Becoming an entrepreneur was not a choice. There was always something nagging at me, pushing me to do my own thing. Even when I worked in the corporate world, I always felt like I was just learning the ropes, understanding the system, and building my skill set so that one day I could ultimately start my own business.
After spending the last few years on this exciting entrepreneurial journey, I realize that there are specific attributes that entrepreneurs share. We are united by certain quirks and ambitions that seem to baffle those around us. Every time I think about the freedom I felt when I launched my business, I am convinced that I was born to be an entrepreneur.
But what about you? What prompted you to start your own business? What made you think you could even be a successful entrepreneur?
Business owners approach life differently. We don’t sit back and accept things as they are. We are determined to create our own way. There are distinct characteristics that separate entrepreneurs from everyone else. In case you’re still deciding whether this journey is for you…
Here are seven ways to know if you were born to be an entrepreneur:
1. If soulless paper pushing is not an option – While those around you seem content with clocking in and out of work, and collecting a check at the end of the week, the thought of working a meaningless job makes you miserable. Most entrepreneurs would rather go broke, then waste their lives away doing work that means nothing to them. As entrepreneurs, we have something in us that pushes us each day to show the world what we’re made of, and to put our souls into the work we do. We honestly feel like we are cheating ourselves whenever we’re not putting our skills, our talent, and our passion to work. When the check alone is not enough…there’s a good chance that you were born to be an entrepreneur.
2. If you have a hustler’s spirit that you can’t shake – When you have a natural ability to see money-making opportunities everywhere, you have the entrepreneur gene. Entrepreneurs are constantly making mental notes of great ideas, inventions, businesses and services that other people have not yet capitalized on. Even when our existing businesses are doing well, we are constantly thinking of new ways to expand, new partnerships to form, and new revenue streams to explore. We are always juggling multiple projects, moving fast to get it all done, and still making it look easy to those watching from the sidelines. If your hustler’s spirit cannot be stopped, you were definitely meant to be your own boss.
3. If you are the chief problem solver in your circle of friends – As others stress out about problems and issues in their personal and professional lives they turned to you for your insight, your knack for problem solving, and your ability to say the right words at just the right time. Entrepreneurs have a way of stepping outside of situations, to assess problems from different angles, and to come up with strategic ways to flip negative issues into positive ones. By keeping cool as we resolve the problems at hand, our leadership skill shines through and earns the trust and respect of those around us. If you just finish consoling your friend…then you need to explore your gift. Problem-solving is a critical business skill that money can’t buy.
4. If you can sell water to a well – Being an entrepreneur is about selling– yourself, your products, your ideas, and your business. Entrepreneurs know how to brand themselves and their businesses to get people to support their cause and buy what they’re selling. If you are a trendsetter who is constantly putting people up on the hotness… If your recommendation motivates them to buy the next big thing… If you can convince someone to go out and do something they didn’t plan on doing, then you have a special gift that makes you…not just any entrepreneur, but a great one.
5. If you prefer to fly solo rather than roll with the flock – As great as it is to own your own business, it is a lonely journey. Even if you have business partners, you have to be comfortable carrying a lot of weight and making sacrifices and decisions on your own. Regardless of how extroverted they may seem, entrepreneurs are comfortable being alone– as that’s often a part of the job description. Entrepreneurs are leaders. They naturally stand out from the pack, and they approach life differently. Group-think is not a part of an entrepreneurs’ DNA… while they can roll up their sleeves and do the teamwork thing, they are quite comfortable leading their own charge. And, with their charismatic approach they have no problem motivating others to follow their lead. If you find yourself breaking away from the pack to define your own path…you are well on your way to the world of entrepreneurship.
6. If you are willing to do what others won’t, to get what you want – While everyone talks about getting rich, and how cool it would be to live their dreams, entrepreneurs have a solid plan in action to make it happen. Instead of sleeping late, hanging out with friends, and wasting their money, entrepreneurs are busy putting in the extra work to get where they want to be… as quickly as possible! If you willingly make the sacrifices it takes to get ahead, and if you are not thrown off track by the immediate thrills around you, then you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
7. If your dream of the good life keeps you working through the night – When you think about your life, are you in a rush to change your situation for the better? Do you have a great vision in your head of how your life is supposed to be? Maybe your “good life” means more time with your family, more control of your schedule, more fulfilling work, more respect for yourself, and more resources to help you get more out of life. Regardless of what your “good life” consists of– if the thought of attaining it propels you to keep working, to keep fighting, and to keep hustling everyday, then your entrepreneurial drive will take you there.