Your Personality at Work

Self Employment for the Myers Briggs Types: The Rationals

Note: If you don’t know your Myers Briggs Type, click here for a free, quick test to find out.

Rationals (NT) are probably the most adept of the four temperaments at brainstorming ideas. In fact, if you get a big group of them together, have them sit at a large, round table, and give them a topic, they’ll be able to talk at length for hours and hours, coming up with some amazing and insightful ideas that are both unusual and effective.

The only problem? It takes more than good ideas to get a business off the ground! This is where Rationals will need to focus the most of their energy – in follow-through and taking action. It is very easy for your average NT to get caught up in his or her brilliant schemes but then not actually follow through and make it a reality. Usually NTJs are a bit better in this area, as they instinctively realize that a good idea is meaningless if it isn’t put to some use.

Still, an NT can be a brilliant and strategic business owner. They will conceptualize, problem solve and troubleshoot (and rather enjoy this process) to no end, and for this reason often make great planners when working with a large company. NTs do often become disillusioned working for others, especially if they don’t respect the intellectual capabilities of their “higher ups.”

For these reasons, NTs can be great entrepreneurs. Some of the best new business ventures are undertaken by Rationals every day.

ENTJ – The Fieldmarshall

Most ENTJs start out working for other people. This never lasts more than about five seconds. An ENTJ is second to none, and they are not afraid to let you know it. They quickly become great business leaders with vision and determination. ENTJs are unafraid to take on responsibilities and are fearless when making decisions (and unafraid to step on someone else’s toes if necessary!) It isn’t a matter of “how” an ENTJ can escape the rat race. More a matter of when.

How ENTJ can flee the rat race

Did you know that your type has the highest average salary of all the myers briggs types? (According to Typology Central) Why is this? Well, perhaps it’s something about the way you convince others that you are worth more. You have high self-esteem, so don’t be afraid to show it on the job. Come up with a business plan of action, use your great networking capabilities, keep accurate records and you should have no trouble running your own business. You and entrepreneurship are made for each other like butter to toast.

  • Strategize and plan. Brainstorm some good ideas
  • Network and use your contacts to create business
  • Let others know that you can be counted on to get the job done and deliver as promised
  • Once people have faith in your idea/company, continue to grow and be mindful of competitors. What are they doing that you can do better?

It would be difficult to conceive of an ENTJ content to work in a lowly job or be bossed around. They are much too intelligent and hard-driving to ever let this happen. It seems almost like an afterthought writing this guide for this type, as most ENTJs have all the tools necessary to be wonderful entrepreneurs.

Areas of Self-Employment for ENTJ

  • Small Business Startup
  • Franchising
  • Investing
  • Business Consulting
  • Sales
  • Product Design and Distribution

ENTP – The Inventor

In the outset of this article I asked you to image a room full of Rationals (NT) sitting around and brainstorming ideas. Remember how I said that nothing might get done? Multiply this problem by about ten and you will have a room full of ENTPs. This type loves to sit around, brainstorm, invent, create, and conceptualize. But once the project has begun, an ENTP can easily lose interest. For this type, the idea is far more exciting than the follow-through of their creation! It can be a real struggle for an ENTP to see a project through to it’s completion. This will be a stumbling point when building a business, but it’s not insurmountable.

How ENTP can flee the rat race

Focus, focus, focus. When you come up with a great new idea (and it certainly will be great, for you have the “genius” gene) write it down. Keep doing this with as many ideas as you get. Done? Good. Now, choose the idea that you feel has the best chance for success in the business world. Focus on nothing but this until the idea fails, or it succeeds. No quitting. No in-betweens. Get it done. If you have more of your brilliant and attractive ideas along the way that are unrelated to your original idea, keep a notebook and write them down, or share them with friends. Do not get sidetracked!

  • Choose one good idea to turn into a business venture
  • While focusing on your one good idea, if you get more, write them down for later
  • Generate contacts and clients by generating excitement for your idea. It will help keep you passionate and focused
  • Hire an SJ to keep records and keep track of your financial operations for you. Your type is sometimes bad with money.

ENTPs are brilliant people. A little bit out there, sure, but bloody brilliant. Others will marvel at your ideas, business ideas and conceptions for a better world. If anything, you owe it to the world to see that your ideas see the light. Do not get lost in idea-world and forget about reality!

