I am passionate about Entreprenuers who have changed the world, people like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Larry Page & Sergey Brin among others. I study them, i try to emulate them, I definately want to make a positive impact on the world the way they have. But what is and entrepreneur exactly and why are there different types? I’m glad you ask.
What or who is an Entrepreneur?
The classic definition of an Entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and manages a business undertaking, assuming the risk for the sake of the profit.”
An Entrepreneur can be anyone of any age who has an idea and builds a business around that idea to provide a product or service to as many people as need it. They see a need and fill it. They are passionate about their idea, product or service. They are visionaries. They tend to see opportunity where others don’t and this often leads them to take risks that most people wouldn’t. The entrepreneur is at the heart and soul of progress, innovation and capitalism. Entrepreneurs create wealth and opportunity, not merely for themselves but for everyone around them as well. Entrepreneurs are sometimes born but more often, they are made. Any body can be an Entrepreneur. Yes, even you.
That being said, people are different with varied motivations hence the different types of Entrepreneurs. The top three types are;
The Wealth Creation Entrepreneur
This particular individual creates a business with the ultimate goal of reaching the largest available market whilst making the highest profit. These are the guys who build businesses like Google, Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Facebook and so on. These entrepreneurs generally make the Forbes list of wealthiest people in the world over and over again. They don’t think small, it’s not in their vocabulary. They deal with vast sums of money and are responsible for thousands and tens of thousands of peoples livelihoods. These guys are good for any country. Their bank accounts will usually start from 1million dollars a year to billions. They can be extremely innovative businesses that cahnge the way we see the world like Facebook, Twitter; or they can be pretty run of the mill like Wal-Mart or Toyota.
The Lifestyle Entrepreneur
This individual creates a business around their passions but their primary goal is not vast profits but rather a rich and flexible lifestyle. A lifestyle entrepreneur doesn’t expect to make six figures a year doing what they love to do – though some actually do. They just want to be able to live their life doing what they love and being able to support themselves and their family as well. They are finding much happiness doing what they love to do. The business allows them to work extremely flexible hours, travel the world and afford a life that you associate with millionaires.
Interestingly enough, you wouldn’t actually need to make 1million dollars a year to live an exceptional lifestyle. If you do the maths, most of us probably don’t need more than $100,000 yearly to make a great life.
Most entrepreneurs fall in this category. An interesting sub category that has become quite popular with the establishment of the internet is the Internet Lifestyle Entrepreneur. He builds a business on the internet that allows him to work from anywhere at any time. This has manifested itself in the form of ProBlogging where one makes a business out of their blog and earns income from advertising or selling stuff through their blog.
The Social Entrepreneur
Now this one is quite interesting. A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Whereas a wealth creation entrepreneur typically measures performance in terms of profit and return, a social entrepreneur assesses success in terms of the impact on society as well as in profit and return. They often operate through non-profits or charities but increasingly, they are doing so from a private standpoint.
Just as entrepreneurs change the face of business, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss and improving systems, inventing new approaches, and creating solutions to change society for the better.
One of the best examples of Social entrepreneurs is Muhammad Yunus, founder and manager of Grameen Bank in India, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. He essentially invented the concept of Micro finance banks by giving ridiculously small loans to poor people, even beggars and yet still managing a 95% repayment from borrowers. He definately changed the world of banking.
So there you have the three main types of Entrepreneurs. I personally gravitate to something in between Lifestyle and Wealth Creation. Richard Branson is my hero. Hell of a business man and hell of a life-ist too. What kind of entrepreneur are you?