What I enjoy most is the freedom to work on my own terms, in my own time and to have full responsibility for the work I put in and the rewards I receive. - Heidi Holvoet, SBI! member since 2008

The 4 Sure-Fire Entrepreneur Types. Which one are you?

Entrepreneur Types
What if you knew you’d be successful, right from the start? If you knew that you took the right actions in the right order, you’d win at the game of business? How great would your life be?
 What if your success was supported by your personality and interests? Even better! Let’s take a look at four famous business moguls, and what type of entrepreneur they represent. The profile that resonates most with you indicates what kind of business would be right for you.

Service Seller. Warren Buffett

Warren-BuffettAre you like Warren Buffett? He’s known as the Oracle of Omaha for his investing genius. Like any service seller, Buffett’s product is his knowledge along with the service he provides (in his case, stock in his investment fund, Berkshire Hathaway).

Other service sellers are accountants, insurance salespeople, chiropractors, dentists, attorneys; anyone whose business is a service fits this type of entrepreneur. Many (but not all) are professionals. They are a confident type. You may not be a licensed professional (yet?), or you may sell a service in a field that doesn’t require a license.

What can you learn from Buffett? Put your independent thinking to good use. As a service seller you bill by the hour. Buffett is famous for saying, “Put all of your eggs in one basket, then watch that basket.” You are good at putting your head down and getting the job done.

Warren Buffett made his first stock investment at the age of 11. At 13 he was selling newspapers and selling a horseracing tip sheet. Obviously he was showing great business prowess at an early age! In high school he and a friend bought a used pinball machine and put it in a barber shop. They used the profits to buy two more machines. By the time Buffett graduated from college he had saved $10,000. Buffett was always thinking about business, and has spent his whole life buying businesses and occasionally selling them.

Product Distributor. Jeff Bezos

Jeff-BezosMaybe you’ll sell sneakers, gift baskets, online courses, or refrigerators. But no matter what you choose to sell, you know you’ll make it big. In the US, Sears and Roebuck sold thousands of products through their catalog via mail order and stores. Over 100 years later, Jeff Bezos had an even bigger plan when he started Amazon.com. By building a business that sells anything to anyone, his business became the go-to place for just about anything you’d want to buy.

You can’t compete with Amazon. (How could you? They’re huge)! But you could become the go-to place for one type of product. Selling products — tangible or digital — is still a viable business to start! The trick is to specialize in a very tight niche.

So what can you learn from mega-product-distributor Bezos? Your job is to build the machine so you can sell other people’s products. You see the world differently than everyone else. You’re adaptable. You can look at the current market and see the best way to grow your business in it. You’re always on the lookout for the best way to distribute your products. You can create your own slice of the pie. And before you know it, you’ll dominate your market!

Jeff Bezos started Amazon.com from essentially nothing. Remember when Amazon was just an online bookstore? The business plan didn’t even expect a profit for nearly a decade! Bezos is laughing all the way to the bank, now. Amazon is so much more than a bookstore; you can buy anything there. And Amazon is certainly making a profit. Last year Bezos sold just 1% of Amazon.com for $260 million. That kind of success comes from selling a lot of stuff!

Networker. Mari Smith

mari-smithAre you the one your friends turn to with the “who do you know who…” questions? You walk into the coffee shop and everyone greets you. A trip to the grocery store is a social event. You could be a natural networker, like Mari Smith.

What can you learn from Smith? You know that every relationship you forge is important. You figure that the more people you know, the more connections you can make, the bigger your business can get. You’re creative with the connections you make between people. You can introduce people to each other and make things happen. You know what’s going on with people. The best business for you is the people business.

Mari Smith is all about relationship building. She is the social media queen. She teaches businesses to be social. As you can imagine, she’s done this in a big way! Smith practices what she preaches. Fast Company magazine calls her the Pied Piper of the online world. And her Facebook following is just under a half million people! If you’re social, like Mari Smith, you can put your own social network to work for you, for your business, and for your clients and customers as well!

Infopreneur. Folorunsho Alakija

Folorunsho-AlakijaLife excites you! You seem to be interested in all sorts of topics. But in your heart you want to build a business (you might just not know what business to build). Maybe you have a hobby or craft you could turn into a business? Folorunsho Alakija did.

Turn what you know and love into gold! The information business is probably the simplest type of business to start. Here’s the model: do what you love. Teach others what you do. Get paid (often in a wide variety of ways).

What can you learn from Alakija? Hers is the broadest kind of success. You can start with one idea and spin one successful business into other ventures. You use your creativity and build a business in a topic you love. It could be a hobby or an area of interest (a fan site or perhaps a travel site to your favorite part of the world). You’re an idea person. Use your ideas to connect the dots that take you to your success.

Folorunsho Alakija is one of the wealthiest women in the world. This Nigerian billionaire got her start by finding a way to turn her love of fashion into a tailor shop. When she made some high-powered clients happy she started making some really good income with her business. Her knowledge of fashion was paying off! From her success in fashion she invested in oil and now owns a philanthropic organization that supports widows and children.


Be Yourself - Launch Your Inner EntrepreneurThis article is part of SiteSell’s 6-week series, highlighting the benefits of “Being Yourself.” For more tips on how to “Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur,” check out the Be Yourself page.



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Amy Biddle
Amy Biddle is Director of the Advisor Team for SiteSell. Amy lives in and works in a small RV, and explores marketing frontiers as well as the frontiers in the lower 48 states of the US.

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