Entrepreneurship isn’t usually the most natural path for the traditionally minded ESFJ type to take. But when they do find themselves drawn this way, they have a lot of skills that can be of great benefit to their own business.
Vision and Insight
ESFJs are often reluctant to innovate. They prefer tried and true procedures, products and ideas, things that have stood the test of time and are commonly accepted by all, and often actively resist new ideas and ways of doing things. As a result, they don’t have a lot of insight and don’t often move into entrepreneurship. This is the result of their introverted sensing auxiliary, which uses the past to determine the value of the present. This function also means that ESFJs usually prefer having the security and the stability of a previously established business around them. To them, the risks that come with entrepreneurship are very often too dangerous for them to even consider.
Emotional Strengths and Weaknesses
ESFJs are passionate people who are driven by their emotions. Their dominant function is extraverted feeling and this is their decision making function and determines the criteria on which they base their decisions as well. As a result, any business that an ESFJ sets up will probably involve something they’re really passionate about, something that helps others or the world as a whole in some way. And because ESFJs are so passionate about helping other people, having this kind of aim will drive them forward through the many things they don’t enjoy about the process.
ESFJs take failures and obstacles on their path quite hard. This is because of their extraverted feeling function, which is very aware of social norms and social rules and makes them reluctant to act outside of their boundaries. So if they fail or if their idea is questioned in some way they’ll assume that they did something wrong, something they shouldn’t have done. And this can completely derail their efforts and even put them off going into business on their own. ESFJs need to work to overcome this issue if they want to be successful in entrepreneurship.
ESFJs usually have very good workplace relationships as entrepreneurs and as business leaders. This type likes to help others and because of their introverted sensing auxiliary, this desire has a practical bent. It means that they’re always happy to help in some way, to take action to make others feel better and happier. This makes them very good bosses who are focused enough on the workers to make them feel valued and happy but it can sometimes get in the way of them establishing good business practices.
ESFJs can take criticism very hard no matter where it comes from. This type are extremely sensitive to the opinions and emotions of the people around them and so when they’re criticized they take it to heart. These criticisms don’t even have to be verbal, the ESFJ is so sensitive to emotion that they can easily sense if others disapprove of them in some way and will often react badly to it. ESFJs need to learn to overcome this issue because they can’t please everyone, particularly if they want to run a successful business.
Social Skills and Networking
ESFJs love to talk and socialize and interact with other people. This is their greatest strength as entrepreneurs and in business and often it’s the source of their success as well. ESFJs use extraverted feeling as their dominant function so they’re instinctively aware of what others are feeling and are driven to act to meet their needs and wants. This kind of altruism encourages others to trust them, which is a great benefit during networking activities. This need to help others can sometimes get in the way of the business activities, but as long as they manage to use these skills to help others through their business they can do very well in this career path.
In the Planning Stage
ESFJs usually aren’t long term planners. People of this type are focused on the present and the past and don’t usually think about planning for the future. But they also have a strong sense of duty and a powerful attachment to doing the right thing according to societal values and so when they have to plan they’re usually quite good at it. An ESFJ will happily fill out paperwork and apply for loans, happy to be doing the traditional and official things that they have to do to make their business work. They may struggle more when it comes time to plan for more abstract things, such as the future direction or purpose of their business, and will usually need a more innovative partner to help with this side of things.
ESFJs aren’t natural risk-takers and this will be obvious throughout every stage of their business planning. In fact, they’re unlikely to move into entrepreneurship unless they feel safe, and this means they’ll have all the assets and support they could ever want or need set up before they even think about taking this step. This preference will drive them to have the money they need without taking out loans and it will also dictate how they run and direct their business once it’s set up.
Building the Business
ESFJs are very attached to their own rules, routines and schedules and they’ll bring these preferences into their business as well. However, they usually won’t be innovative or very flexible in how they implement and use these tools. Instead they’re more likely to implement routines and schedules that they’ve had good experiences with in the past. But ESFJs will lead through example in this aspect of their business, so will be very happy to work according to the rules they put into place.
ESFJs are altruistic people who don’t always seem like a natural fit for entrepreneurship. People of this type enjoy the structures and rules of traditional workplaces, and are often reluctant to go out on their own. But as long as their business is based on helping others in some way, they can enjoy setting up their own business and find a lot of meaning in the process.