Areas of Self-Employment for ENTP

  • Product Design and Sales
  • Internet and Web Design/Marketing
  • Travel
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Sales
  • Event Planning

INTJ – The Mastermind

While a bit more cautious and careful than some of the other NTs, an INTJ is still a wonderful “ideas person.” The difference between INTJ and, say, and ENTP, is that INTJ has the enviable ability to focus and put their ideas into action. Because they are diligent and hardworking as well as brilliant and original, an INTJ can do anything they set their minds to. They are actually very astute business owners, great at planning and without too much trouble following through. The challenge for an INTJ is in marketing their skills. They are observers by nature: often shy, reserved and humble, sometimes a bit hesitant to share their skills with the world.

How INTJ can flee the rat race

You need to gain confidence in yourself and your abilities. Your ideas are wonderful! Get out there and market them to others! By nature you like to sit back and observe, taking things in and formulating your own opinions and reactions slowly. In the business world, you’ll have to get better at making quick decisions and going on instinct. Learn to be comfortable with your ideas “exposed for the world to see” and you will go far.

  • Come up with a great business plan
  • Perfect and analyze this plan to your hearts content, until you are very comfortable and confident in its eventual success
  • Take this plan into the world and force yourself to market and network (difficult for your type, but necessary!)
  • Hire an extravert if necessary as a marketing director
  • Build your business slowly over time so you can continue to strategize and change direction if necessary

Because INTJs are so observant and have penetrating insight to people and concepts, they are often great at running their own businesses. They will never take on a project that they cannot complete, and they will never under-deliver to a client. If you are looking to hire a freelance contractor for a project that is open-ended, an INTJ would be a good bet to exceed your expectations.

Areas of Self-Employment for INTJ

  • Accounting and Financial Consulting
  • Product Development
  • Business Development
  • Web and Information Design and Architecture
  • Technical Writing

INTP – The Architect

INTPs are so creative. This uncommon type has one foot in and one foot out of this planet – they are great conceptualizers, full of ideas and with a unique perspective on the world. As children they often become disillusioned with life early, not really liking school and not really able to fit in with others. If only they were outwardly confident enough in their abilities to share them with the world…

How INTP can flee the rat race

Your type may have a bit of a difficult time becoming self-employed due to a combination of introversion and some difficulty reading other people’s needs and desires. In order to get into a business mindset you will have to learn to get inside the heads of others. What are people motivated by? What trends are popular? This goes against every fiber of your being, but you can’t run a business with you as the only customer! You will also need to learn to focus and plan. Spend some time with a Feeler (especially an INFP or INFJ, who will understand you) who can help you get a grasp on what others are looking for from a business sense.

  • Make a list of other people’s needs. I know it sounds silly. Do it anyway!
  • Do any of these needs call to you? If so, select this need as a formula for your plan
  • You are creative and artistic! Use these skills while building a business
  • Hire a Feeler (ENFJ would be perfect) as a marketing person if you can, or at least work with one
  • Make sure to balance your business needs with your personal needs. Your type can burn out if you feel too “distant” from yourself

INTPs are full of brilliant ideas and have a lot of interests. It’s important to stick with these interests if you want to keep the passion alive in your business. But it’s even more important to sense the needs of your customers. Your quiet and perceptive demeanor will give you an advantage in the business world if you have confidence in your ideas and a good plan.

Areas of Self-Employment for INTP

  • Web and Internet Marketing
  • Design and Art
  • Writing
  • Product Development

Next in the series: Self Employment for the Myers Briggs Types: The Artisans (SP)



  • Darwin Jones August 25, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Although I may not subscribe to the ability to categorize individuals, it’s ironic that I agree with a lot of the conclusions this sort of test manages to pinpoint.

    Darwin Jones
    jobs in Little Rock, AR


  • Amy February 7, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    I’m an INTP with a significant defective scanner for other people’s needs and desire. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t careless about other people! Ha ha, just want to straight that out. And thanks for your informative article.
    I always want to work as a full time writer. Fingers cross, XD this rat race has been very crowded. If I step on another rat doo doo I’ll flip out at anyone in front of me.
    Sorry, bad joke 😛


  • Claire March 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Try comparing your Enneagram and your Myers Briggs results – hilarious! I looked at the Enneagram suggestions and would have become very depressed if I hadn’t checked out the Myers Briggs ones: suddenly I see light at the end of the tunnel.

    I have done some of the Enneagram-mentioned jobs and only wanted to escape. So I think the Enneagram suggestions play to the compulsions of that type, not to their direction for growth. Any comments?


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