The 3 Small Business Personality Types
I'm currently reading Michael E. Gerber's The E Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It. In it, Gerber reveals that about 40% of small businesses started each year in the United States will fail in their first year. Of the 60% that go on to survive the first year, 80% of them will fail in the first five years. Only God knows how many go on to really succeed and not just struggle to survive. The cause of this, Gerber explains is the misplacement of the responsibilities of what I refer to as the different business personality types and a lack of understanding of their place in the small business life cycle.
Every small business owner you will ever meet possesses all these personality types but one is usually more predominant than the others.
- The Technician
The Technician is the doer. He loves to get his hands dirty and work. He is more concerned about work flow than any other thing. Supervising people and processes or coming up with ideas is not The Technician's forte. He could care less about change. He prefers things the way they are because he is more familiar with them and can work better that way (or so he thinks). It is not The Technician's place to create work or to oversee it.
The Technician is the one who loves to bake cakes, who loves to write computer codes, who is specialized in book keeping and loves to crunch numbers, who has a Masters degree in a particular programme, carries his CV/resume around searching for a well-paying job. Creating employment opportunities isn't really his thing.
- The Manager
The Manager is the pragmatic one. His primary concern is order and functionality of people and processes. If things aren't working the way they are supposed to, The Manager sees the problem and creates processes to solve them. The Manager too isn't concerned about changing things. As long as a process works well, he sees no need for disruption.
- The Entrepreneur
The Entrepreneur is the creator, the innovator and the visionary. He loves change and is never satisfied with the status quo. He always believes things could be done better. He lives in the future and loves to construct images of 'what-could-be' or 'what-if' in his mind. He creates probabilities out of impossibilities and is usually a source of havoc to those around him. This is because he's constantly looking to shake things up. The Entrepreneur sees opportunities in problems and loves to push people to their limits in order to get the best out of everything: people and processes.
We have seen these 3 personality types contained within each small businessperson. While some people are able to successfully balance and manipulate all three, most people, sadly, cannot. Hence, they encounter failures in business. Failures they could very much have avoided. These personality types contribute immensely to the stages of business growth. Each business has a life cycle and each stage requires these personality types for it to function. Nevertheless, we have people who do not understand this and so get into business with the wrong approach and their business- which they once loved and cherished - becomes a form of hell for them.
Next week, I'll be highlighting the three stages of business growth and how each personality type functions in them. Subscribe to our emailing list so you won't miss out on any of our posts.