Many agree that there are recognizable “types” of entrepreneurs with specific motivations and specific characteristics. Knowing what entrepreneur type you are can help you fully understand and unlock your highest potential… and it can also help you avoid pitfalls associated with your entrepreneur type. Below, we’ll describe 4 major entrepreneur types so you can see which type matches you – and so you’ll be aware of weaknesses as you pursue your entrepreneurial dreams.  


The Innovator  

The Innovator is solution-driven. Innovators are typically enthusiastic and creative, offering innovative (hence the name) solutions for currently existing problems or even problems consumers don’t know they need solutions for yet. Innovators create change and bring completely new ideas to a marketplace, often providing a unique perspective. Great Innovator characteristics include creativity, dedication, and feeling a sense of purpose. They’re problem solvers. Innovators can focus on success because they’re driven by the passion they have for their solution. Innovation by definition means that there is rarely much competition for the businesses Innovators create, but they need to harness their passion in order to sell their ideas and convince others that change is needed. Downfalls of the Innovator entrepreneur type include that they may have obsessive tendencies or be perfectionists. Also, others may not share the same passion they have. Innovators can gain widespread fame because excitement pairs well with innovation, so there are many well-known Innovators. Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates are notable 


The Imitator aka Copycat  

Imitators are still types of Innovators when it comes down to it, but they skip the original idea phase of entrepreneurship. Imitators aren’t interested in inventing something new, but they will pursue a business centered around an idea that has already shown promise. Their approach to entrepreneurship is to see an opportunity that is already successful, then perfect it after learning from others’ mistakes. Imitator advantages include the fact that they start with an already-proven business model. They are typically endowed with plenty of self-confidence, and knowing that a business is already a winner allows them to take risks that an Innovator might not. Most types of businesses are, in fact, run by Imitators. Drawbacks for this entrepreneur type include the fact that since an idea isn’t the Imitator’s own, he or she may not be as dedicated to its success as an Innovator might be. One example of a successful Imitator is Fred Smith, who founded Federal Express 64 years after UPS. Mark Zuckerberg has also been called an Imitator, a reference to Instagram’s adoption of “stories” modeled closely after Snapchat.   


The Hustler  

The Hustler is opportunity-driven. A Hustler is an entrepreneur who sees success in the long run and goes for it. Hustlers may care more about the business aspects of their ventures than the actual subject matter, and above all, they hone in on success at all costs. Many times, a Hustler is able to start small and with time and perseverance, build something big. Beneficial characteristics of a Hustler include having an aptitude for sales and being outgoing. The willingness to sacrifice in the short-term for the benefit of the long-term is also necessary for a Hustler. They are hard workers who dream big, and minor setbacks usually don’t affect them as much as other entrepreneurs because they have faith that things will work out in the end. As such, Hustlers are more likely than other entrepreneurs to ultimately find success, but it might take longer. The lengthy time commitment to gain success is one obstacle to the Hustler entrepreneur type. Another is that it can be difficult for a Hustler to collaborate with others who may not share the same 24/7 commitment to success. Because they’re only motivated by success, and not solution-driven, they may also be more apt to pivot and give up on one idea in favor of another, more promising idea. An example of a famous Hustler is Mark Cuban – he started selling baseball cards and garbage bags at 9 years old.  


The Researcher  

A fourth entrepreneur type is the Researcher. A Researcher’s love for learning makes them an expert – they know all of the ins and outs of a particular business before they implement an idea. They want their business to be rock-solid and are not willing to take risks. A Researcher’s approach is almost the polar opposite of that of a Hustler – a Researcher relies on data and logic instead of intuition. This means that their need to learn might prevent them from ever implementing an idea, which is a sure preventer of success. Further, unwillingness to risk failure means that a Researcher will never be able to do some of the best learning, which comes from making mistakes and adapting. Ultimately, a pure Researcher is not going to find the success of one of the other entrepreneur types without adopting a bit of a balance. Researchers bring knowledge and expertise to the table but need to have the confidence and willingness to take risks to succeed.   


Overall, entrepreneurship is full of a variety of approaches that have different merits and pitfalls. At 3 Steps to Start Up, we help entrepreneurs from all walks of life, pursuing all types of businesses, get their start. Connect with us and we can help you navigate the process of getting your ideas off the ground! 

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