What is the ideal personality type for creative AND financial success as a musical artist?
Caveat: This is just an opinion based on years of observation – I acknowledge that what I’m about to write (which is based on the Myers Brigg Type Indicator type) can be completely wrong. What follows are my observations.
Creatives Versus Managers
Creative types are great at “creating” by not “managing”. That’s why many creatives are somewhat scatterbrained when it comes to managing their personal affairs – i.e., the more mundane administrative aspects of their careers such as reviewing contracts properly and managing their finances.
Because they hate the mundaneness of these boring but essential tasks, they often entrust them to somebody else. And THAT is why so many creatives get ripped off. Creatives who generate money can become easy prey for unscrupulous members of their team.
The most recent high-profile incident that I can recall involved the late Canadian musician Leonard Cohen. In 2005, it was discovered that Cohen’s longtime manager, Kelley Lynch, had embezzled more than $5 million from his bank accounts, while also surreptitiously selling many of Cohen’s publishing rights.
Therefore, to achieve creative and financial success, the ideal personality type would be one who excels at BOTH creativity and administrative management.
In the context of the MBTI, this would be either the ENTJ (Extrovert, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging) and INTJ (Introvert, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging). Creativity comes from the Intuitive aspects of one’s personality (xNxx). Being highly organized and conscientious involves the Thinking and Judging aspects of one’s personality (xxTJ).
But here’s the problem: INTJs and ENTJs each comprise only 2% of the general population. They are the rarest of personality types – they are basically Unicorns.
Moreover, while xNTJs can often be calm, rational and visionary, there can be a darker side to a xNTJ personality – they can also be cold, unfeeling and even inhumane. Here are some anecdotes:
Steve Jobs (ENTJ)
He brought Apple back from the verge of bankruptcy in 1998 to become the world’s most valuable company. A creative genius who was also capable of great cruelty. If you’ve read Walt Isaacson’s excellent 2011 biography “Steve Jobs”, you’ll understand what I mean.
Jimmy Page (INTJ)
He created Led Zeppelin which became the biggest musical act in the world during the 1970s which made (and more importantly, kept) more money than any other musical act in that era.
During his heyday, he had a reputation for treating young women rather cruelly. Here’s an anecdote from the Zeppelin biography “Hammer of the Gods” – at 31 years of age, he was “dating” a 14-year old groupie who he dumped for an “older” woman – a 19 year old model. The two girls confronted one another and started beating each other up, while Jimmy looked on and started laughing hysterically. He thought this was hilarious!
In an interview with UK magazine Disc and Music Echo during April 1972, he opined that ”Aleister Crowley doesn’t have a high opinion of women and I don’t think he is wrong”. FYI – Aleister Crowley was a Scottish occultist of which Page was (and apparently still is) a disciple.