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What Makes a Good Entrepreneur?

Most business books and experts assert that there's just one kind of person who can be a successful entrepreneur.

To be an entrepreneur, they'll tell you, you have to be:

- A risk taker

- Extroverted

- A natural salesperson

- A leader of others

- Willing to work 'round the clock

- A visionary

It's a great list, but it's just not true.

Look around: You may know someone who's self-employed, making lots of money, yet hates risk so much he won't climb a ladder, or is painfully shy, or sleeps till noon.

Clearly, that person violates at least one of the supposedly necessary requirements to be a successful entrepreneur, yet he's doing well. Why? Because he's found a type of business that suits him, that's a good fit for his personality and work habits.

Can you, too, be a successful entrepreneur even if you don't fit the "normal" criteria? Absolutely!

The key is finding the right business for you - particularly the right kind of business for your "entrepreneurial type," or e-type.

People have different personalities and preferences, attitudes and abilities. These shape the way each one of us works best.

When it comes to finding a job, we understand this. We know that different careers suit different people. And if we haven't succeeded in one career, we often know it's because we haven't found the right "fit" yet.

So, when we're trying to figure out which job to apply for, or which career path to pursue, we do some self-examination. There are a variety of personality or career-aptitude tests we can take in school, career counseling centers, or on our jobs. Yet, when it comes to starting a business, we somehow think that only one kind of person can succeed.

But there are thousands of different kinds of businesses. These various businesses require different skill sets, different interests, different personality types, different working styles.

Defining your e-type is the first step in helping you find the right business opportunity for you. By understanding what type of entrepreneur you are - not what traits should be possessed by some hypothetical entrepreneur - you have a much better grasp of the types of businesses in which you can succeed. As important, you have a better sense of which kinds of businesses to avoid.

The good news? With so many different businesses to choose from, and businesses suited to all different e-types, you're certain to find a business that's right for you.

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Excerpted from "What Business Should I Start?" Copyright 2009 by Rhonda Abrams. To purchase the full book, visit www.planningshop.com.

Rhonda Abrams is the president of The Planning Shop, publisher of books for entrepreneurs. Her newest is "Successful Marketing: Secrets&Strategies." Register for her free business tips newsletter at www.PlanningShop.com.

Follow Rhonda on Twitter at RhondaAbrams.

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