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Are You a Potential Entrepreneur? These 15 Signs Can Tell You the Answer

Are You a Potential Entrepreneur? These 15 Signs Can Tell You the Answer

So you think that you’re ready to become an entrepreneur? It’s not all glitz and glamour, and for most people, it takes dedication, time and a lot of late nights to get a business off the ground. Being an entrepreneur is one of the most difficult ways to earn a living, but also one of the most rewarding. These 15 signs, all backed up by successful business people and entrepreneurs, show the qualities you need to have in order to become a successful entrepreneur. How many do you see in yourself?

A Fiercely Determined Mind

The first thing that you will need to be an entrepreneur is ironclad determination. Someone that doesn’t give up at the first sign of difficulty.

When asked about what it takes to become a entrepreneur, Nitin Aswani, Founder & Head of Product of Oganikk Superfoods[1] said,

You can brush off negative, non-constructive criticism; you know that if you want to satisfy everyone, you should just sell ice cream. You are driven by purpose and are passionate – you understand that money is an output of resolving customer problems, not the other way round.

Always Go For The Leading Role

When you work with people in a group, do you find that you can’t help but assume a leadership role? Do you take it personally if a project doesn’t live up to your expectations? Then you might have what it takes to run your own business.

Evan Harris, Co-Founder & CEO of SD Equity Partners[2] explains,

The difference between a manager and a leader is vast. Just because you have held a management position for X number of years, does not mean you will succeed as an entrepreneur. To be a great entrepreneur, you must be able to lead. Your team needs to believe in your vision and trust that you can get them there. You need to inspire and incite passion. These are the qualities of a leader, not a manager. One who has these leadership qualities is on the path to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Gritty? Okay.

A true entrepreneur isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty when needed, as did founder of Kent Dating[3]. He said,

In the early days of your startup, you will likely be doing a lot of the grunt work yourself until you can afford to hire some additional help. Be prepared to get into the trenches and get dirty, metaphorically speaking.

A Goer For Risks

Are you prepared to be yelled at by your customers the moment that something in your business goes wrong? As an entrepreneur, you will be in charge of dealing with difficult people. You’ll also need to be ready to give up time, comfort, and financial security if you expect your business to stand a chance. Evan Harris, Co-Founder & CEO of SD Equity Partners[4] said,

Starting your own business generally involves taking a lot of risks. In order to be successful, you must be able to understand the risks involved in a decision but also know that there will always be risk and not allow it to hold you back. Someone who can assess risk and then make an informed decision, without being sidelined by fear, is definitely an entrepreneur in the making.

On risk-taking, Fred D. Winchar, President of Max Cash Title Loans[5] adds,

You are a risk taker but only when the risk is in your favor. You don’t blindly risk but when you do, you are confident you will win.

A Contrarian

When everyone else says “why?”, you say “why not?” You don’t just want to go along with business as usual; you want to really mix things up and change the world for the better. Gene Caballero, Co-Founder of GreenPal[6], is this kind of person who said,

One of the most important character traits of a successful entrepreneur is they have to be contrarian – but right. Contrarians are the ones that challenge the majority but have the stubbornness to see an idea through till the end.

Always Asking To Know More

Were you the kind of child that took the family appliances apart to try and figure out how they worked? You likely have the inquisitive mindset necessary to start a business.

Jeff Kear, Founder of Planning Pod[7] says

Are you are always interested in learning other parts of the business in which you work even though they aren’t your responsibility and you might annoy others working in those roles or departments? When I had jobs prior to running my own businesses, I was always asking questions and looking into ways to improve how I worked and how the business functioned.

Unsettled With Traditional 9 to 5 Roles

Are you bored with your day job, doing the same task over and over? Does it all feel meaningless, and like you’re just undervalued and lining someone else’s pockets with your hard work? It might be time to get into business for yourself:

Ben Taylor, Founder of Home Working Club[8] says,

If you feel constantly stifled in traditional jobs and convinced you could do things better, this probably marks you out as an entrepreneur-type – so long as those convictions are based on reality!

Kristen Gagné, Founder of Webtawks[9] adds,

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The typical 9-5 job feels wrong. You loath office politics. You detest being put in a corporate box. You don’t feel the value in working in a position that isn’t useful. You feel stifled.

Comfortable With The Unknown

Entrepreneurs are comfortable with the fact they may not know where or who their next paycheck is coming from: “You are more than comfortable losing everything you have until you succeed. Everything. You live your life “all chips in” and if you lose, you are prepared to live like a pauper till you get another opportunity to win” says Fred D. Winchar, President, Max Cash Title Loans.

Sarah Glass, Founder of Kent Singles [10] adds,

You’re comfortable with the unknown. You enjoy not knowing what one day will be like to the next. You enjoy the process of not having all the answers. Predictability is boring.

A Jack-Of-All-Trades

An entrepreneur wears a lot of different hats in their business. Early on in your business, you may be in charge of sales, customer service, accounting, marketing, manufacture, and other tasks all by yourself. You will definitely need to be able to budget your time and complete multiple different tasks.

