and abilities is that you never know you have them unless you run into an opportunity where they are revealed. The problem with this is that many people go their entire lives unaware of innate skills that they have. This is where tests come in. Many think of them as being tools to expose weaknesses or lack of knowledge. While this is true, tests like this can also reveal your strengths and talents.
Imagine not knowing that you were a natural salesperson, or that you have an excellent ability to focus on the details that can make or break a successful enterprise. That is pretty empowering. Not only can you incorporate that knowledge into your business strategy, you can draw on those strengths when you face challenges.
“I believe that the biggest problem that humanity faces is an ego sensitivity to finding out whether one is right or wrong and identifying what one’s strengths and weaknesses are.” – Ray Dalio
4. You Can Avoid Spending Time on Tasks That You Aren’t Good At
As an entrepreneur, where and how you spend your time matters. If you are already successful, chances are you make a pretty decent rate no matter what task you perform. If this is the case, you owe it to yourself, your organization, your team, and any investors to make the best use of that time. You aren’t doing that if you are working on tasks that you aren’t suited for.
Even if you are in the very early stages of your business, perhaps not yet drawing a salary, your time is still valuable. Growth and success depends on your talents being maximized. Again, by knowing your entrepreneurial type you know your abilities. This means you can select the tasks that are the best use of your time and serve your company best.
The more you know about yourself the better. You can use the results from an entrepreneurial personality test to better use your skills, know which jobs to delegate, and understand your best path to growth. Each of these things will help your company to become more successful. Why not test yourself today? You have a lot to gain from the experience.
What is your entrepreneurial type? Let us know in the comments below!