There are personality types that are doing well in the pandemic, and others that might be struggling. The people who are struggling? Extroverts have a big circle of friends and spend most of their time chasing big dreams. These are people who like to be out in a crowd, stand out, and take action. A lot of the time, these people are known as an ESTP, or “The Entrepreneur.”
Do you know an ESTP in your life? Someone who has a bold vision and knows how to build a strong team to carry out that vision? We’ll be breaking down what it means to be an ESTP, the strengths and weaknesses of an ESTP, and much more. Get ready to get business-savvy!
Not sure if you're an ESTP? Learn more about the Myers Briggs Test to find out!
What Does ESTP Stand For?
Each of the 16 personality types consists of four different traits. These traits, as well as the personality types themselves, were developed by mother-daughter duo Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Briggs. The elements that make an ESTP such a great entrepreneur are Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, and Perception.
First, E is for extrovert (as opposed to introvert.) This indicates that an ESTP is likely to seek out external stimulation rather than internal thoughts and feelings. After a long day at the office, an extrovert is more likely to unwind by talking on the phone with friends, instead of sitting alone with a cup of tea or a book. They love being around people! This often leads people to think that extroverts are loud, bold, and outgoing. This isn’t always the case, but extroverts certainly prefer a crowded room over a quiet museum.
S is for sensing (as opposed to intuition.) This is also identified as “observant.” Rather than relying on intuition, ESTPs use real-time facts and observations to interpret what is happening around them. They look for the most obvious solutions and use straightforward, logical methods of thinking to help them get there. Sometimes, the most obvious solution creates the most innovative businesses.
T is for thinking (as opposed to feeling.) People who lean toward thinking over feeling draw conclusions from the head rather than the heart. They are more likely to make a judgment based on thoughts, perceptions, and analysis instead of where their emotions are leading them.
Finally, P is for perception (as opposed to judgment.) Although “judgers” tend to enjoy structure, people with perceptions of their personality type are likely to keep their options open. (This is also known as “prospecting.” They logically see all of the possibilities in front of them and know that there is always more to learn about a situation. This open mind allows them to see innovations that others might not. Open minds also make great leaders.
When all of this comes together, you get a person who is likely to see a solution and work with people to share that solution with the world. Entrepreneurs not only need to have a vision, but they also need to have people skills to convince people of their vision and to work with them to see it through. This is why an ESTP is called “The Entrepreneur.” They are also known as “The Dynamo.” Their high-energy personality and openness to an exciting journey certainly make for a dynamic life and personality.
In addition to four traits, each personality type performs four functions. These functions, from the dominant to the inferior function, map out how Entrepreneurs make decisions about the world and move forward on their entrepreneurial journey.
The dominant function of ESTP types is Extroverted Sensing (Se.) This function gives ESTPs a very outgoing personality, always seeking stimulation through their senses & present experiences. They use their senses to interpret the world around them but are grounded in reality. They also have high energy and like to act on things at the moment rather than procrastinate.
The auxiliary function of ESTP types is Introverted Thinking (Ti.) This function provides ESTPs a logical framework to filter their experiences and understandings that aren’t logical. Their introverted thinking keeps them very self-disciplined, causing them to get their job/priorities accomplished without any help. This also gives them excellent observational skills.
The tertiary function of ESTP types is Extroverted Feeling (Fe.) This function plays a huge role in the determination of ESTPs. They act to make the world a better place, which causes them to have humanitarian qualities and the tendency to people-please.
Last (and kind of least) is the inferior function of ESTP Types: Introverted Intuition (Ni.) This function can often become a weakness of ESTP personalities. Introverted Intuition causes ESTPs to seek out connections to provide certain instincts about situations. However, if this function is poorly developed, it can cause them to feel inaccurate “gut feelings” that lead them to jump to flawed conclusions.
Real-Life Examples of Famous ESTPs
Now, not all ESTPs go down the entrepreneurial path, but many do! These visionaries also become actors, performers, even the writer of science fiction works that turn into an entire religion. One thing binds all of these ESTPs together: their vision. Here are some of the most-famous ESTPs:
- John Wayne
- Kevin Spacey
- Meryl Streep
- Harry Houdini
- Lucille Ball
- Sylvester Stallone
- Mike Tyson
- L. Ron Hubbard
- Al Capone
- Amy Winehouse
- Alfred Hitchcock
ESTPs make great architects, property managers, and of course, CEOs.
