In the 40 years I've been an entrepreneur, I've worked alongside thousands of people.
Some have worked for companies I've founded. In other cases, I've been fortunate to work with and support entrepreneurs whose companies I've invested in as a private equity investor. And after having spend four decades in the business world, I've learned there are all kinds of different types of entrepreneurs--based on talent, traits, passion, personality, and industry.
However, there are arguably three overarching themes I see most often in the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship. And in order to become successful, it's important to know which "type" of entrepreneur you are, so that you can best create the team and dynamic you require in order to most effectively build your business.
1. The Solopreneur
There are a good handful of entrepreneurs who have no real aspirations of becoming a "leader."
They don't want to show up to an office. They don't want to manage a team. And most importantly, they don't have any interest honing the soft skills required to lead an organization--big or small.
This is not to say this type of person can't find success on their own. There are many "solopreneurs" in the world who build 1-man shops that end up driving six, seven, even eight figures in revenue. However, the type of business you must create as a solopreneur ends up being fairly unique--and in some way or another, you will end up working with some sort of team, whether it's a manufacturer you've outsourced your products to, a third-party dropshipper, or a supplier.
What's important to note is that if you are the solopreneur type, then it's best to acknowledge that in yourself and make decisions accordingly. If you aren't someone who enjoys networking, being social, or team building, then it's better to work toward building a business you can manage on your own--rather than trying to build a life around skills you have no plans of acquiring for yourself.
2. The Single Founder
A good many organizations started because one person decided, "You know what? If nobody else is going to build it, then I'm going to build it myself."
Companies that begin with a lone individual are unique. This person could be the one with the big idea, the grand vision, and have the persuasiveness to raise enough capital to hire a team. Or, this person could be a talented software engineer, coding a new tech platform in isolation until being cashflow positive (or after receiving an investment) to start hiring team members.
In most cases, this "single founder" type ends up coming across someone he or she deems fit to fill the role of co-founder. On the other hand, there are circumstances where this never happens and the founder builds a hired executive team.
Regardless, this type of entrepreneur is always exceedingly driven--sometimes to a fault. They are so used to "doing everything themselves" that their biggest challenge ends up being learning to let go and give responsibility to those around them.
The ones that are able to learn this, succeed. And the ones that don't, stall.
Finally, there is the co-founder duo, who enters the entrepreneurship game with another trusted teammate by their side.
I have found that founders who begin their journey with a co-founder are the ones most effectively positioned for long-term success. I tell a few of these stories in my book, All In, but building a business, of any kind, is a rollercoaster of a journey. When you have someone there, by your side, you are better able to weather the storms and figure out where to move next.
It's great when you have a partner who is also an entrepreneur. A highly effective co-founding partnership works best when both parties have complimentary skill sets and very different strengths. For example, the reason why so many people revere the Steve Jobs / Steve Wozniak dynamic is because the two of them were nothing alike--and yet, they couldn't have built Apple without each other.
However, starting down the path of entrepreneurship as co-founders is a rare thing. Finding someone you respect, you trust, and who can bring something unique to the table is not an easy thing to find. But when you find it, trust that it's one of the most important things you'll ever come across in business.
Take your chances, and go all in.