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Table: Recognize Yourself?


You know you're perfectly sane. But that doesn't mean you can't be pigeonholed by your attitudes, foibles, and neuroses. It's a pseudo-science known as psychographics, and people who study small biz say it brings a sense of order to a diverse group. One problem: Psychographic definitions can get pretty diverse, too, depending on the focus. Some samples:

Self Image (Warrillow & Co.)

Mountain Climbers (10% of entrepreneurs)

Insatiable appetite for achievement. Live for fast growth. Win awards and media coverage. Demand excellence.

Freedom Fighters (30%)

Value independence above all. Started own company to "call the shots." Want to build a successful business and still have a life.

Crafts-people (60%)

Don't think of themselves as small-biz owners. Defined by profession (jeweler, plumber, caterer) and value mastery of craft.

Work Habits (Pitney Bowes/Yankelovich)

Idealists (24%)

Passionate about an idea they want to bring to life, but dislike details of running a business and finance. Seek work-life balance.

Optimizers (21%)

Enjoy their work. Seek efficiency. Savvy on finance and tech. Focus on profits, not size. Confident, happy with work-life balance.

Hard Workers (20%)

Growth, growth, growth--whatever it takes. Want a bigger company with growth in revenue, staff. They sweat all the details.

Jugglers (20%)

Worriers and control freaks. Pressed for time. Proud of ability to juggle. Want to grow to "promised land" where worries are over.

Sustainers (15%)

Just trying to make a living. Wants comfort, stability and to keep things the way they are. Good work-home balance. Not into technology.

By Objective (Wunderman/Cato/Johnson)

Success (20%)

Optimists who want to win. They value quick growth, money and material possessions. They want control and status.

Big Idea (16%)

Risk taking mavericks who seek social validation and creative fulfillment. Informal, intuitive, value self-satisfaction.

People (23%)

Want to create a good place to work and do business. Integrate work, home, community. Value emotional support, loyalty, respect.

Security (10%)

The Goal: Less stress, more leisure time. Value integrity. Cautious but optimistic.

Survival (31%)

Pessimists. Feel put upon, just want to stay in business.


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