If you’ve spent, I don’t know, five whole minutes chatting with me it is very likely that the topic of Entrepreneurial Archetypes has come up. You’ll know that these archetypes are the reason you succeed with some systems, fail with others, and should ignore 99% of the cookie-cutter BS advice out there.
And of course, because I practice what I preach, I’ve applied the Archetype technology to my own business. For those of you who may not be familiar, let me give you the low-down on the three primary Entrepreneurial Archetypes:
Communicators: You’ll know when you meet a communicator, likely from the lack of direct eye contact. Head down into their laptops or their projects, they’re the accountants, tech-startup-founders, numbers guys and analytical geniuses. Go to a conference, and *if* you catch a glimpse of one in the wild, they’ll likely be there covering the event – and definitely not hosting or speaking. They have mad skills in technology, systems, processes, and things like growth hacking (Google it.) Think Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Computers? Yes. People? H-e-l-l no.
Supporter/Facilitators: This is likely most of you. In fact, it is about 60% of the entrepreneurial population. Supporter/Facilitators are comfortable having conversations. They like connecting people with each other. They may have some of their own ideas, but can appreciate the value of other perspectives as well. They are really kickass at organizing events, coaching/group coaching, leading small workshops and retreats, and doing collaborative promos. They have a tendency to get bogged down by the mechanical/technical/analytical aspects, because they are so relationship based and *need* that one-on-one interaction. Think Oprah.
Experts: I have one client like this, out of all of them. I spoke with someone else today who was clearly an expert. You’ll know when you meet one, not because they’re hiding in the back of the room like the communicators but because they’re commanding the stage no matter where they are in the space. They have an energy that is unmistakable. They enter a room with all the presence of a freight train – you can’t help but notice. On the plus side, they definitely command attention – on the down side, they’re horrible at building their own audience. They speak to stadiums, have a lot of their own specific ideas, and can enchant anyone around them. Think Tony Robbins or Jim Carrey.
That is just a cursory explanation, but now that you have a crash-course in Entrepreneurial Archetypes, we can explore this idea of evolution. So let’s ask the question:
Can an entrepreneur evolve from one archetype to another?
I’m facing this question now, in my own business. Classically, I have been the Communicator archetype. I would obsessively check my Google Analytics, my mailing list statistics, my open and click through rates. They were my metrics for success and I held onto them. I hid behind my computer screen, always vying for those numbers to increase so that my success would increase with them. And of course, it worked.
In the past, I always viewed archetypes as static – something we’re born with, like our hair colour. It is what it is, and we can try to mask it but it will always be that way at the core.
But now, I’m finding myself changing. When I think of a new project, I’m not thinking of how I can implement a system/process/machine to create it for me, I’m thinking of who I can get involved. Working with clients isn’t about the volume of contacts or the amount of money they make in their businesses, it is about the quality of relationships we build and the quality of life they receive as a result.
It would appear as though I have evolved from classic Communicator into a Supporter/Facilitator role – which could have major impacts for my business in the future.
Rather than publishing ecourses in text form, video could come next. Instead of putting out a home-study course, a private retreat could be in the cards. It would change things dramatically.
And so if we consider it possible for an entrepreneur to evolve from one archetype to another, we have to ask – is this a linear evolution? In other words…
Do we go from hiding to shining in our full glory?
Or is this more of a shift that can go in any direction, at any time? Can you go from Expert to Communicator? Can your archetype change based on your own personal growth in any direction, or do you grow from hiding in the background to shining in the light?
I want to hear from you – have you evolved? Has your archetype changed? Where on the spectrum did you fit when you were younger vs. now? Let’s see if we can find the answer together, and I’ll share any insights along the way!