The three types of business owner

Hi, everyone. It’s Nishi from N Accounting. I hope you’re having a great day, and you had a really good Christmas and New Years. So, in today’s video what I wanted to do is talk about the three different types of business owner that you’ll come across while you’re running a business yourself or in your professional career.

So the reason I want to discuss the three different types is because a lot of people look at the likes of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and Elon Musk, and they think, “Well, this is what every business owner should be like.” And what I wanted to do is just explain, actually, there are other types of business owner, and it’s really, really important to understand that you don’t all have to be like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos. As long as you are true to the type of business owner you want to be, then that’s where you really make progress.

So what inspired me to really make this video was I was watching an interview yesterday between John Warrilow, who is the writer of a book called Built to Sell. And Built to Sell is probably one of the best business books ever written, in my opinion. One of them. There’s a few other really good ones, but one of the things John Warrilow says is there’s essentially three types of business owner, and the three types are essentially mountain climbers, then you’ve got freedom fighters, and then John Warrilow talks about craftsmen, but I prefer the term artisans because then it’s a bit less sexist. Yeah, so three types of business owner are essentially mountain climbers, freedom fighters, and artisans. So that’s your three. And I just wanted to give you an understanding of what drives each one of those types of business owner, and maybe a couple of examples if I can find them.

So as I mentioned, you’ve got the lights of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, and they are in a group called the mountain climbers. So these are the people that want to be the first, although I know Everest has already been summited, but they want to be the first to achieve something. Maybe for the industry, but usually it’s for humanity. So these are the mountain climbers. And people look at mountain climbers and think, “Wow, they’re absolutely amazing. They’re doing stuff we couldn’t have imagined.” And that is great. But what people don’t realize is for every Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, there’s probably another 1000 that fell by the wayside, because mountain climbing is a very risky profession. And when you are the kind of business owner who can identify as a mountain climber, you run a business in a very risky way. You are really going for the high stakes game, but that often means that you will readily run out of cash.

And an interesting thing about mountain climbers is they want to achieve their objective for their industry regardless of the cost. So Jeff Bezos quite early on in Amazon, he gave … Not gave away, but he sold off a large part of Amazon’s equity just to help him build up Amazon. And in hindsight that’s a great thing, but that leads me onto the next group of people who are very, very different.

So the next group of business owners are called the freedom fighters. These are the people who have possibly not always got on the well at work when they work for other people. And when they set up their own business, they said, “The most important thing to me is being able to run the business in the way I want to run it.” So this group called the freedom fighters is very, very different to the mountain climbers, because the mountain climbers will shoot for extraordinary goals and aim to achieve them.

And they will make a lot of packs with a lot of people and a lot of compromises to get to those goals. Whereas freedom fighters, often their goals are a little bit more achievable, or I’m not going to use the word less ambitious because that’s not right, but their goals are often not as extreme as those of the mountain climbers. But what they’ve said is, “Okay, well I’m going to do it on my own in a way which means I retain control of everything that goes on in the business.” And more importantly, I retain control of my life. So that’s what the freedom fighters do. And really they’re very different to the mountain climbers because they’re not willing to give up control. And in instances where they do end up having to give up control, maybe because they’ve given away shares, they end up very, very unhappy.

So those are the freedom fighters. So the last group of business owners are what I call the artisans, that John Warrilow would call the craftsmen. So the artisans though, they want to achieve mastery of their particular profession. So it could be the dentist who wants to build something in their industry that the industry hasn’t seen before. Whereas the mountain climber is more about achieving mastery for humanity and doing something that’s never been done, the craftsmen and the artisans, they’re more about achieving mastery for their industry and doing the one thing they do well, really, really, really well. But one of the challenges with the artisans, and most inventors … Sorry, I’m going to get backlash here. But a lot of inventors will end up in this category because essentially inventors are great at building things that people need, but they don’t always think about the margins. And the artisans are a group of people that will often sacrifice their margins, and sometimes their freedom, just to build that perfect product. So they really go for that perfection.

So the reason I’m telling you all this about the three different kinds of business owner is a lot of people unnaturally push themselves into a category they don’t belong. Because they don’t realize the other categories for business owners actually exist. So if you are there running a business where you wanted freedom and you wanted that lifestyle business, then don’t feel bad for not being an Elon Musk or a Jeff Bezos, and don’t try and do the things they do, because while some of them are good, some of them will also take you away from your end goals. And if you’re an artisan and you really just want to make that perfect product, then you can still make a very healthy, healthy business by doing that. But it’s when you start compromising on build building that really good quality product, just so you can be a bit more like Jeff Bezos, or you can have a bit more freedom, that’s when you’ll go wrong as well. So the key reason behind this video is just recognize whatever you want to do with your business, there’s a category that fits that, and it’s okay to do it the way you want.

That said though, what we specialize in doing is helping people achieve what they really want from their business. So sometimes we work with freedom fighters who just want to free up their time, but still get a healthy income coming in. Obviously we’ll always encourage them to build the best quality product possible. And then we also work with the artisans who’ve just got this amazing product, but they need to actually monetize it to get to a point where they can pay their bills, and feed their families, and have a good lifestyle.

What I’m talking about is our APEX program. It’s designed to get you to where you want in your business. So if you found this video useful, if you are interested in learning a bit more about a good accountant can support the growth of your business, then please get in touch and book yourself in for a free strategy session. So Happy New Year everyone, and look forward to seeing you at the next video.

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