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What’s the difference between ‘initiative’ and ‘finishative’? Is this the personality trait that defines an entrepreneur?


This is a personality test that could change your life. So pay attention.

Initiative is the ability we all have to create, initiate projects and develop new ideas. Some people have great initiative and others have little.

Finishative is a neologism that means the ability (that few people have) to finish what they started or finish what others started.

It is the ability to put into practice an idea and take it to the end.

Humans can be divided into three groups depending on the degree of initiative and finishative of each one: entrepreneurs, initiators and finishers (let’s exclude the bureaucrats).

  • Entrepreneurs are those who have initiative and finishative. A select group who are not content to stay at the Ideas level and will deploy to the field.
  • Initiators are creative, have a thousand ideas, but hate the routine necessary to put them into practice. They may be philosophers, scientists, many of the online marketing gurus, teachers, intellectuals and most economists. There are many examples of supposed online marketing superstars who actually have never sold a product or sat in a cubicle and done the hard yards. Finishative is the weak point of this group.
  • Finishers are those who like to implement projects. Their attention to detail goes further than the theory. They’re not bothered by the immense boredom of the repetition of the day to day and they’re not discouraged with the many frustrations of deployment. This group is often made up of executives, entrepreneurs and managers (at least the good ones).

This simple classification explains many of the contradictions of the modern world.

Entrepreneurs quickly discover that implementing their own ideas is a selfish entrepreneurial thing that limits their growth. There are far more people with great ideas than people able to deploy/implement them. That’s why entrepreneurs are rich and intellectuals die poor.

If Bill Gates had been restricted to implementing his own ideas he would have stopped in Visual Basic. He made a fortune because he was able to deploy the ideas of others — some people say he even copied some ideas.

This explains why intellectuals usually hate entrepreneurs, and vice versa. There is a huge injustice to the extent that the profits accrue to those who implemented an idea, and not to those who had it.

An idea only on paper is a dead letter, useless to society as a whole.

Initiators aim to be famous. Finishers want to be helpful.

But the truth is that most intellectuals and initiators do not have the stomach to devote a lifetime to doing the same things day after day. The initiators keep changing, testing, trying new things, and end up having a life far richer, even if it is less profitable.

My best advice to those who have initiative but not finishative is to do a business course or get a finisher as a partner.

There is a Chinese saying that goes: “Who knows and does not do, at very deep, does not know” – very appropriate.

If you’ve got finishative but not have initiative, take a course in creativity, study a little theory. (Read Anthill.)

An entrepreneur who boasts of never having studied should not serve as a model.

Finally, if you do not have the initiative nor finishative, I can only say one thing: my condolences.

So, now you’ve taken the test, do you have finishative?

Lucio Ribeiro is Partner/Founder at The Online Circle Interactive and Online1984, a full-service interactive agency. He was recently elected one of top 10 most trusted SEO/SEM professionals in the world by Marketing Today. Follow him on Twitter: @lucio_ribeiro.