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Prospective biz owners must ID what kind of entrepreneur they want to be

April 16, 2012

There are three main types of entrepreneurs. What type are you? When we know what kind of entrepreneur we are it becomes easier to find the right assistance to help make our dreams a reality. Are you an Aspiring, Lifestyle, or Growth entrepreneur? Read on to find out!


By Cindy Hartin, ASU-SBCD Assistant Director


SAN ANGELO, Texas — When individuals come to the Angelo State University Small Business Development Center, we try to help identify what type of entrepreneur they are so we can best help them reach their goals.

There are three basic types of entrepreneurs: aspiring, lifestyle and growth. It’s important to determine what type of entrepreneur you are to find the best type of business and how to go about making it happen.

The aspiring entrepreneur is the dreamer, with lots of ideas and the desire to be their own boss. Yet, as attractive as the idea of making a career change or lifestyle change is, the realities can be a bit overwhelming. It is easy to talk about owning a restaurant or service business, but when an aspiring entrepreneur learns how much time and money will be involved, they are often surprised. They may not be sure if they want to make that much of a change.

There is a definite advantage to recognizing that you are an aspiring entrepreneur. It is extremely valuable to have a better understanding of what it will really take to make your ideal business a reality, so you can make an informed decision about whether you need more time to consider the business idea or to possibly find a way to transition into business ownership slowly. There may be options, such as finding a way to start the business out of your home or online, that allow you to bridge the gap between your current job and owning your own business.

The lifestyle entrepreneur is the most common type of entrepreneur, and I consider myself a lifestyle entrepreneur. There are attractive qualities to business ownership and having a business you can call your own. The basic goal


is to enjoy your business and to support you and your family with it. There is generally no intention of growing big or hiring a full staff to run the business.

Lifestyle entrepreneurs typically offer a product or service that they provide personally, or perhaps with the help of a minimal staff. This type of entrepreneur wants the autonomy of business ownership. This type of business ownership can be rewarding but also demanding. The business owner is the business so it will only be as successful as the owner makes it. But there is also the reward of making something on your own.

A growth entrepreneur is focused on having a dynamic and fast growing business. These entrepreneurs are going into business to grow fast, hire lots of employees, make as much money as possible, and probably sell the business and move on to another idea. I also call these entrepreneurs, the perpetual entrepreneur. They enjoy the adrenaline and excitement of getting an idea off the ground, and the challenge of growing a business to the point where it will be attractive to a major corporate buyer.

Deciding what type of entrepreneur you are is essential in your planning process, as it helps define your goals for the business. If your personal lifestyle and control are important to you, then a lifestyle business may be right for you. But, if you are focused on growth and generating wealth, then you are most definitely a growth entrepreneur.

“Business Tips” was written by Cindy Hartin, CEBS Fellow, assistant director and certified business adviser II, of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact her at or 325-942-2098.

© 2012 San Angelo Standard Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.