Strengths and Weaknesses of ESTP
You might be able to guess some of the strengths that ESTPs have in common. These are people who are not afraid to go against the grain or try out something big. The thrill of taking risks often leads to the thrill of reaping great rewards. These are some common strengths that ESTPs can use to build a business or just go about their everyday lives:
- Rationality & Practicality
- Direct Communication Skills
- Social Abilities
- Can-Do Attitude
High risks may also lead to high losses. An entrepreneur’s desire to take risks isn’t always considered a “strength.” Entrepreneurs may also fall short because they tend to have the following weaknesses:
- Inability to live within a structure
- Tendency to judgment
- Fear of Commitment
Basic Stats of ESTPs
Not everyone can be an entrepreneur! This personality type only exists in 4% of the population! The ESTPs you meet are more likely to be men. ESTPs make up 6% of all men and 3% of women.
Working and Living with ESTPs
ESTPs are not always well-liked, but those that understand their personality type just know that they are underestimated! People with an ESTP personality normally thrive among people and live their lives as this big visionary, shaping the world through innovative solutions and exciting ideas. Many of these entrepreneurs may have found exciting ways to bring people together during the pandemic, although their disconnection from people was certainly a struggle.
We often make assumptions that everyone thinks, perceives, judges, and senses the world in the same ways we do. That’s just not the case! These differences are often what causes tension between personality types. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you work, live, or hang out with an ESTP, getting to know the ins and outs of their personality is crucial to building a strong relationship.
Working with ESTPs
ESTPs approach every project with excitement, vigor, and larger-than-life ideas. Take it from a fellow ESTP on Reddit on how to work with ESTPs:
“When working on a task with another ESTP, we always hype each other up big time, where it will be bigger, better, more revolutionary than EVERYTHING ever done before! It will almost look like a competition on who can come up with the most badass idea.
Then when actually working the task we come to the conclusion that this bigger better thing is quite the task so we bring it back down again to actual life sized proportions. And that's good enough. Even if it doesn't fit the exact thing that was asked for anymore after we blew it up and shrank it again, people are always pleasantly surprised.”
Not every ESTP can approach every day at work with that type of process. But not every day at work should be about taking huge risks and brainstorming the next big thing. If you are working below an ESTP whose head is always in the clouds, you have to be flexible but firm. The idea that the ESTP has on Monday may change radically by Friday. Be clear when you communicate (in writing) with an ESTP that you are going to start making the big ideas come to life. Work diligently, but don’t take offense when the direction has to change. If those big changes are taking you way off course, don’t be afraid to communicate that. ESTPs need to be brought down to reality sometimes. If that has to be you, bring them down boldly to match their energy.
Friendships with ESTPs
In personal relationships, ESTPs are very exciting and focused on having fun in the present moment. They bring their enthusiastic personality into their relationships, making the best of every situation they spend with the people in their lives. However, they get bored easily and may move from relationship to relationship.
Romantic Relationships and ESTP Compatibility
In romantic relationships, they aren’t focused on future commitments– if anything, they try to stay away. Their goal in romantic relationships is to have surprising, new, and exciting experiences together. If their partner can’t keep up with their thrilling needs, they will want to move on. The best match for an ESTP is an ISFJ or ISTJ. They share their observant nature in common, but otherwise, they balance each other out. ISFJs can support an ESTP’s big plans, but also reel them in when things get too risky.
Assertive vs. Turbulent ESTP
The 16 personality types have been around for decades, which means they have been under the figurative microscope quite a bit! While many personality psychologists still read and learn about the original 16 personality types, changes have been made to how we categorize people. In fact, a separate set of traits has been identified to even further categorize each personality type. ESTPs are either assertive or turbulent: ESTP-A or ESTP-T:
Assertive ESTPs (ESTP-A) are very confident individuals who believe in their ability to achieve success in their pursuits. In the face of challenges, they get a sense of motivation to overcome obstacles. They are also more likely to act relaxed in social situations.
For turbulent ESTPs, (ESTP-T,) making small decisions or facing conflict can feel overwhelming, making them indecisive. Turbulent ESTPs are less likely to have control over their emotions and will experience surprising feelings on occasion. They are very courageous, but unlike assertive types, they are more hesitant, saving them from making poor judgments or impulsive mistakes.