Two Types Of Quirkipreneurs. Count Them, One, Two!

Oct 11

Quirkiprenuers are people who approach their businessy projects a little differently than the rest of the businessy world, and if you need more background, you might want to read this:  Are you a Quirkipreneur?

And as you’ve probably guessed by this post’s title, I’ve been thinking lately that we quirky business folks can be divided into two main types:

Quirky By Nature The Quirky by Nature.

There’s something about the quirky by nature that forces us out of the ordinary mold, forces us to find our own shape.

Maybe it’s a rebellious streak that just won’t conform.

Maybe we’re forced off the usual path by limitations of illness (mental or physical), finances, or education.

Perhaps it’s that our personality or creative process just isn’t suited to the button-down, spread-sheeted world. Sales meetings, PowerPoint bullets and conforming navy blue suits don’t encourage the risks involved in creativity, and the tools of the business world? Well, our lives don’t fit into the 8am-9pm schedule of a Daytimer… not when our best work hours may fall in the wee hours of the morning.

Or maybe we’re just inherently a little bit different than the other business people we know.

Yes, everyone is “different”, but somehow? We seem to be more different. And no matter how hard we try to fit in, no matter how often we play dress up and try to belong?  Our quirks are forced to the surface, again and again, and we either can’t seem to follow traditional paths of success, or we can’t stand ourselves when we try.

We’re The Quirky by Nature,
and we do things *differently* because we have to.

It's Another Flourish!

Quirky by Choice

The Quirky by Choice

Some Quirkipreneurs know that we can take a more mainstream path to business success.  In fact, it’s likely that we’ve seen big successes before, by being (or pretending to be) relatively normal.

Some of us have competantly run traditional businesses, either on our own, or for someone else. Some have been wildly successful in academics.  Some have worked in the corporate world (where being business-y is the only option) and while the shoes may have pinched just a bit, we managed just fine, thank you.

But now? We’re ready for something else. Something different. Something unique, and challenging, and fun.  Something

risky and uncertain and remarkable.

Maybe there’s a latent different-ness inside us that’s forcing itself to the surface, something that refuses to be silenced anymore.

Maybe our walk on the quirky side is a business and marketing decision – because we see this huge under-served market, creatives who want and need support in their business, but are finding only ill-fitting advice.

For us? Taking the path of a Quirkipreneur is a business move.

It’s smart and savvy marketing.  It’s about being ahead of the curve and having vision – the same sort of vision that Steve Jobs had, the kind of vision Seth Godin writes about.

We’re The Quirky by Choice,
and we do things differently because we *want* to.

It's Another Flourish!

But Most of Us? We’re a Combination.

It’s a rare Quirkipreneur that doesn’t have a choice, or doesn’t feel that they are driven to express themselves as “different” or “weird”.

Becoming a Quirkipreneur may be in our nature, but it isn’t inevitable.  Almost all of us have other choices we could make, ways we could express our oddities while staying on a more traditional path, ways we could adapt the standard rules of business to allow for our limitations and challenges.

So in that sense, becoming a Quirkipreneur is a choice, a conscious choice to embrace our quirks, a choice to exploit our differentness, to take the risk of being publically, defiantly different, and see what happens.

It's Another Flourish!

I have a few more thoughts on the two core types of Quirkipreneurs, how we interact, and how the two types can interact more productively, but those thoughts can wait.  For now? Think on this a bit:

Which type are you? Why? Feel free to explore those thoughts in the comments, and take as much room as you like.

And yes, I mean that. Take as much room as you like. Write three pages if you want to.

Otherwise, that comment space is just going to go to waste, and children in China are starving, you know!


  1. Definitely a Combination Quirkipreneur, though I’d hazard a guess that the ratio is about 30:70, Type 1:Type 2. I spend 45 hours a week at a very left-brained job and, yes, find a certain amount of comfort in the predictable nature of it (most days). Still, the urge to do something different and let the creativity reign is constant. Maybe the 30 wants to be more than 30, after all!

  2. I think that we are riding the same cosmic wave because I have been thinking a lot about this very thing the past few weeks….without the awesome catchy title of Quirkipreneur and I’m feeling a bit envious of that.

