I think there are two kinds of entrepreneurs, and sometimes, you can be both. There is the kind that starts businesses, and there is the kind that builds businesses.
The kind of entrepreneur who starts businesses but usually doesn’t like running or building them are typically serial entrepreneurs. How can you spot one?
These entrepreneurs have an idea a minute and a bit of ADD—they are attracted to bright shiny objects – they can’t focus. They:
- Would rather generate 1 good idea and 19 bad ones than just 1 good one
- Are always thinking about the next thing, only excited by the possibility of what could be, not by what is
- Are more philosophical and theoretical than practical
- Probably shouldn’t run businesses for more than a few months
- Are likely to frustrate everyone around them and get bored themselves
- Are really fun at cocktail parties
- Say things like “I thought of auctions online way before eBay!”
The second kind of entrepreneur is the kind of person who can run businesses but may or may not come up with the idea. Typically, these people:
- Care about success, not about having the idea
- Love to make things work
- Would rather generate 1 idea and execute it well than 2 ideas
- Are problem solvers
- Are great with people
- May be less fun at cocktail parties, but you’d want them on your team in a game of paintball or laser tag
It’s the rare one who can do both of these things well. But you know them when you see them. Think Dell or Microsoft…or even Apple in a roundabout way if you consider the fact that Jobs hired Cook (and others) to partner with them to run the business.
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