Ever heard of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator? Don’t feel bad if you haven’t. It’s a personality “inventory” (aka test…but not one of the scary ones), and it’s one of the most well-known personality assessments out there.
While there are other tests available like the popular StrengthFinder, the four-letter Myers-Briggs personality types remain some of the widely accepted and popular in American culture.
Why Your Personality Type Matters
Wait, we write a small business software blog. So why do we care?
Knowing more about your personality type can help you understand why you think the way you think and why you act the way you act. Your personality also guides choices you make like your career path and business decisions.
Even Forbes agrees your Myers-Briggs personality type vastly impacts your career trajectory. So it turns out your personality can impact your business, especially if you’re the key decision maker.
A Crash Course in Myers-Briggs
Here’s a quick break-down of the Myers-Briggs methodology. We’ll use this as a foundation for describing the most common “types” of entrepreneurs and small business owners.
There are 16 general personality types, each of which is defined by an individual’s preference in four areas:
- How you interact with the world: Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)
- How you process information: Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)
- How you make decisions: Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
- How you approach new ideas: Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
Your personality type is then made up of your preference in each of the 4 categories, identified by a combination of the letters marking your choices above. For example, I’m an introvert (I), who prefers sensing (S), thinking (T) and judging (J) — an ISTJ.
What Personality Types Have to Do with Business
While there are 16 general personality types, not all types are created equal when it comes to business. There’s no “best” type, but there are trends for each type including the career or job they tend to be most successful in.
As it turns out, ENTPs, ESTJs, ENTJs, INTJs, and ISTJs are the most common personality types for entrepreneurs and business owners. But, if you’re not Myers or Briggs, turning your 4-letters type into an actual personality profile can be daunting.
The Most Common Personality Types for Entrepreneurs
What type of business owner are you? Here’s how we would describe the most common personality types for small business owners. See where you fit in!
The I Can Do Anything Entrepreneur (ENTP)
You can’t spell “entrepreneur” without “ENTP.” Perhaps the most stereotypical personality type of leaders and entrepreneurs, The I Can Do Anything Entrepreneur loves leading and being in the limelight. Curious and creative, they are naturally innovative and have lots of new ideas they can’t wait to turn into reality. On the downside, their drive to act fast can tend to leave others in the dust.
- Strengths: Vision, drive, confidence
- Challenges: Impulsion, trouble interpreting emotions, risk taker
- Famous I Can Do Anythingers: Walt Disney, Nikola Tesla
Fun fact: There are significantly more male ENTPs than female, with males outnumbering females 2 to 1.
The By the Book Entrepreneur (ESTJ)
By The Book Entrepreneurs are one of the most organized and structured personality types. They make decisions based on facts, details and logic. Their tendency toward structure makes them incredibly organized, and their preference for extraversion makes them great leaders and supervisors. These business owners don’t let any details slip through the cracks. But don’t let their focus and order fool you — they’re not as detached as they may seem.
- Strengths: Order, organization, direction
- Challenges: Trouble expressing emotion, can be seen as uptight
- Famous By the Bookers: Andrew Jackson, Ivanka Trump
Fun fact: These business owners are more likely than other types to exhibit Type A behavior.
The Charming Charlie Entrepreneur (ENTJ)
Some of the most charismatic business owners, Charming Charlies are motivated by ambition and success. They’re not shy (in fact, they’re the opposite), and they get a lot done thanks to their unique combination of analytical prowess and drive. Constantly chasing problems, they’re experts at finding and implementing the right solutions fast.
- Strengths: Energetic, optimistic, adaptable
- Challenges: Forcefulness, ego
- Famous Charming Charlies: David Letterman, Quentin Tarantino
Fun fact: These folks make up only 2% of the population.
The Quiet Inventor Entrepreneur (INTJ)
Quiet Inventors are imaginative, decisive and curious. Often recognized as bookworms, The Quiet Inventor is private in their studies and is fueled by mastery of their craft. But once they’ve built something they’re proud of, they can’t wait to share it with others. These entrepreneurs prefer to start out small and slowly prove their success before they expand.
- Strengths: Logical, principled, independent
- Challenges: Perfectionism, pessimism, judgemental of others
- Famous Quiet Inventors: Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Sir Isaac Newton
Fun fact: Quiet Inventors are commonly found in science, technical, computer and legal professions.
The Judge and The Jury Entrepreneur (ISTJ)
The Judge and The Jury Entrepreneurs can be found maintaining social order and meeting the very high standards they set for themselves. Smart and loaded with integrity, they value predictability over imagination. While they may seem stoic, their personalities make them hardworking and persistent, often working to the point of exhaustion to get the job done.
- Strengths: Practicality, detail-orientation
- Challenges: Overly serious, difficulty trusting
- Famous Judge and Jury Entrepreneurs: Warren Buffet, George H. W. Bush
Fun fact: These business owners often choose careers in banking, bookkeeping, accounting and business services.
Not sure where you fit in?
Remember, no personality type is the “right” one to be as an entrepreneur. Your ability to serve clients well and change with the market will most heavily impact your success. And we’ve got your back!