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.
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)
Passionate about an idea they want to bring to life, but dislike details of running a business and finance. Seek work-life balance.
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.
Worriers and control freaks. Pressed for time. Proud of ability to juggle. Want to grow to "promised land" where worries are over.
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)
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.
Want to create a good place to work and do business. Integrate work, home, community. Value emotional support, loyalty, respect.
The Goal: Less stress, more leisure time. Value integrity. Cautious but optimistic.
Pessimists. Feel put upon, just want to stay in business.