    I feel like I’m a combination pack, but I suspect that I come by this naturally and made the choice to honor it after trying to cram myself into a box for far too long!

    This post makes me wonder how many people who become Quirkipreneur by choice are really breaking free from the pre-packaged beliefs that make us feel we have to be business-y in order to get ahead….I know it can be a brilliant marketing strategy but it also feels awesome to be yourself in your biz, and that is what I’m getting when I think of being a Quirkipreneur.
    Your being yourself, letting your freak flag fly, and your not afraid to take a risk because it feels authentic to you.
    In my mind this is actually the best way to stand out and shine and attract your perfect peeps who what what you have to offer.

    I also have been thinking about the importance of being yourself in general, and not being afraid to bring who you are into your biz…putting your own special twist on what you do.It seems like the natural way to honor your gifts and talents and fully realize who you are here to be.
    Wow!Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. I wish I had something deep and meaningful to say here, but I don’t: I’m definitely both, skewing towards the “by nature” category. I’ve known it for a long time (even before I was an anything-preneur). And that’s totally awesome by me.

  4. I’m definitely a combo pack as well. I’ve worked in a very traditional corporate setting, and now I’m The Numbers Whisperer. Each setting has its own benefits and drawbacks.

  5. Tori, this sheds a whole new light on things for me. I think I’m starting to understand something. I am quirky by nature. But I’ve very successfully learned to adapt to the traditional business world. In fact, I’ve learned it so well that now that I have the luxury of being a quirky solopreneur, I’m having trouble shedding the traditional methods and I feel awkward in my own skin trying to be myself (finally!).

  6. Tori Deaux /

    I’m so glad this seems to be resonating a bit… I’m a combination (I think we all are, really) that leans heavily towards “nature”.

    My thinking is that depending on which end of the spectrum we’re on at any given point, we’ll have different struggles and issues. As I get the community site ready to go, I’m trying to find ways to make sure we respect those different struggles.

    Reading your responses is helping with that. So thanks, Scraps, Leah, Ellie, Nicole, & Christy!

  7. Funny – I decided to go with the niche of quirky solopreneurs and shortly after stumbled upon your concept of Quirkipreneurs on Twitter!! That name is a FAB idea – fits so well – and the reason I didn’t use quirkypreneurs was the same reason you hesitated; didn’t want to get made fun of for making another _____preneur word. 😛

    I’ve always been different. It’s always been something that disturbed “normies.” 🙂 Being different in some ineffable way has caused me BUNCHES of pain – but I couldn’t be “normal” if I tried – and I HAVE tried! Blech!! And I no longer have ANY desire to be normal or fit in. How boring and smothering! I love my quirkiness and love it in others.

    I definitely have no intention of being businessy in my business. I’m a fun, irreverent, creative person, it’s MY business, and I’ll run it as I like.

    I REALLY look forward to reading/seeing more about this. I’d love to do anything I can to assist. Lemme know. 🙂

    • Tori Deaux /

      I’m so glad you’ve joined us, Shauna! You seem like you’re going to fit in just perfectly!

  8. I have tried to fit into the normal-mode and it just doesn’t work for me (being irritable, depressed and bored all the time doesn’t make others around me happy to be with me either).

    I am definitely “quirky by nature” (<–that sounds like a song title) and have become much happier living in harmony with my quirks then trying to conform them. I seem to have a lot more friends when I am myself too!

    I love learning that there are more (quirky) people like me out there in the world and that we have places (thanks to the internet) to meet each-other and interact!

    You all rock my socks off! <3
    -Emily Rose

  9. Tori, your wording made me smile (well – it always does – I like your style!).

    I’m something like 90/10 – definitely quirky by nature: I can pass, but I choose not to (have even done this unconsciously) .

    Recently I’ve been rewriting my definitions of Square-Peg People, to be clearer, and it’s amazing how close your “quirky by nature” category (minus the biz part) is to what I’m coming up with. I haven’t used the words “by nature”, I’ve been saying (and trying to find a graphic that fits) “from the crib”.

    Can’t wait to hear your “few more thoughts”!