Last week I read a fascinating book called Entrepreneurial DNA, by Joe Abraham, the founder of BOSI Global, an operating partner to venture-backed and owner-operated companies. The book is founded on Joe’s study of over 1,000 entrepreneurs. The study confirmed the discovery that entrepreneurs aren’t all wired the same manner. The book suggests entrepreneurs fall into four distinct types of entrepreneurial DNA’s that leverage unique strengths, weaknesses and tendencies typical in each specific kind of entrepreneur:
1. The Builder: You have a drive to build highly scalable businesses extremely fast. When this DNA is saturated in a person, they break past $5 million in revenue within two to four years and continue to up to $100 million. That’s because they measure success through an extremely unique lens: infrastructure. It drives the decisions they make and the strategy they build and deploy. They aren’t content with a degree of personal income or goodwill toward man. They are Pied Piper-like folks who are master recruiters of talent, investors and customers. Builder DNA activates certain behaviors just like a controlling temperament, resulting in a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde like demeanor at work. People with high Builder DNA have a tendency to struggle most with personal relationships and routinely have a revolving door of talent within their companies.
2. The Opportunist: Picture Sir Richard Branson and you have a fairly good notion of what Opportunist DNA is focused on. Individuals wired with this DNA are highly optimistic master promoters. They enjoy marketing and selling. They are wired to sniff out well-timed income generating opportunities, jump in at the proper time, ride the wave of growth up and (hopefully) jump out at the peak. Opportunist DNA measures success predicated on the money they make (or can make) if they aren’t working. So they are attracted to work at home opportunities where leverage may be used to create residual and renewal income. This behavioral preset in entrepreneurs makes them impulsive decision makers, particularly when it involves money-making opportunities. This trait can serve them perfectly or bring on their demise.
3. The Specialist: This DNA activates in professionals of the world. No sooner does a person proceed through years of schooling, apprenticeship or on-the-job training, does this DNA activate, driving the corresponding behaviors. Specialist DNA drives someone to be very analytical, relatively risk-averse and anti-selling. Specialists generate the majority of their home based business from referrals and networking. They measure success predicated on their personal income. Their businesses have a tendency to grow fairly well in the startup and early growth phase, but when their personal income hits preset targets, their internal thermostat kicks in plus they go into customer support mode. Research discovered that most Specialist-owned businesses plateau in revenues well below $5 million. Those that see through this level take significantly longer to make it happen than Builder DNA companies — often decades.
4. The Innovator: Picture Mark Zuckerberg in the movie The SOCIAL NETWORKING and you will see Innovator DNA at the job. Like the majority of Innovators, he was doing something he loved, whenever a home based business popped up. The breakthrough discovery typically drives this entrepreneur in the "lab" of their business — where they would like to invent, design and tinker. They might much rather maintain the lab of their business than at the money register or available office. They find operating a business draining. They measure success predicated on the impact their service or product is having on mankind. "It isn’t about the amount of money," you’ll hear them say. "I’d do that for free for the others of my life easily could." People with high Innovator DNA control a lot of the great intellectual property of our time. Unfortunately, they hide in dungeons and discover it hard to activate running a business discussions.
For years and years the method of entrepreneurship has been — what worked for just one entrepreneur is wonderful for every entrepreneur. But research has proven that entrepreneurs are different. Some people are Innovator-Builders. Others are Specialist-Opportunists.
Knowing your DNA and the DNA of these surrounding you is crucial to selecting the business enterprise, strategy and team suitable for you. Because it worked for Richard Branson (Opportunist-Builder) or Bill Gates (Specialist-Builder), doesn’t mean it’ll do the job.
The type of entrepreneur are you? Find out at BOSI DNA and share your outcomes and thoughts in the comments below.