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29 Signs You Might Be An Entrepreneur (Even If You Don’t Feel You Are)

29 Signs You Might Be An Entrepreneur (Even If You Don’t Feel You Are)

One of the sexiest professional titles these days is the entrepreneur. But what makes it so sexy? Is it the enormous amount of personal risk they can take to transform into a great fortune? Is it the world changing solutions they create in their company’s products or services? Is it the freedom to live life as the boss? All three sound great to me, how about you? In fact, have you ever thought about yourself as an entrepreneur…even if you feel like you haven’t done anything you deem as entrepreneurial? Take a look through these 29 signs and you might just discover that you are a closet entrepreneur.

1. You used to sell things as a kid.

Whether it was Pokemon cards, lemonade or hand-crafted jewelry… if you used to sell your own products or services as a kid, chances are that you’ve got that entrepreneurial spirit.

2. The idea of a 9 to 5 job turns you off.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with a 9 to 5 job; I’m saying that you would rather focus a greater chunk of your time and energy on your own entrepreneurial ventures — for example: building a new app, creating a new service that connects teachers and mentors with students online, or publishing a book and course that guides others to turn their passion into profits. If this sounds like you then this sounds like a sign that you might be an entrepreneur. The irony, especially at the beginning of a start-up, is that entrepreneurs can end up working from 7am-11pm…six to seven days a week. However, they say they love it, rather than feel obligated to do it.

3. You feel like you don’t fit in to the status quo.

Growing up, you didn’t seem to get the culture. You didn’t feel like you fit in and you didn’t want to follow the traditional patterns of their society. You wanted to create something different…something extraordinary.

4. You love new ideas. 

Ideas are like adventures for you. Often times you may get more excited about the idea than the actual work, and in the past you have definitely told people that someone took your idea and made a million bucks with it.

5. You get “shower ideas”.

You love ideas so much, you shower with them…probably more often than you’d shower with a partner. If you’ve ever gotten a light bulb flash in your mind and you ran out of the shower to write it down, you might be an entrepreneur.

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6. You didn’t like the traditional education system. 

Along with not fitting into the culture, you didn’t like the regimented structure of the traditional education system. You would probably day dream ideas feeling like things were moving too slow. You would challenge teachers and other students by questioning them on the lecture material and their belief systems. You liked to think outside of the box.

7. You love to travel. 

You’ve got a hunger for adventure. You’ve done some backpacking in the world. Your adventurous spirit also shows up in how you created a computer in your garage or the outfit you designed that you received compliments on. You love newness, seeing new areas, meeting new people, hearing new ideas and starting new businesses around the world.

8. You love your independence. 

You love to have your freedom of choices. The idea of owning the business rather than working as an employee in a business feels natural to you and excites you more. It’s about having the freedom to create the value you want to see in the world.

9. You are a leader. 

You naturally take charge as a leader in situations, whether it’s guiding a group of friends out for a fun night or leading your team in a soccer game…your leadership is a powerful quality of what makes someone an entrepreneur.

10. You feel compelled to help others. 

What drives you most in life is contribution. The idea of contributing to people’s lives by giving people jobs that provide them with their life necessities and desires, and also providing outstanding value to your customers makes you feel incredibly fulfilled.

11. You have a vision. 

You know what it is you want to contribute to the world. You want to introduce something that will increase the quality of life for others that hasn’t been done yet in the world, or in the communities you want to serve.

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12. You notice how things can be improved. 

Your focus is often on optimizing and upgrading things, systems, your life. You might notice how an app can be made better so it’s more valuable for it’s users…or you may notice how a recipe can be upgraded so it’s healthier and more delicious. Having that quality of focusing on optimizing life is a great sign that you might be an entrepreneur.

13. You love growth.

Along with a strong need and desire to contribute, you are also most powerfully driven by growth. You love to make progress in your life and you love to help others progress in their life.

14. You are hungry for greater opportunities.

You’ve got a keen sense for sniffing out great opportunities. You notice products and services that are amazing, especially those that you’ve seen during your travels that are also missing in your home city. You probably watch Shark Tank often or have some media source for hearing about new ideas, concepts, products and services. Entrepreneurs love greater opportunities, especially those that grow their businesses.

