Creating a sustainable, profitable business as an entrepreneur is an extremely challenging feat. Some individuals, however, manage to go all the way to the top and are now some of the world’s wealthiest people. While all entrepreneurs share basic characteristics such as hard-working, innovative and persistent, more often than not they will be labelled or pigeonholed in a certain way. Below you will find just five of the different ways entrepreneurs are perceived.
1. The Visionary
This is probably the entrepreneur that you are used to hearing and reading about. They are often larger than life, a beacon to others who only dream of making it. They are the face of their companies and are very gifted at clearly articulating and conveying their goals, thereby getting their entire team of employees and customers on board. Think of Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg.
2. The Troublemaker
While the word troublemaker is rather harsh, certain individuals in the business world have certainly garnered a reputation for being demanding and lacking people skills. Steve Jobs is a prime example of this; many colourful words have been used to describe his personality and there are plenty of stories regarding his unconventional management style.
3. The Optimist
These are the figures that take defeat in their stride and refuse to give up. They are always looking to the future and trying to decide what business venture they should try next. Australian businessman Ron Bakir experienced personal and legal trouble that left him without much of his fortune. A few years later he managed to reinvent himself and is now the CEO of a very successful property development company.
4. The Mentor
This type of entrepreneur is regarded as being gentle, nurturing and positive. They will often be seen engaging in motivational or charitable activities. Tony Robbins has built an entire empire on the motivational speaking and mentoring movement but don’t forget that he is also a savvy businessman who found his niche in the marketplace and played to his strengths.
5. The Philanthropist
At some point in a successful entrepreneur’s career, they start to think less about profits and more about giving back to the world. Bill Gates and his wife Melinda are some of the world’s most famous humanitarians, donating large amounts of money through their foundation. Another well-known philanthropist is of course Oprah Winfrey, who has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of education for women and children through her foundation.
In reality, entrepreneurs are three dimensional people with virtues and faults. In fact, most individuals in the business world will be a visionary, dictator, optimist, mentor and philanthropist rolled into one. Media coverage and PR spin are often the reasons why we receive a particular view or opinion of someone.
Which figure do you identify most with? Was it Ron Bakir’s story of triumph against the odds that struck a chord? Or is it Richard Branson’s brand of innovative fun that appeals to you? Whatever your opinion, let us know by commenting in the box below.