What is the actual make-up of an entrepreneur? Does it take a certain personality, a mish mash of the right character traits, or a certain type of passion that a vast majority of people cannot tap into? Realistically, there’s not much science backing to help determine a real answer, but what about the next closest thing—personality tests? These types of tests are world renowned for pegging personality types on point, and they can take a step further by categorizing some of the most influential and successful entrepreneurs in history.
Personality tests have been used for fun, to steer a person in the right direction as far as schooling, career paths, or even within the home life. More specifically, it’s natural to wonder just what tell-tale signs a legitimate personality test could uncover in regards to the personality profile of an entrepreneur and what successes or failures could await them. To be clear, not just any personality test will be efficient in arbitrating a human being’s aptitude for entrepreneurship. Only a few select personality tests—all in splendidly differentiating forms—make the cut of an accredited psychological assessment that is tried and true, and could turn out to be a guiding beacon towards an entrepreneurial future. Let’s take a list at the seven personality tests that could reveal more insight than one ever thought possible.
1. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): “Perception involves all the ways of becoming aware of things, people, happenings, or ideas. Judgment involves all the ways of coming to conclusions about what has been perceived. If people differ systematically in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions, then it is only reasonable for them to differ correspondingly in their interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills.” ~Carl Jung
Without a doubt, the MBTI personality test is the most popular and well known in the world. This 93-question test is taken by over a million people a year and holds strong to Carl Jung’s theory on personality types. Though like any such psychological testing, it has been met with skepticism, and while the MBTI shouldn’t be the only assessment you utilize as a tool when searching for an entrepreneurial purpose, it is definitely a must have on your list of resources. Time and time again, universities, government entities, and big corporations have used the MBTI when searching for quality employees, professors, students, and future entrepreneurs.
How It Works: 16 personality types fall within 4 categories, which form a single psyche of a character wrapped up in a clever acronym. Of course, saying that the entire world can fit into just a 16 x 4 box should definitely be met with a suspended bit of disbelief, however there is some pretty solid logic behind it. Here are the 4 main categories broken down:
1. Favorite World: Does your focus like within you (Introversion) or with the outside world (Extraversion)?
2.Information: Do you process basic data as it comes to you for face value (Sensing) or do you interpret your own way and add more value to it (Intuition)?
3. Decisions: When making decisions, do you make those decisions objectively (Thinking) or subjectively (Feeling)?
4. Structure: Are you prone to making decisions immediately and moving on (Judging), or do you prefer to keep your options open for more information that the outside world could throw your way (Perceiving)?
After taking the MBTI test, you’ll come away with your very own four-letter acronym that covers the most important basis of your personality and character. It is said that the ENTP acronym is the ultimate representation of an entrepreneur personality, however there have been many exceptions to this rule. Just because you don’t fit that MBTI mold doesn’t mean you don’t have a bright entrepreneurial future ahead of you, and this again is why the MBTI shouldn’t be your only source for personality assessment.
2. DISC (Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance): “Realize what you really want. It stops you from chasing butterflies and puts you to work digging gold.” ~William Moulton Marston
Trailing close behind the accolades of the MBTI assessment is William Marston’s DISC behavioral test. Brought to us by a man who boasts a law degree, psychologist work, and the inventor of the polygraph test and the original Wonder Woman comic, Marston was the definition of a passionate entrepreneur in several different arenas. The DISC assessment—much like the MBTI—is taken by over a million people a year. The DISC hones in on the teamwork potential and the specific behavioral traits of a person, instead of just the individual personality itself. This is a brilliant tool when assessing the potential of a future successful entrepreneur and it can drastically help to increase the productivity and communication of a team based workforce. What’s great about this test is that it can be used once someone is already on a fruitful entrepreneurial path, to better relationship and adaptation skills.
How It Works: There are four key components to personality types: Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance. You take the assessment and you are rated for your top to bottom strengths in these four areas. One component in particular will be dominant over the other three.
1. Dominance: You prioritize accomplishing results, are confident and bold in your abilities.
2. Inducement: You are approachable, exceptional at forming relationships, and extremely persuading.
3. Submission: You are dependable and focus largely on cooperation and sincere authenticity.
4. Compliance: Your main priorities are always logical, as you prefer quality and competent work from an objective standpoint.
What’s exceptional about DISC behavior profiles is that unlike personality, behavior can be changed or coached. People tend to change within different environments (such as home and work), and this is something that can be transformed. DISC is really all about adapting and being flexible as you develop relationships with people of all different backgrounds and personalities.
3. VALS (Values, Attitudes, and Lifestyles): VALS is a different kind of assessment in that it focuses on your relationship as an entrepreneur with your customers. It helps you to better understand your market and what exactly it is that your client base really wants the most. This transforms you into an influential leader and keeps you ahead of the curve in your business. It helps you to build your brand and to showcase your value to your customers. In a sense, VALS is the perfect market research tool all wrapped up in an assessment.
