Being an entrepreneur has almost become cliched in today’s society.
Everywhere you look someone else has just become yet another entrepreneur.
With so many entrepreneurs rising up, you may feel like you don’t fit the bill.
If everyone is an entrepreneur then who is going to be the employee?
The problem, however, may not be that you are not an entrepreneur… just like everyone else. Could it be that you truly have the entrepreneurial spirit and many others are just imitators?
The only way to really know is to understand what the true characteristics of a real entrepreneur actually are.
If you browse the web, you will find a ton of ideas and suggestions about what traits make up an entrepreneur: positive, energetic, talented, etc.
The truth is that those characteristics, however, describe a wide range of people with all sorts of different approaches to work. And many of them are not entrepreneurs.
So, how do you know if you really are the entrepreneur you feel yourself to be inside?
The only way is to closely examine the 3 true characteristics of real entrepreneurs and see if they apply.
Let’s explore each one together.
1. You See What Others Miss
While most people complain about bad service at hotels, two entrepreneurs saw what others missed – an opportunity to establish the extremely profitable Airbnb. When almost everyone complained for years about taxis taking advantage of riders, someone saw Lyft and someone else saw Uber. The examples could continue. The point is that the majority of people see problems while true entrepreneurs see opportunities.
If you, for example, feed your dogs in the morning and notice ants get into their food shortly after, you may become frustrated. The typical person will get upset, throw the food away, and repeat the same process day-after-day for years, literally. An entrepreneur, however, will see the opportunity to create a dog food that is ant-repellant. By solving a problem, the entrepreneur breaks into an open field of commerce.
The field is irrelevant. It can be dog food, computer plug-ins, kitchen appliances, or whatever. The point is that an entrepreneur’s brain simply functions on a different key. Instead of seeing the problem in every experience, true entrepreneurs see the opportunity in every problem.
2. You Question the Norm
This thought merits strong consideration. Think just for a moment, what are we “supposed” to do? The typical answer would be to go to school, get good grades, get a good job, obey the law, and pay your taxes. And honestly, that is how the majority of people think. There is nothing wrong with that. Education is important and paying your taxes is the right thing to do.
But entrepreneurs struggle to fit into the confines of the norm. We wrestle with the expectations society puts on us.
The norm is to get a good job and work for 30 years while stacking up on our 401(k). Entrepreneurs feel this is inhibiting and sense a pull in the opposite direction. Why work for someone else when we can create our own work? Why trust in a 401(k) when we can invest our own way? Why do what everyone else does when we can do it better?
This is far from being arrogant. It is being frustrated with the norm and willing to take big risks to live outside of it. It is freedom from expectation and a willingness to blaze a new trail.
True entrepreneurs have something inside that constantly pushes them against the grain. We feel underused when walking with the crowd but feel invigorating when walking against the wind.
3. You Thrive on Challenges
The majority of people feel the need to play it safe. They say they don’t care about money but work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 4 weeks a month, 12 months a year, for 30 years at a job they do not really like. Why? Because it’s easy to stick to what we know. Change is too challenging.
Real entrepreneurs march to the sound of an entirely different beat. Monotony lulls us to sleep. It saps us of our drive. What we need is challenge. Change. Big moves. New things.
And if those challenges prove so difficult that we end up failing, it’s okay because we will find another challenge to move on to and conquer.
Why? Because we thrive on challenge. We don’t want it to be easy. We don’t want someone to just hand life to us on a silver platter.
There is something that comes alive inside of every entrepreneur when we feel like our backs are against a wall. When it seems like there is no way out of a disaster, we tend to perform at our best.
If challenge knocks on the door and you hide in the other room, you may be a really good employee. But if you run to answer the door and open it as fast as you can, it is probably because you truly are an entrepreneur at heart.
All in all, being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It is full of rewards, both personally and financially. But it doesn’t come without its struggles. To be certain if you truly are an entrepreneur at heart, however, is not as difficult as it may seem. The key is to ask yourself the key 5 questions.
Do you constantly see opportunities that other people miss?
Are norms and expectations things that often don’t make sense to you?
Are difficulties and challenges motivating you even more?
If you feel these 3 questions apply to you, it is probably because you are a true entrepreneur at heart.
We invite you to contact us about how we can help you on your journey.