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These 7 Behaviors Prove That You’re A Born Entrepreneur

These 7 Behaviors Prove That You’re A Born Entrepreneur

Have you always felt like you were destined for more? Like you were meant to strike out and do your own thing? That’s how I’ve always felt. I wasn’t much interested in fitting into society, but was more focused on how I could change it. My earliest memory of entrepreneurship was coming up with the idea to sell balloons to my friends at school. I seem to recall that I would sell them for $2.50. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as intelligent as I was ambitious. I still remember trying to cram a blown-up balloon into my school bag and wondering how I was going to fit in more than one. Fast forward about 20 years and I’ve still got that itch. The company I work for was recently acquired by a huge, billion-dollar corporation. It made me think: Do I want to subject myself to the whims of forces out of my control? The answer was “no”. I felt like I could be an entrepreneur, but I had to model myself after other people who have made it. Here are the seven behaviors I discovered that make people born entrepreneurs:

1.  Never felt as interested in buying things as I did in working out how they were being sold

No matter the craze: Apple products, mobile games, clothes, sneakers, or luxury goods, I couldn’t get sucked in. Instead, I watched on the sidelines as other people couldn’t help themselves and shelled out their hard-earned cash to buy something they couldn’t live without. I was more fascinated how companies and brands did this. What made them so attractive? How did their customers feel after acquiring their products? How did they make them feel this way? I was hell-bent on understanding this.

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2. An insatiable hunger to learn more about people and what makes them take action

I’ve always been interested in people and what makes them tick. There’s this quote which is often attributed to Einstein that I love: “Computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination. ”Our brilliance comes from our minds. They can sometimes fail us when we most need them to work, but they have already gotten us this far. Having said this, there are numerous “loopholes” which make us susceptible to triggers that can make normally very rational people behave irrationally. This fascinates me. It’s what makes people consider that something is a bargain if they see a “SALE” sign next to it, even though they may not know what the original price was. If it fascinates you too, then you could be a born entrepreneur.

3. Refusal to settle and accept that this is all there is to life

When I commute to work I try to block myself from the wave of dreariness that hits me every time I board the train. Everyone looks bored and is trying to distract themselves from the reality that they have created. When I surreptitiously peek at their phones it’s always the same culprits: Facebook, Candy Crush, Instagram, envy, instant gratification, and jealousy. This is not how life’s meant to be lived. I don’t have any of those apps on my phone. Don’t get me wrong. Some days I just want to forget the world and get lost in a game. The problem is when it happens every single day, without knowing it you’re conditioning your brain to get stuck in a rut. Once you’re there it’s hard to get out.

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Entrepreneurship is about getting out of your comfort zone every single day. The only thing that’s certain is that there will almost always be a new challenge to throw you off balance. If you don’t like that then the routine of a regular job probably suits you.

4. Have a high emotional intelligence

Being an entrepreneur is less about being smart and more about knowing how to manage your own emotions. Time and time again we see people who have no formal education coming out on top simply because they possess grit and the courage to keep the dream alive. While this might seem simple, it’s not easy. Think about Colonel Sanders trying to find a kitchen that would cook his Kentucky Fried Chicken. 1,009 times he was told “no” before he found a place that would accept his recipe, and now look at the legacy he has left: thousands of jobs and happy customers all over the world. He might not have considered himself an entrepreneur, but in every sense of the word, he was. Would you take 1,009 “no’s”? I’m not even sure I would. Think hard about this before you decide to venture out.

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5. Constantly having ideas of ways to improve existing products

I can’t help it. When I see products I have to analyze them and see whether they can be improved in some way, shape, or form. Sometimes it’s not even the product. It’s the marketing and advertising. If it’s done poorly and doesn’t accurately communicate the benefits it drives me up the wall. This circles back to a desire to understand people. If there’s no interest in people, there’s no interest in their problems. That’s reflected in the product. People don’t want something cool and shiny. They want their itches scratched.

6. Unafraid to lead, be unpopular, and buck the trend for the greater good

This is something a lot of people can’t handle. Too much of their self-worth rests in the basket of other peoples’ opinions. Of course, this is all in their heads; people will respect you more if you tell them “no” sometimes. The difference here is when you’re an entrepreneur and trying to change people’s opinions or behaviors, you’re doing it on scale which is exponentially more difficult. Entrepreneurs are about creating value through new concepts. Sometimes it takes months- maybe years- for acceptance of a concept. That’s why patience and perseverance in the face of rejection are important traits in entrepreneurs. If you aren’t able to do something by yourself for a period of time before it becomes popular, entrepreneurship may not be the right avenue for you.

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7. Great keeper of habits

Entrepreneurs are able to fall in love with boredom and compound consistent, hard work every day. Too often the romantic aspect of entrepreneurship is emphasized, while the hard work involved is overlooked. Yes, entrepreneurship can sometimes provide stomach flips but a lot of the work is also dull and uneventful. For example, you might do a lot of cold calling trying to find customers. Not only can this be nerve- wracking, it’s also dull. In the early days if it’s just you on your own, you might have to do a lot of the writing, coding, or designing yourself, which is hard work and can be monotonous. Entrepreneurship isn’t for people who can’t focus and stick to tasks. Keeping good habits is the fuel that supports the belief that you can create something worthwhile that will benefit society.

How many of these seven behaviors do you possess? Do they reaffirm that you are (or are not) a born entrepreneur?

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Do you like making mistakes?

I certainly don’t.

Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

  • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
  • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
  • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
  • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

  1. Point us to something we did not know.
  2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
  3. Deepen our knowledge.
  4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
  5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
  6. Inform us more about our values.
  7. Teach us more about others.
  8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
  9. Show us when someone else has changed.
  10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
  11. Remind us of our humanity.
  12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
  13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
  14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
  15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
  16. Invite us to better choices.
  17. Can teach us how to experiment.
  18. Can reveal a new insight.
  19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
  20. Can serve as a warning.
  21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
  22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
  23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
  24. Remind us how we are like others.
  25. Make us more humble.
  26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
  27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
  28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
  29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
  30. Expose our true feelings.
  31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
  32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
  33. Point us in a more creative direction.
  34. Show us when we are not listening.
  35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
  36. Can create distance with someone else.
  37. Slow us down when we need to.
  38. Can hasten change.
  39. Reveal our blind spots.
  40. Are the invisible made visible.

Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

The secret to handling mistakes is to:

  • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
  • Have an experimental mindset.
  • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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