15. You love variety. 

You have a high need for variety, stimulus, change and they often meet this need through creating value in your life and for others.

16. You want to be part of a team. 

You love team work. Even if you like to do things on your own, you still like having the ability to delegate work so you can focus on what you’re most skilled at. Entrepreneurs are leaders in their teams, holding the vision for the team to create together…and if you love team work and especially love leadership, you might be an entrepreneur.

17. You crave flexibility and spontaneity. 

Related to your dislike of the traditional education system, you love to have flexibility and live spontaneously. This is most evident in lifestyle entrepreneurs. Does this sound like something you crave? If so, you might be an entrepreneur.

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18. You want to create a lasting legacy.

You feel a strong pull to create something meaningful in your lifetime that’ll benefit the lives of others and will continue to do even after you die. Entrepreneurs are purpose-driven to create a lasting legacy of benefitting people’s lives through their products, services, and the value they bring to the world.

19. You’re a problem solver. 

Your friends and family know you as the problem solver. You look for solutions in areas where there is pain. If this sounds like you, you might be an entrepreneur.

20. You seek out new challenges.

Whether it’s facing your fears, competing in a Spartan Race, or writing an inspirational book…challenges excite you because you love to grow.

21. The future excites you. 

You live to bring the vision of the future into now. You are forward thinking and love seeing the bigger picture.

22. You’re good at understanding what people really want. 

You seem to have a knack for really understanding what people want and need.

23. You read Lifehack. 

Lifehack readers love to optimize their lives, learn and grow in all aspects of their lives. If you read Lifehack, this is a sign that you might be an entrepreuner.

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24. You start more things than you finish. 

You love growth and contribution, and you love the rush from taking massive action that you often start something and you won’t even be half way through before you’re on a new venture. This is where you’d want to hire the people and teams to carry out the work for your vision that you started.

25. You see opportunities where others see problems. 

You are an optimist and you see the gifts where there is pain. You know you can come up with a new solution or find an existing solution and see the opportunity in introducing it to those who are in pain and want to get out of it.

26. You’re willing to take risks. 

Between the entrepreneur, artist and manager, the entrepreneur is the one who takes on the greatest personal risk. I’m not saying you like to take life-threatening risks often or at all like Richard Branson has done, rather that you are comfortable taking on risks for greater rewards.

27. You peer group is full of entrepreneurs. 

Jim Rohn has said many times, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” His point is that your peer group greatly influences you. With that in mind, if your close friends are entrepreneurs…that’s a sign that you might be an entrepreneur and you might not know it.

28. You attend personal development seminars. 

Because you love growth, you also love your own personal growth and development. I was at a Tony Robbin’s seminar when he asked the room the question, “How many of you here are business owners?” The overwhelming majority raised their hand. Entrepreneurs understand that as their psychology and skills grow, they influence their businesses to grow more because they are the leaders of their business.

29. You want to share your gifts with the world. 

You know your special gifts and you want to share them with the world. Marie Forleo is an awesome woman and entrepreneur who lives this quality and inspires and guides other entrepreneurs to share their gifts with the world more effectively. If you click with Marie, you might be an entrepreneur.

If you didn’t think of yourself as an entrepreneur before and seem to relate to many of these 29 signs, you might be an entrepreneur.

Featured photo credit: Handsome businessman talking on the phone in coffee shop. via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on December 5, 2018

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

Being an efficient manager and a charismatic boss at the same time can seem like an impossible task. Is there a way to deliver the desired results for your business while remaining liked and respected by your staff?

We all know bad examples of team leaders who seem to fail at one aspect or the other, or even at both. But we’ve also heard of awesome managers who seem to juggle both things well enough.

How do they do it?

By sticking to few proven ways that let them maintain a positive karma score while remaining efficient. In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 smart management tips on how to lead a team and become something more than a boss – a leader.

1. Find a Management Strategy and Stick to It

There’s nothing worse than a boss that keeps changing his or her opinions and assignments depending on their mood or a book they read this week. Chaotic decisions increase the insecurity and frustration of your team, so you better find your strategy and stick to it.

