The 4 Entrepreneurial Types: Which One Are You?

I teach Entrepreneurship at Georgetown and I say the same thing every semester:  "Not everyone needs to be an entrepreneur, but to be successful everyone needs to be entrepreneurial." 

Not everyone needs to be an entrepreneur, but everyone needs to be entrepreneurial.

You can no longer rest on your associate or lawyer laurels in this age of automation, outsourcing, and greater client demands.  You must have business acumen and be more entrepreneurial to thrive.  Read this blog post to figure out your current entrepreneurial type and which one you might want to be!

There are 4 Entrepreneurial Types:

  1. Intra-preneurs;
  2. Side Hustlers;
  3. Solopreneurs and
  4. Entrepreneurs.

Intra-preneurs - I will generate additional income for my company which will increase my value to the company.  That increased value will hopefully increase my employment income through bonuses and promotions.  I do not want to be my own boss.  I don't want to take on any risk to my minimum income based on my entrepreneurial activities.  I do not want to do any Running My Own Business Stuff ("RMOB Stuff"), as defined below.

Side Hustlers - I will generate additional income that is created independent of my full-time job.  I do not want to be my own full-time boss.  I don't want to take on any risk to my minimum income based on my entrepreneurial activities.  I am willing to make limited capital and time investments to fund my side hustle.  I am willing to do a limited amount of Running My Own Business Stuff ("RMOB Stuff"), as defined below.  

Solopreneurs - I will build myself an independent job that generates independent income. I want to be my own boss. I generally do not want to be someone else's boss.  I am only willing to make overhead, managerial or capital investments that will cover my personal income needs and to sustain the business. I don't intend to significantly grow the business in terms of its size, scale, overhead, or managerial responsibilities. I am willing to spend significant time and resources on RMOB Stuff, but only enough to maintain the cruising altitude of the business. 

Entrepreneurs - I will build a company that generates independent income. I want to be my own boss and the boss of others. I am willing to make overhead, managerial and capital investments that will cover my personal income needs and the income needs of employees.  I am also willing to make such investments from my personal funds to sustain and grow the business.  I intend to significantly grow the business in terms of its size, scale, overhead, and managerial responsibilities over time. I am willing to spend significant time and resources on RMOB Stuff, including RMOB Stuff solely intended to grow the business over time.  I will consider raising money from others to sustain and grow the business.

"Running My Own Business Stuff": RMOB Stuff includes time spent on:

  • Marketing and sales
  • Budgeting and capital raising
  • Internal and external people management
  • Client and customer service
  • Company-level business planning, strategy and execution
  • Social media and website management, content creation, and maintenance
  • Administrative tasks such as invoicing, bill paying, bookkeeping & filing
  • Corporate "upkeep" such as licenses, certifications, annual filings, tax work
  • Other tasks that aren't the actual delivery of the company's service or product

RMOB Stuff also includes the management of third-party contractors or automation applications that accomplish those tasks on a service basis. You must be willing, able and competent (over time) in doing RMOB Stuff to be a solopreneur or entrepreneur. Many folks attempt to become entrepreneurs or solopreneurs and go back to being side hustlers and/or intra-preneurs after they realize they don't like doing - or they're just not good at - Running My Own Business Stuff.

Many realize they don’t want to be Entrepreneurs or Solopreneurs because they don’t want to do Running My Own Business Stuff!

UPSHOT:  There are 4 Entrepreneurial Types.  It's important to know your entrepreneurial type so you can have a strategic career plan for next year.  What do you need to learn to succeed as your current entrepreneurial type?  What do you need to learn or do to prepare yourself to transition to another entrepreneurial type?  Your 2018 goals, personal investments and career-building activities should change depending on who you are now and who you want to be! 

It’s important to know your entrepreneurial type so you can have a strategic career plan for next year.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Which Type are you?  Are you an I, SH, S or E?  Which do you want to be?

Let us know what you think in the comments! And please forward this to your colleagues and friends!

#happierbetter

-- Calvin

 

Stop Calling Them "Soft" Skills

How to perform legal research? *check*

How to write like a lawyer? *absolutely*

How to build a kick-ass personal brand, create a vision for your career, and effectively manage your time and stress?

*not so much*

Many junior lawyers are not taught these skills until later in their careers (if at all!) because they are considered "soft" skills. But don't let 'em fool you folks: These skills are not "soft"--they're actually HARD to learn and even harder to apply. You need to learn them sooner rather than later. These supposedly soft skills are often the biggest differentiator between successful and non-successful attorneys. Name a rock star law firm partner, general counsel or solo practitioner with a weak personal brand or business network.  You can't right? I'd argue you CAN'T be successful without these non-legal skills.  Why are they called "soft" skills then, if it's hard, if not impossible, to be successful without them? 

Why are they called “soft” skills if it’s hard, if not impossible, to be successful without them?

Personal branding is just the tip of the iceberg:  Here are 7 of these skills that all junior lawyers need.

Let's stop calling them soft skills, and you should make sure you're learning them as a part of your early development as a lawyer.  If you're a professional development person, make sure your junior lawyers are being trained on them early on.  As lawyers, we're overly biased towards our technical competencies.  The term "soft" skills wrongly diminishes the importance of the non-legal skills that are also key to success.  So let's stop calling them soft skills so that people will know they're important, and so they'll understand why you'll ask to be trained on them early in your career. 

The term “soft” skills wrongly diminishes the importance of the non-legal skills that are also key to your success.

So what should we call them?

I propose we call them "Wrap-Around Skills." I like "Wrap-Around Skills" because the phrase "wrap-around" reminds everyone that there are core skills you must have to be a successful lawyer, but that there are other necessary skills as well. It also illustrates that these skills support and compliment your core technical and legal competencies, rather than replace them.

Here's a previous blog post where I list and quickly discuss The Seven Wrap-Around Skills All Junior Lawyers Need.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you agree that we should stop calling them soft skills?

What do you think we should call them? Does "Wrap-Around Skills" work for you?

Let us know what you think in the comments! And please forward this to your colleagues and friends!

-- Calvin

 #happierbetter

 #happylawyers

 #letsgo