One of the important lessons in entrepreneurship is to figure out your goal: Do you want to run a small business forever? Grow into a multinational corporation? Or do you want to sell as fast as possible? Your business should fit your personality and your vision for your life.
New York magazine profiles a drug dealer trying to find an exit strategy for his mid-size company. Which sells cocaine, of course. Believe it or not, there’s a market for drug dealerships. And you can tell this guy is an overachiever in the business world because he keeps his client list on an Excel spreadsheet.
Here’s how he explains his plan: “The rule in any business is that you don’t sell your company for what it makes in a year, but for what it makes in two or three or four years, right? Well in my business, you can’t do that. Someone gets arrested and — boom– it’s over. So you gotta sell it based on what you make in, like, six months.”
For those of you who are thinking about entrepreneurship in a less life-threatening product category, try taking Pairwise’s entrepreneurial personality test (scroll down the page to find it). This test tells you if you have the personality similar to other scrappy Internet company founders who Y Combinator has funded.
Y Combinator typically funds young technical-type guys in college or just out of college, (although every time I write this, Y Combinator asks me to say that this is an overstatement and they actually fund a wide range of people.) If you know you are not this type even without taking the test, and you know you can’t stomach the drug trade, there’s still hope.
Current research from the academics says that there is no one personality type for a successful entrepreneur. There are so many ways to be an entrepreneur today that you can create a business to fit your strengths.