businessman writing on the wall

The classic definition of entrepreneur was conceived in 1983 by Howard Stevenson of the Harvard Business School. In an interview by Inc. in 2012, Stevenson said that “at the time, people tended to define entrepreneurship almost as a personality disorder, a kind of risk addiction. But that didn’t fit the entrepreneurs I knew,” he said. “I never met an entrepreneur who got up in the morning saying ‘Where’s the most risk in today’s economy, and how can I get some? Most entrepreneurs I know are looking to lay risk off — on investors, partners, lenders, and anyone else.” Their personalities vary, too, he said, “The entrepreneurs I know are all different types. They’re as likely to be wallflowers as to be the wild man of Borneo.”

Your business personality type is a combination of the traits and characteristics of your personality that blend with the needs of the business.

There are 9 key types of personality types for owners. Understanding each will help you enjoy your business more and provide your company with what it needs to grow. This entrepreneur personality profile is based on the 9-point types of the Enneagram personality test commonly used in business.

Identifying your dominant personality characteristics is the key to understanding how you operate in your business.

The 9 Personality Types of Entrepreneurs (no. 1-4)

1. The Improver

These owners are focused on using the company as a means to improve the world. Their overarching motto is that morally-upright companies will be rewarded when working toward a noble cause. Improvers have an unwavering ability to run their business with high integrity and ethics. It is important to be aware of their tendency to be a perfectionist and over-critical of both employees and customers.

2. The Advisor

This business personality type will provide a high level of assistance and advice to customers. The advisor’s motto is that the customer is right and we must do everything to please them. Companies built by advisors become customer focused. A common problem of advisors is that they can become totally focused on the needs of their business and customers that they may ignore their own needs. It’s possible for them to burn out.

3. The Superstar

With this personality, the business is centered on the charisma and high energy of the Superstar CEO. This personality often will cause you to build your business around your own personal brand. The problem with it is that some owners can be too competitive and workaholics.

4. The Artist

This business personality is the reserved but highly creative type. This type is often found in businesses demanding creativity, such as web design and ad agencies. Artistic entrepreneurs tend to build their businesses around the unique talents and creativities that they have. The problem with some artistic owners, though, is that they can be overly sensitive to your customer’s responses, even if the feedback is constructive. It is important for Artists to extinguish negative self-images in order to thrive.