I am frequently asked, “How do I know if I am an entrepreneur?” Estimates vary but on the average only 10% of all people are natural entrepreneurs. Many non-entrepreneurs have succeeded in starting B4T businesses, but in most of the successful cases they had a great coach or mentor walking with them through the start-up process. So if you are not an entrepreneur, be sure to get a mentor and form a team of coaches to advise you. Be sure to listen to them.
If you are not sure whether or not you are an entrepreneur, here are ten signs many people might consider to be liabilities or character flaws, but I believe can actually be indicators that you are an entrepreneur:
1. Out of the Box—It doesn’t make sense to you that something has been done the time-honored way with no explanation of why. New is better. You change things just to change things. You are not someone who wants to just go through the motions or sit by idly. Nor do you like following the pack. You know that greatness resides outside the lines of conformity and you don’t think that policies, laws and regulations apply to you.
2. Passionate—You are hot or cold; no lukewarm-ness is in your thinking or actions. Your passion is fed by an intrinsic drive that provides the internal reward that can sustain you through hard times and between paydays. This God-given passion may be for a vision, product or service, yet the opportunity to solve this problem will make life better for others and yourself. Most entrepreneurs believe they will change the world. They believe they will overcome any and all obstacles that lay in their path to success.
3. Risk-Taker—You don’t take uncalculated risks, but you are not bound by a fear of stepping into the unknown either. Where others succumb, you know how to control your fears. There’s a deep belief in God working through all that you do that will ultimately lead to good.
4. Visionary—You see things others just don’t see. You feel things others don’t feel. You spot opportunities and imagine results that others cannot imagine. You like to improve things—everything. You don’t go along with the agreed upon norms of the group or community you work and live in. You always see how things could be done better. In addition, you are opinionated and freely give your two cents about your better way of doing things, even when you’re not asked.
5. Flexible—You readily adapt to new circumstances and situations. You love new ideas. Change is your friend. Being a Steady Eddie is difficult for you because you want to create something others can be inspired by and contribute to. You’re too creative for your own good when it comes to working for others so you have difficulty keeping a job.
6. Easily Bored—You find yourself easily bored, and others start viewing you as a problem. But nothing is wrong with you—you are simply bored with activities that aren’t up to your abilities and aren’t challenging. That’s why you hated most of the classes you ever attended. You have difficulty making the kind of small talk that so many people get comfort from. This social pattern of relationship and rapport building seems like a waste of time to you and makes you uncomfortable.
7. Tenacious—You may have been labeled obsessive because when you get started on something you have difficulty letting go. Don’t let anyone convince you that this is a disease or deficiency. All of the great entrepreneurs become completely immersed in their vision.
8. Workaholic—You find it difficult to unwind. There’s always something to do, something to improve. You can’t go to sleep at night because you can’t turn your thoughts off. An idea may even manifest itself in your dreams. The next morning you find yourself still consumed with that idea, distracting you from the job you’re supposed to be doing.
9. Rebellious—You have been described as a rebel and rule breaker. You have a lifelong record of resisting authority. It’s not that you don’t like authority, it’s just that you see better, faster, more efficient ways of doing things.
10. Don’t Fit the Norm—You have always been a bit uncomfortable in your own skin. Until you get used to the idea that you are in fact different from most people, it could prove to be a problem—or be exactly the motivation you need to acknowledge the entrepreneur screaming to get out.