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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 April 22, 2021

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

Habits are what sets an average leader apart from a great leader. We can argue that talent is the biggest factor; we may debate how the amount of charisma sets the two apart. Yet, if you were to show me what you believed to be a great leader, I can show you the habits that made her/him great. Great leaders have great habits and know how to work hard the smart way.

Developing Great Habits Is Hard Work

In my early college days, I had spent a lot of time learning how to play the trumpet. Playing the trumpet took time and discipline. I had some natural talent, but not enough to hide my lack of ability. My trumpet teacher was a man of discipline, and there was no doubt he had talent. What stood to me was his work ethic. He had to be one of the hardest working mentors that I had the privilege of working with.

One afternoon, I was in his office getting ready for my weekly trumpet lesson. As I was preparing, my eyes scanned the room and saw that there were quotes all over his office. My eyes rested on one quote that forever changed my thinking about my playing. It was a quote from my high school basketball coach Tim Notke that would become popular through professional athletes Kevin Durant and Tim Tebow:

“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

Hard work trumps talent. The key to success is not found in your talent or ability. Talent and ability are necessary, but they are not the primary factors. They are supporting roles in the story you are writing.

Ultimately, hard work is the key to your success. A good work ethic creates the momentum that propels you forward towards your goals.

Motivation Is Not the Answer

How many times have you seen someone go to a conference, get inspired, and then come home and do nothing?

If motivation were the answer, the world would have transformed hundreds of times over. Yet, when we look out our doors or turn on the news, we do not see a utopian society.

We have thousands of people who become inspired but lack the work ethic to apply anything they have learned. Time and time again frustration creeps in. We are so motivated and inspired by what we see but fail to put in place the things that would change our lives.

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Frustration happens when the gap between what you expect to be true and what is true gets bigger. Motivation tends to create an expectation that is not rooted in reality. We want to take on the world but cannot get off Netflix long enough to do so.

Motivation is not the answer, but working hard is. Good habits and routines that produce success are the byproducts of a strong work ethic. The habits and routines we create and follow are the foundation on which we build a winning life.

How to Work Hard by Working Smarter

Here are 4 routines that will help you learn how to work hard and achieve your short term and long term goals.

1. Define What a Win Looks Like

In football, a player that crosses into the end zone gain points. In soccer, a player kicks the ball into the net to score. Hockey, lacrosse, and basketball are all the same. The player takes the object and moves it into the designated area to gain points. The team with the most points wins the game.

Why is it that we can define what a win looks like in sports, but we fail to do so in our leadership, our businesses, or our homes?

Learning how to work hard without setting a target is futile. It is insanity to work hard without having a clear direction to place your energy. I would argue that defining a win is one of the most important routines that a leader can have. Defining a win separates superficial activity from meaningful activity.

When I define a win, I know the goal line I have to cross[1]. Knowing where the goal line is informs me of the activity I have to engage in to cross it. Without a clear direction, I am spinning my wheels hoping that I will get to a destination I haven’t defined. It is like asking a GPS for directions but failing to input the destination.

4 Steps to Define a Win
  • Know the outcome you desire.
  • Declare the outcome in specific, meaningful terms.
  • Write the outcome down.
  • Set your activity list to only do that which will complete your goals.

Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I started speaking professionally. As a young and naïve speaker, I thought winning meant that I had to get a reaction from the audience. If they cheered, smiled, or cried, I considered myself a winner. The problem was my lack of understanding of what a win looked like. As a seasoned speaker, my wins look different.

As of today, when I speak, I am not looking for any emotional reactions from the audience. I win if, and only if, I clearly communicated my point so that anyone hearing the talk can take it and apply it to their lives that day. That is how I define a win when I speak now.

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Create a habit of declaring a win. When you do, you will see your productivity soar and your encouragement increase. Pairing a hard work ethic with wise decisions creates victory. Stop being a mouse on a wheel that goes nowhere, and start being the captain of your fleet.

2. Evaluate Your Activity

Not all activity is equal. There are things you must do, things you need to do, and things we can either give away or delete. The greatest challenge of a leader is understanding the difference. Understanding what activity is busywork and what activity is mission work is pivotal.

Not only do we need to learn how to evaluate our activity, but we must make this a core routine in our arsenal of success. Stop working so hard on everything and start learning how to work hard on the right things.

Not every activity will move the needle forward for you. In fact, you were never meant to do everything yourself! Once we stop trying to be a martyr in our leadership, we can start looking at how to take things off our plates through delegation.

Based on the Eisenhower box, there are 4 things that we look at when deciding on which activities are important:

  • Do now
  • Plan to do it later
  • Delegate to someone else
  • Delete it

Powerful questions are the way you discover if the activity is right or not:

  • Does this activity move me towards or away from my goals?
  • Do I have to do this activity or can I give this activity away to someone else?
  • Does this activity have to be now right now or can it be scheduled for later dates?
  • Does this activity have to be done at all?

Evaluating the type of activity you engage in should be a routine that you do daily. Learning how to work hard should create progress. Having a system of evaluation and a routine to do it will help.

3. Prioritize Your Calendar

If you were to show me your calendar, I could show you why you are not further along. When you lack the routine of placing things on your calendar, two things happen.

First, what does not make it on your calendar does not get done.

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It is a simple truth that is often overlooked. Your calendar contains the power to change your life. Yet, we don’t use our calendars to their fullest potential.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

Also, if you don’t mark you activities on your calendar, you are leaving it open to other’s priorities.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey

Having a routine in your life where you place things on your calendar is pivotal to your success. This is not a routine one should overlook.

It’s time to take your leadership and business to the next level. It’s time to start putting your daily routines on your calendar, along with your priorities.

4. Reflect on Your Day and Plan the Next

We are all about the morning routine. Whatever that looks like for you, there should be a routine in the morning that sets you up for success.

Hard work starts when your feet hit the ground in the morning. Creating the habit of winning starts with the first thing you accomplish that morning. If you win your morning, you will win your day.

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Best Morning Routine to Prepare to Work Hard

    But how often have you heard people talk about an evening routine? Tomorrow is won the day before it happens. When you fail to plan your day, you may put your effort toward in the wrong things. Route replaces routine. Indecision replaces decisiveness. Losses replace wins. The discouragement will deflate your momentum and increases the chances of procrastination. That is why we set our schedule the night before.

    “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” -Sun Tzu

    Working hard doesn’t have to be hard work. It shouldn’t take much out of you learn how to work hard as long as you work smart. Having a time where you reflect on the day and set your priorities is the difference-maker.

    Use these questions to reflect on your day:

    • What went well?
    • What didn’t go well?
    • What can I change?
    • What do I need to start doing?
    • What do I need to stop doing?

    The Bottom Line

    Navigating through life is hard work. Yet, the work doesn’t have to be hard when you work smarter. When you create routines that support your mission, you create wins. Working hard, the smart way will tip the balance in our favor.

    Boxing legend Joe Frazier said:

    “Champions aren’t made in the ring; they are merely recognized there.”

    Champions put in the hard work behind the scenes. The world recognized them as a champion when they saw the results of the hard work. Right now, you are doing the work of creating a champion in yourself.

    That work is setting your routines in order because you now know that success flows from your daily routines. If you are not experiencing the success you desire, then it is time to change things up.

    More on Creating Healthy Routines

    Featured photo credit: Zan via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] The Balance Careers: Interview Question: “How Do You Define Success?”

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