What makes some people ideal candidates to become an entrepreneur while others don’t seem to have been born with the “e-gene”? Are entrepreneurs born or made? Are entrepreneurs sadomasochists at heart? Are entrepreneurs narcissistic? Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University believes that there may actually be an “entrepreneur gene” that defines whether we draw our swords and charge into business-battle or find comfort in the day-to-day “security” of being instructed what to do. I believe entrepreneurs are both born and made. This article is about those who desire to draw their sword.
I definitely have some opinions on some signs you might be a natural-born entrepreneur and the first one won’t make some people happy! I feel that if you are reading this article you’re either simply curious about this Blog post OR you’re NOT an entrepreneur. I feel a natural-born entrepreneur KNOWS they are an entrepreneur and don’t need an article like this to help them decide if they have “it” or not. Sorry.
But know that simply because you might show natural entrepreneurial-promise… doesn’t mean you will succeed as a business owner. There are many other traits that come to bear when considering an entrepreneurial lifestyle which can help shepherd you towards success, but in this article I want to focus on signs that I feel are indicators that you might be a “natural” entrepreneur.
Let me begin with one observation I’ve matured into making, and that is, self-awareness. I’ve spoken about the benefits of self-awareness in several articles and tried to re-assure my readers that it’s not some flavour of New Age bullshit. It is in fact one of the most powerful tools orthodox entrepreneurs have in their toolbox to ensure they effectively manage their e-gene for a long and fulfilling life as an entrepreneur.
With that out of the way… let’s see if you identify with any of these signs you might be an entrepreneur.
1. You laugh in the face of risk
In my experience, the entrepreneurs I have worked alongside during my own 22+ year entrepreneurial career have all demonstrated a much higher risk tolerance. The sayings “With great risk comes great reward” or “Go big or go home” seem to apply to entrepreneurs who tend to want to dive deep, assume the risk in order to net a big reward.
2. You’re an idea machine
I’m writing this fully knowing that most of my friends who read this will be nodding their heads in agreement that I suffer from this disease! Fuck you guys! LOL. Entrepreneurs tend to be naturally inquisitive, problem-solvers and idea generators. It’s virtually impossible for some entrepreneurs to visit a business and not start analyzing everything from the way products are merchandised to how effective operations appear to be running and then weigh our thoughts and observations on the person we’re with… typically our husband, wife or best friend who could care-less.
3. It’s NOT better to burn out than to fade away… in business!
Again, guilty as charged! Some entrepreneurs thrive off having an “epic idea”, driving forward at breakneck speed to execute the idea and then throttle back once the idea is out in the real world. I’ve personally done this several times (The Citrus Store, Machine Tribe, Homestory, HatRack…) Our entrepreneur routine is: Come up with a world-changing idea. Do everything and anything it takes to make that idea become reality. Then step away, allowing others to nurture the idea into the grand business you imagined. If you exhibit this behaviour, being self-aware will help you prepare a strategy to ensure your amazing idea doesn’t burn out!
4. You’d rather own than rent
I question sometimes whether some of these entrepreneurial traits are pure narcissism or simply a different flavour of being a business owner. Either way, through my experience, entrepreneurs lean towards wanting to do their own thing, starting from THEIR idea and growing it THEIR way.
“But Chris, doesn’t that completely contradict the franchise business model?”, yup… it does! I believe in my opinion, as contentious as it may be that if you desire a franchise you aren’t a “hardcore” entrepreneur for one simple reason… you are OK with someone else calling the shots. Any pure-bred entrepreneur will cringe at someone else telling them how things should be. Period.
5. You build a badass rolodex
First off, some people may be asking themselves “what the fuck is a rolodex!?”. Let’s just say it is your own personal Yellow Pages®. Oh hell no… you don’t know what the Yellow Pages® is either? Fuck it, I’m old and you need to Google this shit! Entrepreneurs get excited by other entrepreneurs’ ideas and businesses that align with their own and want to form some connective tissue with them. Entrepreneurs see opportunity everywhere and want to build a network that will push their own concept higher and higher as quickly as possible.
6. Don’t bore me with the details!
Entrepreneurs tend to be focused on the big picture and exciting new ideas which may find they get annoyed by low-level operations type tasks and problems as those things get in the way of forging forward into new un-charted territory. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been feverishly building my next EPIC idea when I get interrupted by my wife about something I consider menial. I just give her “the stare”, which she now fully recognizes!
7. Time is irrelevant
An natural entrepreneur acts on their e-gene impulses any day of the week and any time of the day. I’ve personally found myself so focused on flushing out a new idea that I wasn’t aware the sun had already risen and my wife wanted to hit the grocery store for supplies. Entrepreneurs tend to not be very good with balance… it’s the idea that matters, I can sleep tomorrow!
Entrepreneurs come in all flavours. If you don’t identify with any of the seven ‘traits’ I’ve written about, it doesn’t mean you’re not an entrepreneur or can’t grow into becoming one. What IS important for the success of your idea is that you are self-aware. It’s only through understand who YOU are that you can craft a winning strategy for your concept. Good luck and may the force be with you!
Would you like my help starting your business or taking your current business to the next level? Email me directly, text me at 905.442.3323 or call me at the same number. It's always free to chat!
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