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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 April 17, 2019

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

1. Communication Skills

Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

2. Flexibility

Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

3. Being a Team Player

Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

4. Positive Mental Attitude

There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

5. A Strong Work Ethic

People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

  • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
  • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
  • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
  • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

6. Public Speaking

Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

7. Integrity

From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

  • Always doing what you say you will do
  • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

…even when no one is around to check up on you.

There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

8. Managing Your Time

Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

9. Assertiveness

In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

  • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
  • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
  • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
  • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

How do you use this information for yourself?

It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

10. Creative Thinking

LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Final Thoughts

The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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