There are two types of people in the world. Entrepreneurs and everyone else. Want to know which type you are? Here are 50 signs that you might be an entrepreneur.
1. You sold things when you were a kid.
While there are exceptions, it’s not uncommon to hear stories about entrepreneurs hustling at a young age. Here’s just a couple of examples;
- Daymond John customized pencils for girls he had a crush on when he was in first grade
- Warren Buffett sold packs of gum to his neighbors when he was age 6.
- At 12-years-old Mark Cuban was selling trash bags in his neighborhood.
- Richard Branson bred and sold parakeets when he was 11.
- Juliette Brindak launched her website Miss O and Friends when she was 16.
2. You can handle isolation.
The entrepreneur’s journey is a lonely-one. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. You’re going to spend a majority of your time alone – whether if it’s thinking of ideas, traveling, or coping with the fact that your business failed. If you don’t mind being alone, then that’s an assist.
However, considering that loneliness can “vastly elevate” a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer, make sure that overcome it by collaborating with others, working with a mentor, or joining an entrepreneurial community.
3. You take action.
Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group, co-star of TV’s Shark Tank, believe that those with a concept and not a detailed strategy possess that entrepreneurial spirit. “I hate entrepreneurs with beautiful business plans,” she says.
Instead of devoting too much time in writing a plan, “Invest as [you] go.” This is because it shows that you take action by solving problems and thinking on your feet instead of over analyzing situations.
4. You’re restless.
Are the type of person who achieved a goal and aren’t satisfied? Instead you’re thinking about what you can achieve next? Then you might just be an entrepreneur.
Personally, after getting my company Due up-and-running, I was on the prowl for my next project – which so just happened to be Calendar. Even though I didn’t have to look for a new challenge, I had that itch to take on a new project.
5. You’re intelligent.
No. This doesn’t mean that you’re a valedictorian or got into an Ivy League school. After all, there are plenty of entrepreneurs who either skipped higher education or dropped-out of school.
What I mean by intelligence is that you have a knack to solve problems and have an excellent memory. In fact, a UC Berkeley Haas School of Business study found that when comparing unincorporated self-employed people with incorporated self-employed people, those who fell into the entrepreneur category scored higher in cognitive ability and learning aptitude.
6. You like being in control.
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Elon Musk aren’t just successful entrepreneurs. They’ve also been described as control freaks. And, that makes sense. You have a vision and want to make sure that it comes to fruition.
Keep in mind, however, that being an entrepreneur also means knowing how to clearly explain that vision to others. And occasionally handing over the reins to someone else from time-to-time.
7. You’re passionate.
In my opinion, this is what separates entrepreneurs from everyone else. After all, without passion you’ll never succeed. That’s because passion keeps you going when money isn’t coming-in, you have to do unpleasant tasks, or you’re physically and mentally drained.
8. You’re a hustler.
There are plenty of people who need structure and want to know what comes next. That’s not an entrepreneur. We thrive in knowing that we’ll receive what we put into it and that we have the freedom to do it our way.
9. You hate authority and want to break all the rules.
After studying members of the Kairos Society, a non-profit organization that is encouraging entrepreneurship among those ages 18 to 22, Humantelligence found that young entrepreneurs started their businesses because they hate authority and want to break the rules.
“We found that when looking at the profiles of the Kairos members there were a number of qualities we have found consistent amongst many entrepreneurial leaders we have collected data on,” said Ryder Fyrwald, director of strategic partnerships at Humantelligence. “Many of them go against the status-quo and challenge convention — approaching their work with a flexible attitude, based on getting it done.”
10. You’re optimistic.
By nature, entrepreneurs are optimistic. They’re not afraid to step-up to the plate because they struck out the last time. Instead, entrepreneurs believe that the more times you go to bat, the more likely you’ll hit a homerun.
11. You always have ideas.
Whether if you’re in the shower, driving, or shopping the ideas never stop flowing when you’re an entrepreneur. Even if you don’t capitalize on them, you probably have notebooks or Word documents full of potential business ideas.
12. You don’t take “no” for an answer.
Entrepreneurs are tenacious. In fact, they never — and I mean never – concede. Instead of throwing in the towel, they’ll figure out how to do the impossible.
13. You’re a born risk taker.
Think back to your childhood. Were you the adventurous one who grabbed the rope and swung into the lake? Since entrepreneurs are taking calculated risks everyday, it only makes sense that they’re natural risk-takers.
14. You’re confident.
Make no mistake about it. You need confidence to believe in your dream and take action. No wonder the Haas School of Business found that when measuring the level of approval or disapproval of one’s self entrepreneurs scored twice as high as salaried workers.
15. You’re a masochist.
Between the loneliness, long hours, struggle to make ends meet, and the very-likely chance of failure, entrepreneurs are sometimes considered masochistic.
