This is post #2 in a series about Entrepreneurial DNA, what makes you very different from other entrepreneurs out there – and what to do about it. If you haven’t read the first post on Up & Running, please do that now.
Here’s a quick recap of what we learned last time.
1) All entrepreneurs are not the same. We come in different “breeds” (just like dogs do).
2) If you don’t take the time to understand your unique behavioral profile, you’ll be like the beagle trying to race a greyhound around the track – wondering why you’re in the dust every time. The research-backed fact is that you have predisposed tendencies, strengths and capacity that is similar to some entrepreneurs and very different from others.
3) Following a one-size-fits-all approach to writing a business plan, creating a social media strategy, raising capital or finding a co-founder is the #1 cause of frustration and failure in entrepreneurship. You must discover your Entrepreneurial Profile (also called BOSI Profile or Entrepreneurial DNA) and build your plan around who you are.
4) Investors, bankers, universities, entrepreneurship centers, accelerators and more are using BOSI as a tool to match entrepreneurs with programs, financing and solutions best suited for them. If you try to fake it, you’ll be out on the street – so be authentic about who you are.
With that recap behind us, let’s take a quick study of Entrepreneurial Profile #1 – Omar the Promoter.
Our data shows that Omar represents around 23% of all entrepreneurs. Let’s see how much of Omar’s behavioral profile is inside you.
Omar got bit by the entrepreneurial bug very early in life. He was never afraid to take risks. It didn’t matter if he was introducing himself to a pretty girl, knocking on a stranger’s door or being the life of the party wherever he went. He was all about taking massive and immediate action when he saw something he wanted.
Omar is energized by stories of success. He loves reading positive books. He gobbles up motivational materials like they are going out of style. To him, the glass is always half full. When people around him complain that the worst is here, he’s convincing them the best days are yet to come. Omar, you see, is an optimist.
People call him a natural born promoter. When Omar finds something he believes in (be it a product, service, person or mindset), he can’t stop talking about it. He naturally shares it with everyone around him – and he does it with great enthusiasm.
Friends call him a “salesman’s salesman”. Some of them mean it with the highest of regard. Others use that title as somewhat of an insult. But Omar doesn’t care. He’s on a mission. A mission to get rich – as fast as possible. He finds that being the promoter/salesperson gives him the highest opportunity to make a ton of money – without the typical income ceiling of a desk job. He loves being the “front of the room” guy. Public speaking has its nervous moments – but he kinda likes the rush of excitement and adrenaline. At times he wonders if someday he’ll be a professional speaker and motivator of the masses.
Omar tried several desk jobs that offered the steady income – but they drove him insane. Long staff meetings, being micro-managed by hyper-analytical people, having to sit in a cubicle while his great ideas got shunned one after the other – was more than he could handle. Omar discovered that he enjoys the freedom of being outside the office. He enjoys days when he can be out and about. Meeting clients at the local Starbucks, catching a flight to meet the next big customer, closing a deal over cocktails in a hotel lobby.
One day Omar decided to start his own business. The idea for the business came to him in a flash. The minute he had the epiphany, he knew it was a billion dollar idea. Omar couldn’t sleep. He was so excited about his innovation. He had to tell someone – everyone. Those around him cautioned him to take it slow, get lots of advice and write a business plan.
To Omar, even though the advice appeared sound, it felt like a lot of work. He started to write a business plan, but got bored 20 minutes into the process. When the business plan process called for market research, product validation and the development of a financial model, Omar felt overwhelmed. He didn’t want to deal with this mumbo-jumbo. He wanted to be out landing a million dollars in funding and generating billions in revenues!
Omar was all about working “smarter not harder”. So he looked into outsourced experts who could do the things he didn’t like to do. Things like business plan writing, market research etc. He had a clear vision of what he was going to accomplish. He could see his soon-to-have-wealth as clear as day.
Getting to that wealth however, was a bit of an enigma. Omar had challenges connecting the dots of how to get from where he was (with a brilliant money-making idea) to a scaled venture with millions (or billions) in profits. When he met with potential investors, he sensed their interest as he explained the huge upside of his business. However, he grew in frustration as they seemed to disappear on him one-by-one.
“The investors were ready to go” said Omar. “But then, they just didn’t pull the trigger. They hesitated, asked for more validation and then backed off.”
It was very frustrating for Omar to find that as he shared his exciting new venture with others, all they could do was poke holes in it, tell him why it wouldn’t work or why his projections were too aggressive. Omar felt like he was surrounded by a bunch of dream stealers. From close friends and family to bankers and business advisors. Everyone wanted to tell him why it wouldn’t work.
Do you find yourself resonating in some way with Omar’s story? Is it uncannily similar to yours? There’s a 23% chance that is the case. But there’s a higher possibility you’ll resonate more with Sue, Bob or Ingrid who we’ll learn about in upcoming posts.
Here’s the important thing to understand and act on.
If you find yourself to be somewhat of an “Omar”, then understand that you share his Entrepreneurial DNA. We call it Opportunist DNA. Do you know who else has Opportunist DNA? Sir Richard Branson, most VCs and a bunch of people you will never hear about – because they are bankrupt. My point? Having Opportunist DNA has some significant benefits. You can build a huge enterprise with that DNA. However, having Opportunist DNA also has significant weaknesses. You must take the time to discover those innate (and pre-built) strengths and weaknesses to then build a business plan, team and venture that compliments you. If you don’t chances are, those weaknesses will get in the way, slow down growth and possibly put you in line with others who lost it all.
In next week’s post, you’ll learn about Omar’s “Opposite” – Sue. Behaviorally, she is wired very differently from Omar. The game-changing thing we learned during the research with over 1,000 entrepreneurs and their companies was this. Omar and Sue’s business plan, marketing strategy, team selection and business model were (and MUST be) completely different in order for them to be successful.
One-size-fits-all approach to business planning = the eventual frustrating demise of a venture.
In closing, here are some practical insights for you if you think you may be an Omar (an Opportunist DNA entrepreneur).
1. Take the BOSI Assessment to make sure. It’s free.
2. Order or download a copy of the book Entrepreneurial DNA and read the section that matches your DNA. You’ll get rich insight into the plans and people best suited for you.
3. Watch Breakthrough Entrepreneurship – the online video course provided free to you from bplans. Simply click the “continue” button on your BOSI Report page to access the course. It has some additional insight for your Opportunist DNA.
Entrepreneurial Profile #1 is Omar the Promoter. Next week we’ll study Entrepreneurial Profile #2 – Sue the Expert.
Until then, keep it entrepreneurial!
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