The “Wow Factor” of Successful Entrepreneurs

Contrary to predominant stereotypes of the typical entrepreneur, all entrepreneurs are not created equal. People with a variety of personalities are drawn to the challenge of starting their own businesses. As different as they may be, all truly successful entrepreneurs have something in common, and it isn’t grandpa’s hefty inheritance or a 4.0 from Wharton. True, these things won’t hurt, but being successful in the unpredictable and intimidating world of business ownership takes a special something, a certain kind of “wow factor.” The “wow factor” means different things for different business owners; however, most successful entrepreneurs tend to fit into one of the following wow-ful categories. What about you?

The Improver

Hands holding up a globe

The world is in your hands. Thank goodness.

Certain successful entrepreneurs are known as improvers: their favorite words are “integrity” and “ethics,” and they never put their business in a situation that could potentially compromise either. A firm believer in getting back what one puts in, improvers always make sure that each project remains morally correct. Their business is run with a genuine concern for the consumer, and this type of entrepreneur is not happy unless customers are happy. Being this considerate, however, can cause many Improvers to become perfectionists and be very critical of their employees. Nevertheless, Improvers hearts’ are always in the right place.


  • Anita Roddick, The Body Shop.
  • Shawn Askinosie, Askinosie Chocolate

The Advisor

Entrepreneurs with the “advisor” trait often feel packed full of good advice. They love to help people and assist in any way possible. Successful “Advisor” type entrepreneurs believe the customer needs them and it is their job to help at all costs. If this sounds like you, be careful. It is possible to be too focused on the customer. Don’t forget, you are a person, too. Advisors are the type of personality that could potentially allow their work life conflict, and sometimes even overpower their personal life.

People like you:

  • John W. Nordstrom, Nordstrom

The Superstar


Super-CEO to the rescue.

If you are a Superstar, the saying ‘Those who can’t lead, follow,’ makes you cringe. You think of yourself as a veritable powerhouse that needs to be shared with the world. You can afford to put your face on water bottles, and why not? It was you who built that enormous empire, right? Superstars have it all, know it, and want to make sure everyone else knows it, too. Confidence like that is something most everyone strives to possess, but just don’t let the name you made for yourself be overshadowed by the name people might read about in the tabloids. Superstars are usually the most talked about type of professional, good and bad.

People like you:

  • Donald Trump, CEO of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts

The Artist

Many entrepreneurs are truly artists at heart. You are often known as ‘that quiet guy/girl.’ You are a reserved person, but not when it comes to your creative abilities. Through them, you can be loud, crazy, and that is where most of your emotions and thoughts are portrayed. Your business is built around your out-of-the-box ideas and zaniness. When it comes to customer responses, though, you can be a little bit oversensitive to criticism, constructive or not.

People like you:

  • Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert
  • Gordon Ramsay, Chef and Restaurateur

The Visionary

If you are this type of entrepreneur, people describe you as having your head in the clouds. You have an incredible urge to understand the world around you. As a visionary, your picture of future that drives your life. That’s great and all, but who is watching the present? To avoid stepping on landmines in the future, set up a plan for right now, too. Make it happen. Watching all of your visions actually come to life will be more rewarding than you ever thought.

People like you:

  • Bill Gates, Microsoft Inc.
  • Steve Jobs, Apple
  • Sergey Brin, Google

The Analyst

Young genius boy at a computer wearing glasses and a neck tie

What, you didn’t know gr(GDP) = gr(M1) – gr(MDR) can calculate economic growth?

Some entrepreneurs, we’ll call them Analysts, love numbers and possess a systematic outlook on life. They are adept at fixing problems. If this sounds like you, then you likely have a tendency to see things as they are and have sharp judgment, as well. Smartypants. However, you may have a problem with trusting others. Work on this. Trusting others to help you with your company can make things go much smoother. Logically, it’s the best way to go.

People like you:

  • Gordon Moore, Intel

The Healer

Have you often been referred to as the mothering type, regardless of your gender? Do you love to nurture and have an uncanny ability to survive? If you have these traits, you may be a member of the Healer class of entrepreneurs. You focus mainly on providing harmony to your business. You also have a superhuman ability to maintain your inner zen while in complete chaos. Kudos to you. However, you might find that you also have the ability to avoid outside realities and often find yourself in a daydream. Though it’s great to have an imagination, to run a business you need to find a way to anchor yourself. Work on taking time to get all that whimsy out by writing a stream of consciousness journal or short stories.

People like you:

  • Ben Cohen, Ben & Jerry’s

Do you have yourself figured out yet? Are you that in your face type of entrepreneur, showing off your success, living the Superstar life? Or are you silently organizing your billion dollar empire in your head, Visionary style? Whatever your personality type may be, keep in mind that every success story is different, and now that you feel as though you and Steve Jobs or The Donald can relate, you are ready to begin to write your own.

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