Is Design Entrepreneur An Oxymoron?

You don't have to be a psychologist to have heard of the Myers Briggs Personality Test. Developed in the 1940s and working off of Carl Jung's earlier discovery of personality types, this tool is widely used today to help people find careers that best suit their sensibilities.

People are scored across four dimensions:

  • Introversion/Extroversion - Are You Inner or Outer Focused?
  • Sensing/Intuition - How Do You Take In Information?
  • Thinking/Feeling - How Do You Make Decisions?
  • Judging/Perceiving - How Open Are You To New Ideas?

The results of this test tell a person which of the 16 possible personality types her personality most resembles, which, in turn, can help match her with her dream job. So, which personality type does a design entrepreneur have?

Well, that’s where things get interesting.

Designers are most likely to present as INFPs (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving), which means that they generally have an inward focus and gather information intuitively, rather than through the five senses. They also tend to make decisions based on feelings instead of logic, and they are open to new and ambiguous ideas. Generally, this is the personality type that corresponds the best with creative people.

Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are most likely to present as ESTPs (Extroverted, Sensory, Thinking, Perceiving), which means that they generally have an outward focus and gather information through their five senses, rather than using intuition. They tend to make decisions based on thoughts, rather than feelings, but, like designers, they also are open to new and different ideas.

So, it seems that the only common trait that designers and entrepreneurs share is their openness to new ideas. Perhaps, this one quality is the glue that holds these two seemingly incongruent personality types together. Or, maybe, design entrepreneurs are the 17th type!

"It is hard to capture everything Eric brings to the table in just three attributes. He is a very creative designer who has learned to balance his creative expertise with a professional and personable business side. He commits to deadlines and budgets, which when he helped us with a project for one of our largest clients, it made a significant impact on the success of the project. I would highly recommend him for any project."
Chris Beauchamp, Director of Client Engagement, The Institute for Generative Leadership

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