After studying some of the one million business owners who use Shopify, we discovered that founder types tend to fall into one of five personality types. Which one are you? Start with our quiz.
Imposter syndrome. Self doubt. The urge to give up. We bet you’ve experienced these feelings at some point, Stargazer. If you’re lucky, you’re surrounded by people who affirm your talents at work. But what if you’re a company of one?
Natalie Gill started her fresh flower business from her apartment, relying on savings to bridge the gap after she quit a soulless corporate job. She survived on little sleep and at times an $11 per week food budget. She lost weight—and friends. But she persevered through the toughest points of her journey (hello, self doubt) to build Native Poppy, a successful multi-location retail business.
There’s no question that Natalie is an entrepreneur today, but I’ll argue that she’s always deserved the title—even before she quit her job, even before her first sale.
What makes a person an entrepreneur? We’ll explore the meaning of entrepreneurship, what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and the unique traits of each entrepreneur personality type (including yours). Think of us as the invisible passenger along for the ride on your business journey, here with affirmation and support to help you live your truth—as an entrepreneur.
Don’t know your Founder Sign? Take the quiz below and sign up to join the Founder’s Zodiac community. All set? Skip ahead.
What is an entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is, by conventional definition, someone who starts and runs a business, maybe taking on financial or personal risk in the process. But this description of entrepreneurship ignores the more nuanced aspects—the passion, the grit, the desire to bring ideas to life, the drive to solve a problem.
Over time, the creator economy and the gig economy helped to broaden the scope of what it means to be an entrepreneur.
Over time, the creator economy and the gig economy helped to broaden the scope of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Maybe you’re assembling furniture or designing merch for a local band in your studio apartment. Either way, you’re working for yourself and taking your future into your own hands.
The pandemic brought devastation to the entrepreneurship community through 2020—3.3 million businesses in the US closed between February and April. Yet, entrepreneurship offered a path for those looking to supplement loss of work, combat isolation boredom, or react to opportunities created by changing consumer trends. While business as a whole decreased during 2020, entrepreneurial spirit surged.
And our definition of “entrepreneur” is forever changed.
What are the personality traits of an entrepreneur?
Earlier in our series we discussed the unique entrepreneur personality traits of each Founder Sign. There is no single personality profile that determines success potential. Each Sign demonstrates strength in specific areas, each with a unique superpower that defines how they run and think about their businesses.
🏆 Top entrepreneur traits:
- Risk tolerance
- Self reliance
Other helpful traits for entrepreneurs include perseverance, versatility, ambition, critical thinking, and attention to detail. Chances are you possess some of these qualities. Maybe you’re risk averse but have excellent discipline and attention to detail—your strength will lie in building a steady business slowly with a solid safety net. Or maybe you’re not overly disciplined or focused on detail but you’re bursting with passion and vision—you’d make a great leader, bringing on skilled partners attracted to your ideas and enthusiasm.
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So, how do I become an entrepreneur?
Simple: just start. There’s no test (unless you count the test of your will as you navigate the uncertain startup phase). There’s no required degree or years of work experience. When you’re your own boss, you make the rules. Lean on your best entrepreneur trait and take your business idea to the streets.
The downside is there’s also no guarantee, no steady paycheck. In most cases, though, the reward trumps the risk. Best case scenario, you build a life on your terms. If you fail, you’ll dust yourself off and, armed with experience and thicker skin, try again.
Finding your inner entrepreneur—advice for every Founder Sign
Entrepreneur mindset is a combination of beliefs, knowledge, and a way of thinking that allows you to approach challenges, act on ideas, and balance risk. It can be achieved regardless of the strengths you were born with. Personal growth exercises and trial and error will help build your entrepreneur muscle.
This month’s business horoscope centers on how to achieve an entrepreneur mindset and start a small business with confidence—no matter what your personality.
👟 Skip to your sign:
Feature sign: The Cartographer
There’s a lot to work with here, Cartographer. For one, you have a great mind for business because you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and put in the work. You’re an excellent planner and a natural at spotting pitfalls before they happen. You’d pause before calling yourself an entrepreneur, though, because you see it as just doing what you love.
