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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 June 18, 2019

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common leadership styles and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

        More About Leadership

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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