Towards the end of 2013, the RSA and Etsy launched The Power of Small project , which examines the growth in microbusiness and what it all means for us. The first report has recently been published and shows a huge increase in the number of self employed in this country, which seems to be a conscious choice and not determined by lack of employment opportunities.

In short, the self-employed have fewer holidays, feel more isolated, and work longer hours for less money than their employed cousins. But they think it’s worth it, as they feel more satisfied with their working lives, do more meaningful work, have more flexibility and can use their talents to the full.

That last point is a sad indictment of modern management practices, where clearly people don’t feel they use their talents to the full. Does any of this chime with your experience?

The study identified 6 “tribes” of self-employed:

Dabblers:              usually part timers, hobby based, or retirees looking for interesting activities

Independents:     freedom loving, internet based creatives, often young

Survivors:            reluctant hard working, struggling to make ends meet

Classical:             perhaps older, typical entrepreneurs, profit driven, business is everything

Locals:                 usually stress free, low tech, local community based

Visionaries:        optimistic, growth orientated, mission and purpose

We had already identified 4 tribes in our research, which correspond well to the RSA findings.

Survivors:          hardworking, good technically, lacks general business knowhow, risk averse

Low growth:      energetic, ambitious, determined. Don’t know who to trust, don’t let go

Lifestyle:           learn from mistakes, do well, decision making sometimes irrational, inconsistent risk evaluation

High potential: build the business for capital not income; go for growth, heart and soul

Each tribe has strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats and development routes.

Would you like to know which tribe you are in? And what you can do to make a better life for yourself and your family?

We have developed a Tribe Development Tool which will give you a report on the type of entrepreneur you are, what strengths and weaknesses you may have, and a development route so you can capitalise on the good bits and reduce your risks. Reports have to be generated individually rather than automatically at the moment, but it is free. You just have to ask.