Entrepreneurship often involves some risk—and that’s not really your playground. You’re drawn to predictability and income you can rely on. But your curiosity and passion for your craft tends to get the better of you. If you’re scared to make the leap, start small. Know that you can be an entrepreneur at heart before you even launch that website or make your first sale. Be confident in your abilities.
Become an entrepreneur and build a business around a cause
If anything is going to tip you into the entrepreneurial pool, it’s your passion. Are there social or environmental causes that inspire you? The pandemic has accelerated the interest in businesses that have a sustainable bent or social mission. Now is the time, Cartographer. Get your feet wet.
Start here 👉 Meet 9 Socially Responsible Companies Driving Change
This month, Trailblazer, take the opportunity to allow your ideas to bloom even before buds appear on the trees. You’ll be ready to burst into spring with the energy and passion to act on those ideas.
You are a born entrepreneur, with your penchant for detouring from the well-trodden path and making your own. Success will come to you if you understand how to harness that explosive energy of yours. Be an entrepreneur who understands your shortcomings. You’re best to focus on what you’re passionate about and leave the rest to others. You’ll need that passion to get you through the most overgrown paths.
Become an entrepreneur with a better way of doing things
The pandemic has created opportunities to build new businesses around changing needs. Disruptors like Uber and Slack emerged from the last recession. What will you build to change something for the better in a post-pandemic new world?
Start here 👉 What Makes a Great Business Idea?
Your natural entrepreneur ability lies in your quiet solitude and steady determination. You want things done right, and you’re the best person to make that happen. While you may lack some of the conventional traits that we apply to entrepreneurs—passion and risk-taking—you have unmatched patience and dedication to your craft.
You’re the type, Outsider, who tends to undersell yourself. To you, you’re just one person making a living doing what you’re good at. But your entrepreneur story is one of the oldest—the roots of entrepreneurship and early trade were motivated by necessity.
Become an entrepreneur by monetizing your craft
Focus on what you do best, Outsider, and build it slowly. You’re likely not one to bring on a partner or even staff, but you can patch the holes in your skill set by consulting experts, outsourcing admin tasks, or learning new tools that automate some of your processes. The pandemic brought a lot of change, rapidly accelerating the shift to online. Don’t get left behind by being stuck in “the way things always were.”
When we look to the entrepreneurial greats of the past century, we see your face, Mountaineer. Many business leaders of our time share your vision and unrelenting pursuit of big ideas. You’re a natural. You have an entrepreneur mindset built in, but it’s always something you can hone. So you’re an entrepreneur in spirit? Take this month before spring lures us outdoors to make a leap toward that great idea.
Build an audience first, then become an entrepreneur
You’re a self-starter, there’s no question, but you can’t do it on your own. You thrive in the company of people. So start there. Use your natural people skills to build a following around your idea or brand and nurture that audience before you launch. Gather energy from the company of others to take your idea from hypothetical to reality.
Start here 👉 Building Community: How to Connect—Even in a Pandemic
Your personality makes you a natural fit for entrepreneurship—you take risks, spot opportunities everywhere, and close deals in your sleep. Entrepreneurship is probably already on your resume—even if you didn’t know it. If you haven’t officially started your own business, this lull between the winter holidays and the first signs of spring (while we’re all stuck in lockdown) is the perfect time to put your ideas to paper and take action.
Become an entrepreneur by jumping at opportunity
If there’s a silver lining to be found after a year of pandemic life, it’s that new opportunities are everywhere. Creator tools and new technology rushed to market to address changing consumer needs, making it easier than ever to bring your ideas to life. The world will be forever changed, and you’re just the personality type to join the legion of the entrepreneurs of the future.
Start here 👉 10 Best Print-on-Demand Products to Sell in 2021
If you’ve yet to determine your Founder Sign, take our quiz, then sign up for our newsletter. The Founder’s Zodiac runs every month and offers up advice and relevant content curated just for your type.
Illustrations by by Alice Mollon