3 Types of Entrepreneurs: Which One Are You?


Within a discussion of types of entrepreneurship, it is vital to first identify the types of entrepreneurs. There are three main types of entrepreneurs: The Creator, The Builder, and The Operator. These types of entrepreneurs are distinguished based on key characteristics that can uniquely contribute to not only different types of entrepreneurship and types of businesses, but also the different stages of any business’s life cycle. 


Most successful businesses experience a fairly typical life cycle, progressing through different stages over time. Each stage can greatly benefit from the qualities found in different types of entrepreneurs, including differences in leadership, communication, and entrepreneurial skills. This also means that different types of entrepreneurs will be attracted to companies at various stages. 


So, which type of entrepreneur are you?


Comparing Types of Entrepreneurs


The Creator

  • Full of enthusiasm for a specific product or idea.
  • Has a brilliant and creative mind and is constantly spinning with new ideas.
  • Often has ideas for several different types of companies.
  • May not easily focus on one project at a time (and may get bored with just one).



The Builder

  • Takes a credible idea or product and builds a company around it.
  • Has the ability to grow a business – often a very good salesperson.
  • Motivates employees to push the growth of the business.
  • Finds great satisfaction in the thrill of the hunt and watching the company grow.



The Operator

  • Gets the company organized by putting processes and procedures in place.
  • Is often detail-oriented and finds improvements to be made in the company.
  • Keeps things focused and on track with long-term growth goals in mind.



Identifying Types of Entrepreneurs: Which One Are You?


After comparing the different types of entrepreneurs, consider which type best describes you. Over the course of owning and growing your business, you have probably taken on different roles. All types of entrepreneurs have experienced “wearing many hats.”  But, at the core, ask yourself:


  • Which role is or has been most natural to you?
  • Which stage did you most enjoy?
  • Which stage are you the best at?


Author Marcus Buckingham has created an entire strengths movement based on the concept that organizations are most productive when each employee is engaging and offering his or her strengths. His belief is that for a company to be successful, this needs to happen across the entire organization. 


Based on this premise, what are your core strengths? Are you able to offer those strengths to your company each day? 


It is important to note that there are no good or bad strengths, and you can complement your weaknesses by surrounding yourself with a team of people who fill in with other core strengths.


As a company leader, you are most likely to fit one or perhaps two types of entrepreneurs based on where your core strengths lie. 


Types of Entrepreneurs: What Does Your Business Need?


A business consultant recently told us that when they assess a business, their client is the company, not the business owner.  Take a moment to assess your company as if you were an outside consultant. 


  • What are the leadership needs of the business?
  • What are your strengths? 
  • Are your strengths aligned with the needs of the business?


If they are not aligned, it does not make you a bad leader for your company.  It just means that perhaps the company’s needs are different, or maybe your needs are different, based on the current stage of the company or your life.


If you are one of the Creator or Builder types of entrepreneurs, it may be time to evaluate how you are spending your time and energy. What is best for your company? What is best for you? It may be best to discuss options for an eventual exit strategy where all parties bring their core strengths to the table or help with growth capital needs. 


If you are one of the Builder or Operator types of entrepreneurs who isn’t currently leading a business, then you may want to research companies for sale or meet with an intermediary to discuss what may be a good fit for you in the future. 


Even if you are an Operator of your own business, there will still be an eventual exit or capital needs that should be planned for. Establishing a relationship with a professional business broker early on can help ensure you are informed and prepared for what comes next. If you’d like to confidentially investigate these questions with a trusted advisor, we are here to help. Contact Viking today.