Science has come up with a formula for finding out if you are likely to become an entrepreneur, and it all boils down to personality type.
Researchers studying the Myers-Briggs personality types have found that extroverts are far more likely to be self-employed than their introverted counterparts.
Myers-Briggs is a popular tool used by businesses worldwide which categorises you into a personality type by using a series of detailed questions.
A study from Truity Psychometrics, a business that provides online personality and career assessments, showed that of the top eight personality types who tend to become their own bosses, six of them are extroverts.
The most prevalent entrepreneur personality is the ENTP type – that is, people with a preference for Extroversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Perceiving with 13.5% of people in this category being self-employed according to the study.
This tool is usually used by large corporations to help define the types of people best suited to certain roles, but it has also been used to predict success in entrepreneurship.
It is broken down into four main verticals.
- Sens-Intuitive (Is the preference towards facts or abstract concepts?)
- Thinking-Feeling (Is problem solving done through reasoning or empathizing?)
- Judgment/Perception (Is there a need for structure in thought or is thinking more free and easy?)
Molly Owens, CEO of Truity, said the reasons for extroverts becoming entrepreneurs were largely down to the skills needed to strike out on their own.
She said: “Founders typically have to locate and pitch clients, hold regular meetings with employees, actively seek out networking opportunities, and do lots of other things that require them to be outgoing and expressive.”
The second most common entrepreneurial type, according to the Truity report is ENFP (extrovert, intuition, feeling and perception). Examples of well-known ENFPs are the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and media entrepreneur Adrianna Huffington.
As being an extrovert is common amongst the self-employed, it is interesting that the third most popular personality is INTP. This could be due to the digital age where being a digital expert can mask being outgoing. Famous INTPs include Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, and Sergei Brin who co-founded Google.
Their fellow tech giant alumni Mark Zuckerberg is firmly an INTJ. Elon Musk, who founded Paypal and electric car business Tesla is also another who counts himself as an introvert.
The personality type that is least likely to become an entrepreneur is the ISFP, with only 3.5 per cent of these types being seen as future self-starters. This personality type tends to be better suited to creative types who have talent but tend to seem uncomfortable with being in the limelight like Pharell Williams, Steven Spielberg and Apple designer Jonathan Ives.
The above information on personality types should be taken with a pinch of salt as there are only 16 types and not everyone will fall strictly into one category. The test, however, has proven to be more accurate than others, used by several employers worldwide to ascertain suitability in filling a role.