Entrepreneur-DefinitionJulie is co-owner of a successful affordable housing company that was started by her father about 50 years ago. “My father was a true entrepreneur” Julie said. “He took risks, acted quickly, learned from failures, and went in many directions at once.” She continued “I am not an entrepreneur. I like to take my time over decisions, I’m more risk averse than my partners, I want reassurance about the long term.” Julie concluded with this observation: “Just because someone owns a large and successful company, doesn’t make them an entrepreneur. It’s their temperament more than anything that makes someone an entrepreneur.”

What’s your temperament? Pick one from each of these pairs:

  • Risk averse or risk seeking?”
  • Quick to decide or slow to decide?
  • Worried about every dollar or willing to lose money on the chance that you could make a lot of money?
  • Do you beat yourself up over failure or pick a nugget of learning and move on?
  • Stick to one well-defined path or have a map of opportunities that goes in many directions?
  • Close your mind to contrarian views or welcome them?

This is not about judging that one temperament is better than the other. It is about helping you understand your own temperament and how that informs your leadership.

I am featured as #12 in:  15 Entrepreneurs Reveal What Entrepreneurship Means to them

I met the owner of a small group of small businesses. He describes himself as having entrepreneurial DNA. Yet the more I experienced his behavior, the clearer it becomes to me that he is risk averse, he is worries about every dollar in the short- term and he sticks to his well-defined path. Contrarian input from an outside advisor is not welcome.

Another owner, an architect, said he knows how to be an architect but isn’t as effective as a business owner. Still he is “thinking over” how he can increase his revenue and wants to “try some things myself” before he hires an advisor.

Many consultants are a perfect fit for the executive owner who is risk averse and could benefit form from support to safely reach modest goals. Many other consultants are entrepreneurial themselves and the right fit for entrepreneurs because they are high-energy, risk-taking idea-generating people who successfully help their clients set and hit aggressive goals.

If you want a consultant to match your executive owner temperament I can refer you. If you want help creating dramatic results with speed, I can help you.