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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 November 5, 2020

Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Overcome It)

Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Overcome It)

Nobody enjoys failing. Fear of failure can be so strong that avoiding failure eclipses the motivation to succeed. Insecurity about doing things incorrectly causes many people to unconsciously sabotage their chances for success.

Fear is part of human nature. As an entrepreneur, I faced this same fear. My ego and identity became intertwined with my work, and when things didn’t go as planned, I completely shut down. I overcame this unhealthy relationship with fear, and I believe that you can, too.

Together we’ll examine how you can use failure to your advantage instead of letting it run your life. We’ll also look at how to overcome fear of failure so that you can enjoy success in your work and life.

What Is Fear of Failure?

If you are afraid of failure, it will cause you to avoid potentially harmful situations.

Fear of failure keeps you from trying, creates self-doubt, stalls progress, and may lead you to go against your morals.

What causes a fear of failure? Here are the main reasons why fear of failing exists:

Patterns From Childhood

Hyper-critical adults cause children to internalize damaging mindsets.[1] They establish ultimatums and fear-based rules. This causes children to feel the constant need to ask for permission and reassurance. They carry this need for validation into adulthood.

Perfectionism

Perfectionism is often at the root of a fear of failure.[2] For perfectionists, failure is so terrible and humiliating that they don’t try. Stepping outside your comfort zone becomes terrifying.

Over-Personalization

The ego may lead us to over-identify with failures. It’s hard to look beyond failure at things like the quality of the effort, extenuating circumstances, or growth opportunities.[3]

False Self-Confidence

People with true confidence know they won’t always succeed. A person with fragile self-confidence avoids risks. They’d rather play it safe than try something new.[4]

How the Fear of Failure Holds You Back

Unhealthy Organization Culture

Too many organizations today have cultures of perfection: a set of organizational beliefs that any failure is unacceptable. Only pure, untainted success will do.

Imagine the stress and terror in an organization like that. The constant covering up of the smallest blemishes. The wild finger-pointing as everyone tries to shift the blame for the inevitable messes onto someone else. The lying, cheating, falsification of data, and hiding of problems—until they become crises that defy being hidden any longer.

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Miss out on Valuable Opportunities

If some people fail to reach a complete answer because of the lure of some early success, many more fail because of their ego-driven commitment to what worked in the past. You often see this with senior people, especially those who made their names by introducing some critical change years ago.

They shy away from further innovation, afraid that this time they might fail, diminishing the luster they try to keep around their names from past triumph.

Besides, they reason, the success of something new might even prove that those achievements they made in the past weren’t so great after all. Why take the risk when you can hang on to your reputation by doing nothing?

Such people are so deeply invested in their egos and the glories of their past that they prefer to set aside opportunities for future glory rather than risk even the possibility of failure.

High Achievers Become Losers

Every talent contains an opposite that sometimes turns it into a problem. Successful people like to win and achieve high standards. This can make them so terrified of failure that it ruins their lives. When a positive trait, like achievement, becomes too strong in someone’s life, it’s on the way to becoming a major obstacle.

Achievement is a powerful value for many successful people. They’ve built their lives on it. They achieve at everything they do: school, college, sports, the arts, hobbies, work. Each fresh achievement adds to the power of the value in their lives.

Gradually, failure becomes unthinkable. Maybe they’ve never failed yet in anything that they’ve done, so they have no experience of rising above it. Failure becomes the supreme nightmare: a frightful horror they must avoid at any cost.

The simplest way to do this is never to take a risk, stick rigidly to what you know you can do, protect yourself, work the longest hours, double and triple check everything, and be the most conscientious and conservative person in the universe.

If constant hard work, diligence, brutal working schedules and harrying subordinates won’t ward off the possibility of failing, use every other possible means to to keep it away. Falsify numbers, hide anything negative, conceal errors, avoid customer feedback, constantly shift the blame for errors onto anyone too weak to fight back.

Loss of Creativity

Over-achievers destroy their own peace of mind and the lives of those who work for them. People too attached to “goodness” and morality become self-righteous bigots. Those whose values for building close relationships become unbalanced slide into smothering their friends and family with constant expressions of affection and demands for love in return.

Everyone likes to succeed. The problem comes when fear of failure is dominant, when you can no longer accept the inevitability of making mistakes, nor recognize the importance of trial and error in finding the most creative solution.

The more creative you are, the more errors you are going to make. Deciding to avoid the errors will destroy your creativity, too.

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Balance counts more than you think. Some tartness must season the sweetest dish. A little selfishness is valuable even in the most caring person. And a little failure is essential to preserve everyone’s perspective on success.