If you do find some new methods you want your staff to follow, make sure they don’t contradict the general direction you are taking. Otherwise, you risk making your team take one step forward and two steps back.

2. Set Goals​ and Track Progress in Reaching Them

Set individual and collective goals​ for your team and track the progress in reaching them. This might sound obvious at first, but too often we find ourselves stuck between daily customer requests and monthly reports, and the bigger goal or vision seems to fade away.

According to Elon Musk (and many other successful CEOs around the Globe), it’s crucial to have a clear and motivating aim to where the company is heading. His aim for the space transportation company SpaceX is “to make humankind a multi-planetary species”.[1] That’s a huge goal but the company is slowly moving closer to it by reaching smaller steps and milestones, like launching self-landing rockets. This is also a very inspiring and meaningful goal that helps employees endure the company’s extremely high expectations and 60 to 70-hour work weeks.[2]

Even if your goals are not as grand, setting and reaching milestones will give you a clear insight into the team’s overall efficiency and daily progress. With time, you will be able to see the weak spots and improve your results.​

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3. Demand Learning from Your Team

CEO of print on demand startup Printful, Davis Siksnans, believes that:[3]

“The key for a company going through rapid growth is to empower your employees’ self-development.”

His company with 500 employees spanning two continents demands a culture of learning and provides all the tools necessary to do it.

Their idea is –  as the company scales, people have to grow in their positions too, which means that they have to be constantly learning. Siksnans says:

“We try to hire people for what they might become, but they need to have that drive.“

Alternatively, you can provide educational courses for your employees or invite informal lecturers to educate and inspire your team. You can also encourage peer-to-peer learning by asking employees to teach their particular experience or skill to co-workers.

4. Invest in a Pleasant Work Environment

Studies show that a well-designed office environment can increase your team’s overall performance by as much as 20%. You’ll be surprised to see that even very small interior tweaks that don’t require major investments can improve your workers’ performance.

Some ideas for a more productive and pleasing work environment:

  • Invest in modern furniture – offer ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and individually arranged workplaces​.
  • Start an in-house library – reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is proven to be enough to become more effective at work,[4] improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.​
  • Play jazzy office music – rhythmic background music will help workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.​
  • Set up entertainment or break rooms – being able to relax and have fun at work creates a strong commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts productivity.​
  • Bring in uplifting office decor – it’s been found that art in the workplace can boost productivity,[5] lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate.​
  • Decorate the office with live plants for freshness and a welcoming feel. Furthermore, plants are found to ensure better air quality and increase workers’ productivity by 15%.[6]

5. Be Kind and Sincere to Your Team

Did you know that 50% of employees quit because they dislike working with their manager?[7] In fact, most times when people leave their jobs they actually leave their managers. Being friendly and sincere may not be enough to be a successful manager, but it’s a big part of it.

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Some ways to show you appreciate and care for your staff:

  • Celebrate the progress and achievements of your employees. And don’t be shy to simply say thanks.​
  • Talk to your employees regularly and really listen to what they have to say. Address their concerns, help them reach their goals and do your best to improve their work and daily life.
  • If you’re having a bad day, don’t pour out your stress and anger on the staff. Instead, try to recharge yourself by appreciating the achievements of your team and setting the next goals.
  • Try not to overload your team with work. Every company has rush periods when it’s okay to have more work than usual. But remember that people cannot work under prolonged pressure and stress.
  • Don’t be selfish – it can be very demotivating to see that the manager only focuses on what you can do for him and doesn’t care about your goals and well-being.​ As the CEO of Xerox Anne M. Mulcahy put it,[8]

    “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”

Whenever you are having doubts about your kind attitude, remember – satisfied employees are productive employees which lead to satisfied customers and eventually – success for your company.

6. Offer Flexible Work Hours

The traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job is beginning to slip away. Increasingly more people are working remotely or having flexible work hours, and we can expect this trend to continue. To adapt to these changing habits and remain competitive in the labor market, more employers are offering the chance to choose your own work hours, work from home or even from another city or country.