16. You’re crafty.
“One of my favorite TV shows growing up was MacGyver,” says Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, “because he never had exactly the resources he needed but would somehow figure out how to make everything work out.”
Hsieh admired MacGyver’s “combination of creativity, optimism and street smarts. Ultimately, I think that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about — playing MacGyver, but for business.” He adds that it’s not about having enough resources at your disposable, but being resourceful with what you have.
17. You dream of the future.
Entrepreneurs don’t think small. They’re always thinking ahead to the big picture. In fact, they have the ability to see what lies ahead before it even approaches.
As Linda Corby perfectly writes in her book Zoom To Profit;
“Think Big, think rich, think forward, believe in yourself and always have your next ideas ready to turn into ventures for the future, be adaptable with your ideas, examine your ideas out of the box and do not put rose coloured glasses on them, really get into their bare bones.”
18. You’re not a fan of the 9-to-5 daily grind.
I can’t remember the last time I worked 9-to-5. I would even go as far in saying that I never really had a traditional working gig. Even when I was younger I had jobs that had flexible schedules.
I’m not boasting. I still worked my tail-off. The point is, most entrepreneurs can’t get behind the typical nine to five workday. They enjoy the freedom of working whenever and wherever they like. They want to be their own boss. But, most importantly, they want to do something that they’re passionate about.
19. You tackle the small stuff.
Do you get annoyed when small things build up?
You’re not alone. Entrepreneurs don’t let small things get to the point where it gets beyond their control. They tackle the small things first in order to achieve the big picture.
20. You’ve got a thing for cash flow.
“All I ever thought about was cash flow and liquidity,” says Joe Gustafson founder of Relational Courseware and Brainshark. Gustafson admits that “there were seven times in [the company’s] eight-year history when I was days or hours away from payroll and didn’t have enough cash to make it.”
His response? “In the early days, you could step up and put expenses on your personal credit card, but that can only go so far,” he says. “You need cash — even if you have the best company and the best receivables in the world — to fight the battle one more day.”
Gustafson also suggests that you find a partner who can provide cash advances and having a close relationship with suppliers.
21. You’re a black sheep.
Entrepreneurs often state that they don’t feel like they fit in. Their outsiders who see the world differently. As such, they make their own paths instead of following the status quo.
As Steve Jobs famously put it:
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
22. You ask lots of questions.
Were the kid who constantly asked questions? I know I was – even at the chagrin of my parents. That’s actually completely normal for entrepreneurs.
After conducting a six-year study of entrepreneurs and CEOs Jeffrey H. Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton M. Christensen found that the most innovative entrepreneurs ask questions like “What if,” “Why,” and “Why not.”
23. You’re an introvert.
Introverts often get a bad rap as people who are anti-social. The fact of the matter is that if you enjoy working alone, are a great listener, and are more of an “ideas” person, then you’re an introvert. And, those traits also make for an excellent entrepreneur.
24. You’re extremely competitive.
I don’t about you, but I can’t stand losing. It’s in my nature. In fact, it’s in the DNA of all successful entrepreneurs.
“Entrepreneurs play to win and they take losing seriously,” writes Mark Suster. “Think Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t have some sleepless nights about Twitter despite having more than 350 million users himself?
25. You’re a natural problem solver.
Entrepreneurs are natural-born problem solvers. They have an uncanny ability to find and solve a problem before most other people even realized that there was a problem. In a way, they’re like chess players who think several moves ahead while developing several “what if” scenarios.
26. You think outside the box.
If you want to innovate, then you need to be a creative individual. As mentioned earlier, this means seeing the world differently. It also means that you look for unique opportunities to fill a void and creative ways to change your company, market, or industry.
27. Enneagram = #1.
There’s a personality test called the Enneagram test. The free test takes about five minutes to complete and will tell you the type of a person you are and what career choice would work best for you.
Most entrepreneurs are a number one, or the number one is in one of the numbers that make up the whole. They are The Reformer. They are principles, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionists.
28. You’re curious.
Do you always ask “why?” There’s a good reason for that. Your curiosity helps you get to the bottom of specific issues and discover new solutions to address them.
29. You take responsibility and admit when you’re wrong.
Entrepreneurs don’t believe in fate or luck. When things go wrong they don’t point fingers. Instead, they take full responsibility for their actions. One study published by Markman and Baron found that successful entrepreneurs are possess high self-efficacy.
30. People think you’re crazy.
Considering that entrepreneurs think on a different wavelength, it’s natural for others to think that their ambitions are a bit out there. I mean why would you quit that lucrative job to start your own business?
31. You’re a hacker.
There’s a negative connotation to the word “hacker.” But, as Mark Zuckerberg wrote back in 2012, “In reality, hacking just means building something quickly or testing the boundaries of what can be done.”
Additionally, hacking also means using technology to optimize both your life personally and professionally lives, such as calendar apps that automate scheduling meetings.