We hear a lot about being positive. Maybe we also need to recognize that the negative parts of our lives and experience have just as important a role to play in finding success, in work, and in life.

How to Overcome Fear of Failure (Step-by-Step)

1. Figure out Where the Fear Comes From

Ask yourself what the root cause of your negative belief could be.[5] When you look at the four main causes for a fear of failure, which ones resonate with you?

Write down where you think the fear comes from, and try to understand it as an outsider.

If it helps, imagine you’re trying to help one of your best friends. Perhaps your fear stems from something that happened in your childhood, or a deep-seated insecurity.

Naming the source of the fear takes away some of its power.

2. Reframe Beliefs About Your Goal

Having an all or nothing mentality leaves you with nothing sometimes. Have a clear vision for what you’d like to accomplish but include learning something new in your goal.

If you always aim for improvement and learning, you are much less likely to fail.[6]

At Pixar, people are actually encouraged to “fail early and fail fast.”[7] They encourage experimentation and innovation so that they can stay on the cutting edge. That mindset involves failure, but as long as they achieve their vision of telling great stories, all the stumbling blocks are just opportunities to grow.

3. Learn to Think Positive

In many cases, you believe what you tell yourself. Your internal dialogue affects how you react and behave.

Our society is obsessed with success, but it’s important to recognize that even the most successful people encounter failure.

Walt Disney was once fired from a newspaper because they thought he lacked creativity. He went on to found an animation studio that failed. He never gave up, and now Disney is a household name.

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Steve Jobs was also once fired from Apple before returning as the face of the company for many years. [8]

If Disney and Jobs had believed the negative feedback, they wouldn’t have made it.

It’s up to you to notice your negative self talk and identify triggers[9]. Replace negative thoughts with positive facts about yourself and the situation. You’ll be able to create a new mental scripts that you can reach for when you feel negativity creeping in. The voice inside your head has a great effect on what you do.

How To Be A Positive Thinker: Positivity Exercises, Affirmations, & Quotes

    4. Visualize all Potential Outcomes

    Uncertainty about what will happen next is terrifying. Take time to visualize the possible outcomes of your decision. Think about the best and worst-case scenarios. You’ll feel better if you’ve already had a chance to mentally prepare for what could happen.

    Fear of the unknown might keep you from taking a new job. Weigh the pros and cons, and imagine potential successes and failures in making such a life-altering decision. Knowing how things could turn out might help you get unstuck.

    5. Look at the Worst-Case Scenario

    There are times when the worst case could be absolutely devastating. In many cases, if something bad happens, it won’t be the end of the world.

    It’s important to define how bad the worst case scenario is in the grand scheme of your life. Sometimes, we give situations more power than they deserve. In most cases, a failure is not permanent.

    For example, when you start a new business, it’s bound to be a learning experience. You’ll make decisions that don’t pan out, but often that discomfort is temporary. You can change your strategy and rebound. Even in the worst case scenario, if the perceived failure led to the end of that business, it might be the launching point for something new.

    6. Have a Backup Plan

    It never hurts to have a backup plan. The last thing you want to do is scramble for a solution when the worst has happened. The old adage is solid wisdom:

    “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

    Having a backup plan gives you more confidence to move forward and take calculated risks.

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    Perhaps you’ve applied for a grant to fund an initiative at work. In the worst-case scenario, if you don’t get the grant, are there other ways you could get the funds?

    There are usually multiple ways to tackle a problem, so having a backup is a great way to reduce anxiety about possible failure.

    7. Learn From Whatever Happens

    Things may not go the way you planned, but that doesn’t automatically mean you’ve failed. Learn from whatever arises.[10] Even a less than ideal situation can be a great opportunity to make changes and grow.

    “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”

    Dig deep enough, and you’re bound to find the silver lining. When you’ve learned that “failure” is an opportunity for growth instead of a death sentence, you conquer the fear of failure.

    For more tips on how to overcome fear of failure, check out the video below:

    Final Thoughts

    To overcome fear of failure, we can start by figuring out where it comes from and reframing the way we feel about failure. When failure is a chance for growth, and you’ve looked at all possible outcomes, it’s easier to overcome fear.

    Stay positive, have a backup plan, and learn from whatever happens. Your failures will be sources of education and inspiration rather than humiliation.

    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas A. Edison

    Failures can be blessings in disguise. Go boldly in the direction of your dreams and long-term goals.

    More Tips for Conquering Fear

    Featured photo credit: Patrick Hendry via unsplash.com

    Reference

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