How the ENFP Can Start a Business

The ENFP is likely the most misunderstood of all the 16 personality types. The ENFP is often viewed as a space cadet, bouncing around from idea to idea with no sense of time, priority, or follow-through. We find they are often more likely to be diagnosed (or misdiagnosed) with ADD/ADHD. 

astronaut in spacesuit floating in space

Conversely, the ENFP is also an idea factory, a brainstorming machine, and an overall future-thinking behemoth. We all know someone with this personality type that can just crank out ideas seemingly without end. They are great in marketing, sales, and R&D departments.

I want to show how the ENFP can take this plethora of ideas and drive them forward in their own life and start a thriving business.

Typical Struggles of the ENFP

In coaching ENFPs, here are some recurring themes that arise:

  • Better at starting projects than finishing
  • Would rather create the idea than implement it
  • Having too many ideas to pick just one
  • Stuck ideating endlessly which prevents starting
  • Fear of rejection; fear their ideas are bad

This can be easily explained by understanding how the ENFP operates functionally. The ENFP cognitive function stack is:

Ne (Extraverted iNtuition) – Brainstorming

Fi (Introverted Feeling) – Values

Te (Extraverted Thinking) – Effectiveness

Si (Introverted Sensing) – Memory

Simply put, leading with a mindset that prioritizes brainstorming, ideation, and novelty will naturally reject things like process, structure, and repetition. There is always a counterbalance, and if we leverage it to grow, then we can become our most dynamic Self.

lightning strike at night

So from the perspective of starting a business, the ENFP can utilize their less-developed functions to actually move forward productively.

Let’s use Introverted Sensing (Si), the ENFPs 4th function, which is known as Memory. It’s not just remembering in the classic sense, but it’s, as Dario Nardi has labeled it “a predictable standard.” Standards, traditions, and stability are what this function seeks. For the ENFP, the desire for newness and novelty will always try to fight against predictability and standards. 

With ENFPs, the struggle of starting a new business lies in the fact that once the new idea gets going for a certain amount of time, the allure wears off and it’s no longer new and fresh. This start-stop motion can be internally frustrating for the ENFP who’s many good ideas seem to flame out after a very energetic start.

silhouette of person jumping above ground

3 Tips for an ENFP

Here are some tips that I’ve learned while coaching and collaborating with ENFPs:

  • Look at what’s worked before for you. Can you use that as a jumping-off point for your new venture? For example, have you had repeated remarks from others that “You see things nobody else does…” or “I’ve never thought about it that way until you said it.” Perhaps everytime you post a meme you created on social media, you get a massive response from your audience that is much better than your text posts. Repeatability creates a standard by which you can then move forward with an idea. 
  • Put things into motion to the point where you can no longer turn back. File that fictitious business statement, get that business bank account, create that logo, start branding, create that website. These are all points of no return psychologically that prevent backsliding. 
  • Capture your ideas into a journal of some sort and return to them days later to see if you still feel the same fire you did when you first captured it. If it’s 5 days later and that idea still has passion behind it, then it’s worth pursuing in full.
unknown person writing

The ENFP has massive potential to start their own venture and be successful. When they can combine their brainstorming ability with the sometimes frustrating acceptance of a predictable standard, they are able to create sincerely wonderful things.


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How to Figure out your MBTI Function Stack

Joe Arrigo attempts to easily explain this complicated formula

MBTI Function Stack

Video Transcript via Zubtitle:

The MBTI function stack is one of the more advanced concepts within personality and I’ve gotten some requests to explain this in a separate video.

So I want to lay it out as best I can. There are a couple different methods I’ve seen or ways to describe how you figure out the function stack.

Everyone understands when they start digging into MBTI, that there is a way that every type processes information and they all have a unique order, but most people don’t actually know how you figure that out.

And it’s fun to point out how to do it, it’s not necessarily important to know if you’re (just) an enthusiast, but it’s almost a cool party trick just to understand people at a level deeper than “oh, you’re an ENFP. That means you’re the cheerleader.”

Well, I want you to be able to figure out this formula and go, “Oh, they’re Extraverted iNtuition with Introverted Feeling” because you can figure it out using this formula in your head.

So, I’m going to share my screen and I’m going to draw it out as best. I can forgive me my hand writing is pretty terrible. But I’m going to go over a couple examples and we’re going to just start off with the ENTJ.

(Watch the video from this point)

I hope that this helps a little bit there are some activities and then some very good resources I can provide via YouTube and in books that will lay out the formula, but I appreciate you watching. Let me know if this clarifies things or if we’re all now more confused than ever.

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INTJ’s in the Workplace

A brief overview of the INTJ

My recommendation to all Managers, Talent Acquisition folks, and Executives for best utilizing the INTJ goes as follows:

  • The INTJ is fundamentally a future-oriented strategic thinker who works very well within systems they can understand and can manipulate into the most efficient way possible.
  • Utilize the INTJ for brainstorming sessions where their creative mindset can reveal ways forward that other people may not be able to see clearly.
  • Do not bog them down with administrative details or they will tire out quickly and become stressed.
  • Pair them with a type like the ENFP or the ESFP in order to balance out some of the more hard-line decision-making tendencies. A good P type will be able to present more options or consider alternative ways to proceed that the INTJ is likely overlooking.
  • When asking for feedback from the INTJ, make sure you give them some time to collect themselves and do not demand an answer right away. Too quick of an answer may not be their true thoughts
  • Keep their intelligence in check and let them know that although you appreciate their intelligence, that if their attitude of superiority and/or condescension continues, disciplinary action will be required
Sųhēl 🖊️ on Twitter: "Still an INTJ 💀 #INTJ #MBTI… "

Overall, the INTJ is a great asset when used for strategy and brainstorming sessions that utilize their future thinking orientation for long-term success of the organization.

To message me directly, find me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-arrigo/