On what makes you a great potential entrepreneur, Steven Benson, Founder and CEO of Badger Maps[11] says,

When you have the basic blocking and tackling in each area of business – Sales, Marketing, Technology, Accounting, Finance etc. A big surprise to a lot of people who start companies is how much time they need to spend selling to be successful. You need to be a jack of all trades, because a big miss in any of these areas can be company killing.

A Doer Rather Than A Sayer

Many people sit and dream, but an entrepreneur actually takes action and turns their dreams into a reality. You can’t just think about great business ideas and have them magically happen; you’re going to need to actually put in some hard work. As what Fred D. Winchar, President of Max Cash Title Loans[12] says,

The difference between a potential entrepreneur and a SUCCESSFUL Entrepreneur is the ones who can truly live a life that others fear to live and know others will mock you as you live out your dreams. Inside, your heart is burning to be more than just an employee and you know that you are relentless in your pursuit to make it. Their fear is not yours.

A Meticulous Planner

A good entrepreneur plans for any possible outcomes. You need to think in advance of any opportunities or risk that may impact your business and have action plans to adjust accordingly.

Steven Benson, Founder and CEO of Badger Maps[13] says

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I think that a great indication of being a potential entrepreneur is when you consider yourself a ‘planner’. That’s someone who really enjoys planning things, whether it’s events or business strategies. If you are going to run your own business, you have to get used to thinking a couple of steps ahead and you have to develop a concrete action plan to get started.

You also know how to manage your time on a day-to-day basis, Brandon Latack, President of 651 Lab[14] , once said,

Deciding how you are going to spend your time throughout the day is one of the key aspects of being a successful entrepreneur. You and Elon Musk are both given 24 hours in a day. Use those hours wisely.

No Fear For Hard Work

You’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Entrepreneurs often put in 60 or 80 hour weeks in the first year of their business! If that sounds unappealing to you, you may want to stick to a salaried job working for someone else. Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com[15], says,

One of the greatest signs that you’re destined to be an entrepreneur is found in the hard work you’ve done over the years and the amount of initiative you’ve taken/shown for what you’re passionate about. Entrepreneurs embrace hard work and do not shy away from it. Rather; they enjoy it especially when it ties in with their passions. Ultimately, you become what you believe you will become and if you set your intention, stay focused and positive, and believe in yourself while working hard, great things will happen.

Fred D. Winchar, President, Max Cash Title Loans[16] concludes

You have no concept of weekdays verses weekends. Every day is a day to work. Money is made 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Vegas proves that.

An Especially Innovative Mind

Ben Taylor, Founder, Home Working Club[17], says,

With plans and schemes of making money since school, then that entrepreneurial spirit is probably in your blood – especially if some of those ideas were successful.

For people to buy your product, it’s going to need to be something new that they may have never seen before. You can take inspiration from other brand’s ideas and improve upon them, but merely copying a product or service that already exists isn’t going to make you rich. On this, Kristen Gagné, Founder of Webtawks[18], says.

You always think of ways to improve everything – from the way to tie your shoes to the design of the picnic table in the park – you seek out efficiencies and betterment of your world.

Nothing Can Beat You Up

Entrepreneurs don’t take no for an answer! You’re going to have to stick to it when things get rough and don’t seem to be working exactly the way you had planned. Fred D. Winchar, President of Max Cash Title Loans[19] also says,

When you fall, you are the fastest person you know to stand back up. Everyone falls. Failure is part of success. I have yet to know the successful entrepreneur who has not failed multiple time and had crushing losses.

On bouncing back from failures, Brandon Latack, President of 651 Lab[20] added

There will be several roadblocks when starting a business. The bigger the idea, the more roadblocks there will be. [Entrepreneurs] think of each failure as a learning experience. Next time you will be ready for it!

Highly Disciplined

If you’re able to succeed in other areas of your life such as dieting or mastering a particular skill, then you may have the discipline required to become an entrepreneur.

Commenting on the discipline it takes to be your own boss, Nitin Aswani, Founder of Oganikk Superfoods[21],

You are highly internally motivated – being your own boss can be a challenge for those who tend to slack off if there is nothing pressing.

Brandon Latack, President, 651 Lab[22], also says

You have the discipline to stick to challenges. It’s easy to become less enthusiastic and talk yourself out of a challenge once adversity smacks you in the face. Entrepreneurs continue to push forward when things start to get tough.

So there you have it, 15 sure-fire signs that you’ve got what it takes to become an entrepreneur. If you answered yes to over half of these 15 questions, then you’re well on your way to making that dream of being your own boss a reality.

Reference

[1] Oganikk: Home
[2] SD Equity Partners: Home
[3] Kent Dating: Home
[4] SD Equity Partners: Home
[5] Max Cash Title Loans: Home
[6] GreenPal: Home
[7] Planning Pod: Home
[8] Home Working Club: Home
[9] Webtawks: Home
[10] Kent Singles: Home
[11] Badger Maps: Home
[12] Max Cash Title Loans: Home
[13] Badger Maps: Home
[14] 651 Lab: Home
[15] MyCorporation: Home
[16] Max Cash Title Loans: Home
[17] Home Working Club: Home
[18] Webtawks: Home
[19] Max Cash Title Loans: Home
[20] 651 Lab: Home
[21] Oganikk: Home
[22] 651 Lab: Home

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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