Offering flexible hours is a powerful way to inspire your existing staff and give them intrinsic motivation. Why not let your employees choose their preferred working hours while keeping the 8-hour day? For example, night owls are unhappy and unproductive if they have to come to work before 10 AM, while others might prefer to start at 7 and finish earlier.

You can go even farther and hire remote workers – this way you’ll be able to recruit from a global talent pool and even save money on office expenses like desks, stationery, electricity, etc.[9]

7. Track Your Team’s Productive Time

Not monitoring your employees’ progress and efficiency can result in poor performance and slacking. Instead of letting things go with the flow, you should consider installing time-tracking software on your employees’ computers and see who’s doing great and who might need a productivity boost.

But don’t get it wrong – there’s no need to become big brother and watch every step your employees take. If you use the time-tracker as a spying tool, you will only see increasing suspicion and insecurity around you, and your employees’ happiness levels will drop.

On the contrary, choose software that allows employees to mark private time that won’t be tracked. In addition, consider these time-management tactics:

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  • Allow flexible work hours. (see Tip No 6)
  • Encourage breaks – studies show that employees who take regular breaks are more productive than those who don’t.[10]
  • Enable remote work to show your employees that you trust them and that they can work from home or even from another country (if they can maintain sufficient productivity).
  • Consider offering bonuses to your most productive employees (those who show productivity levels above 90 or 95%).

8. Use Only Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism means offering valid and rational opinions about the work of others, involving both positive comments and remarks about what should be improved. Constructive criticism is usually expressed in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

When you evaluate your team’s work, give them feedback that’s helpful, specific, and sincere. Don’t be shy to praise, but also be direct and even strict when necessary.

9. Don’t Give Special Treatment to Yourself

The boss’s actions are – directly or indirectly – observed by your team. This means that your employees look up to you and often mimic your attitude towards your work and the company – especially if your actions don’t show commitment. Nobody wants to work for a leader who doesn’t go all in or inspire motivation.

What you should do is lead by example. If you expect your employees to arrive at work on time and work 8 hours, do the same yourself. If you want them to show initiative, show it yourself and encourage others to do the same.

Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn – a company of 3,000 employees that consistently ranks as one of the best workplaces with a 92 percent employee-approval rating.[11] Weiner’s workdays are reported to be equally long or even longer than those of his employees, allowing him to stay “extremely credible as a leader.”

10. Empower Your Employees

Here’s a common mistake many managers make:

They don’t motivate their staff and assume they simply love to work for their company.​ Such belief can result in painful losses for the company – especially these days when many companies are in desperate need of a reliable workforce.

Instead of directly thinking about bonuses and perks, consider intrinsic motivation. For example, enable flat organization in your team and listen to your employees’ ideas when they come up with opinions and suggestions. Your company might actually benefit a great deal from the feedback, and the unique ideas employees come up with.

You can also start an initiative where employees can freely share or pitch their business ideas to you or the founders of the company. If the idea is accepted by the management, the project can be developed, and the employee can have equity options.

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If people feel they have an impact in the company, they become more motivated, engaged and interested in the company’s growth.

11. Nurture Your Company Culture

Company culture is the personality of a company that defines the overall work environment and relationships between teammates. It also includes company mission, values, ethics, and goals.

Some examples of company cultures are the Horizontal corporate culture (collaborative and equal; popular among startups and free-spirited businesses) and Conventional corporate culture (a more risk-averse and hierarchy-based approach common in traditional companies).

However, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing boxes when creating your corporate culture. You might think of your team as a family, a sports team, or even a hippie camp if it fits your business and purpose. But keep in mind that by the time a company’s size reaches 20 employees, the company culture is set,[12] and any changes will need to be implemented in smaller teams.

Whichever personality you choose for your company, make sure to live by it and nurture it. Some things that might help:

Team building events, relevant books in your office library and proper on-boarding for the new employees to get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

Be a Leader, Not a Boss

Using the words of Printful’s CEO Davis Siksnans, the ultimate goal is to “Hire great people who don’t have to be managed.”

However, when you do need to demonstrate some initiative and control, act as a leader rather than as a boss.

In other words, don’t be afraid to show the personality behind your role. And keep these 11 tips close to your heart.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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