How It Works: VALS breaks down the consumer personality into 8 types. 2 critical concepts are then merged with the personality type: primary motivation and resources. These last 2 concepts allow you to see just why and how a consumer will make choices the way that they do, which gives you a more accurate forecast advantage.
1. Innovators: These are dominant personalities who are confident and take charge.
2. Thinkers: These are well-informed personalities who are motivated by ideals.
3. Believers: These are moral personalities who are rooted in age-old values and traditions.
4. Achievers: These personalities are always pushed forward by goals and you will never meet an achiever who is ever satisfied with just one completed goal.
5. Strivers: These fun personalities are trendsetters that you always want to keep your eye on for marketing opportunities. They are the catalysts of the “word of mouth” success.
6. Experiencers: These personalities are usually younger and more rash and impulsive in their experiences.
7. Makers: These independent personalities are very hands on and are extremely resourceful.
8. Survivors: These cautious personalities are simple in their tastes and typically take a long time to think on something before they come to a decision. They are not big fans of change.
4. StrengthsFinder: This one-of-a-kind assessment is a special one, as it focuses on only strengths within a personality—not weaknesses. While areas of opportunity are always good to know about so that we can be our best selves, it’s refreshing to be able to examine the most positive attributes in detail. This test is especially wonderful for aiding in finding a purpose-driven life and to understand your own specific gifts that you offer as an entrepreneur.
How It Works: 34 “talent themes” are measured with this assessment. “Talents” are people’s natural gifts gauged by reoccurring feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. While the list is extensive, it features talent themes such as Achiever, Focus, Harmony, Relator, and Intellection. These themes are versatile and cover a wide span of what it means to be a passionate human being. By focusing on the best of our strengths, we are able to open our eyes to all the possibilities our natural gifts hold for us and what value we can offer the world.
5. Genius Test: “Every culture, nationality, and religion can also be understood as forming from a type. This philosophy on types is so grand in its applications that it instantly expands consciousness.” ~Bob Cooley
The Genius test is an out-of-the-box and albeit fairly new assessment of personality. The test pinpoints the “type” of a person, which is determined at the time of conception, and is better known as a genetic blueprint of who you are. The idea is that this “type” you are born with never changes, no matter what life’s conditions hand to you. This is a much more introspective test that helps you to really look inside yourself and in others completely bare and authentic. When someone can be viewed as a “type” over all other labels, it helps you to better connect and understand.
How It Works: This test involves a self-filmed, five minute video that is sent to the GPT Foundation in Boston, where founder Bob Cooley and his experts will watch the video and determine what genius type personality you are. Check out the 16, pretty self-explanatory types below:
1. The Genius of Decision Making and Devotion
2. The Genius of Freedom and Giving
3. The Genius of Truth and Power
4. The Genius of Perfection and Completion
5. The Genius of Sobriety and Self-Knowing
6. The Genius of Peace and Communication
7. The Genius of Unconditional Love and Right Action
8. The Genius of Creativity and Passion
9. The Genius of Mastery and Problem Solving
10. The Genius of Intimacy and Will
11. The Genius of Openness and Judiciousness
12. The Genius of Athletics and Community
13. The Genius of Hope and Honesty
14. The Genius of Understanding and Humor
15. The Genius of Change and Integrity
16. The Genius of Healing and Soul
6. Passion Test: This assessment is all about finding your true passion and it is the most vital test you can take on your journey as an entrepreneur. While it is the simplest of all the personality assessments featured, that doesn’t take away from its significance to your life and prosperity as an entrepreneur.
How It Works: Answer 7 simple rate-style questions that range from things like “I make decisions on what will help me live my passions most fully” and “I spend my days doing what I love, surrounded by people I love”. These questions are then analyzed into a personalized Passion Test Profile just for you. Your specific profile then gives you resources into how to find your true passion in life. While the specific Passion Profiles do not have titles, each question you answered is broken down and analyzed for you to better understand yourself.
7. Carol Tuttle’s Energy Profiles: Known as one of the best personality assessment tools out there, Energy Therapist Carol Tuttle’s Energy Profile test assesses both characteristics and behavior. The test is based around our DNA and how the components create every bit of our true selves. This is the perfect mirror for any person—or entrepreneur—to take a long, hard look in the mirror at themselves. It is a test that can help you understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and can help you grow.
How It Works: The test puts people into four different possible type categories. These “Four Types” as they are referred to come from the idea that we are made up of 4 main elements: nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Every person possesses a dominant strength in one of these 4 types.
1. Type 1, Nitrogen: Bubbly personality that attracts people easily and is an eternal optimist.
2. Type 2, Oxygen: Calm demeanor with a patient personality and a love for facts.
3. Type 3, Hydrogen: A natural born leader who is constantly on the move for action.
4. Type 4, Carbon: Objective and logical thinker with the intellectual gifts to innovate.