32. You’re constantly learning.
Regardless if it’s reading a book, taking an online class, working with a business coach, or subscribing to business newsletters, entrepreneurs have an insatiable thirst for knowledge.
33. You enjoy traveling.
Traveling comes equipped with some amazing benefits. These include being able to adapt, develop stronger communication and collaboration skills, and improving cultural awareness. No wonder that 94 percent of business leaders in America believe that traveling leads to a competitive edge in the workplace.
34. You’re driven to help others.
Entrepreneurs aren’t driving by money. They’re driven to help others by enhancing their lives through the products or services they create.
35. You don’t mind getting your hands dirty.
Entrepreneurs just don’t look themselves in their office and let others do the hard work. Sometimes they get in the trenches as well. Take Amancio Ortega, the founder of Zara, as an example. He was often seen on the floor working directly next to his designers and manufacturers.
36. You’ve got thick skin.
Your family, friends, potential investors, customers, and employees will question or criticize your product or service. Entrepreneurs have thick enough skin to listen to these feedback without taking it personally. They’ll also use this feedback to improve their business.
37. You already know an entrepreneur.
After surveying 2,000 Americans, the Ewing Marion Kauffmann Foundation found that more than 35 percent of people who knew entrepreneurs were entrepreneurs themselves.
38. You’re persuasive.
The only way that you’re going to get employees, investors, and customers on-board with your business is by sharing your vision with them. When you’re passionate, however, this will come naturally, which makes it easier to persuade them to join you on your journey.
39. You’re a jack-of-all trades.
“In a recent small business poll, an overwhelming percentage of business owners believe that the strongest entrepreneur is a well-rounded jack-of-all-trades,” writes Henry Green for HostGator.
“Entrepreneurs wear countless hats — they’re marketers, accountants, customer service reps, and sales teams all wrapped up into a single person who achieve balance in moments of uncertainty and straight up chaos.”
40. You “make sure the dog will eat the dog food.”
As Rhonda Abrams explains in USA Today, “That’s a quote from pioneering venture capitalist and my mentor Eugene Kleiner. What Kleiner meant was that no matter how good your ideas appear to be, you have to make certain you’ve got a product or service that customers really want.”
41. You know how to collaborate and delegate.
Entrepreneurs are control freaks. However, even though they may try to do everything on their own, they also realize that there’s a time and place for collaboration and delegation. Apple and Microsoft would have never taken-off if Steve Jobs didn’t have Steve Wozniak and Bill Gates didn’t have Paul Allen.
42. You value your time.
Entrepreneurs are well-aware that time is their most valuable asset. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. As such, they make the most out of it and don’t let others waste it.
43. You’re a planner.
Even though you can go with the flow and be flexible, if you’re the type of person who is the planner of the group, then that’s a telltale sign that you can make it as an entrepreneur. Remember, it’s alright to drive aimlessly from time-to-time, but you’ll need your GPS to ensure that you’re getting from Point A to Point B.
44. You love variety.
Do you have a need for variety, stimulus, or change in your life? Like other entrepreneurs, you’re not content with everyday being the same.
45. You enjoy thoughtful debates.
Entrepreneurs never shy-away from a thoughtful debate. It’s much-more stimulating than talking about the latest episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
46. You’re not afraid of failure.
“If you’re an entrepreneur, you’d rather fail on your own terms than succeed on someone else’s. You’d rather reach for your own future than have your future lie in someone else’s hands. You feel it’s better to burn out than to fade away,” writes Jeff Haden on Inc.com.
“Sure, you want to win. You’re driven to win. But you want to change the rules, create your own playing field, and win the game you want to play — because winning a game in a way you’re forced to play would still feel like losing.”
47. You want to create a lasting legacy.
Do you have a strong desire to create something meaningful in your life that will benefit others? Entrepreneurs are motivated by creating a lasting legacy of benefitting people’s lives via products, services, or value.
48. You live by your calendar.
Since entrepreneurs are constantly on the go, it only makes sense that they can’t live without their calendars. They use it to create and stick to a daily routine so that they stay focused and productive day in, day out.
49. You’re goal oriented.
Persuasion, leadership, and personal accountability are all skills that entrepreneurs should possess. But, research also shows that goal orientation is another essential skill.
The study defined goal orientation as “energetically focusing efforts on meeting a goal, mission, or objective (which closely paired with leadership, as it is described above).” Most entrepreneurs agreed with statements like “I am known for overcoming significant obstacles to reach goals,” or “I am most productive when working closely with others to achieve goals.”
50. You’re a mediator.
According to Jeffrey A. Timmons in his book, New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century, entrepreneurs exceed at conflict resolution. They must also be able to get along with various personalities who have conflicting goals. If you’re able to put out multiple fires, then you may have what it take to be an entrepreneur.