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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 October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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