Are You an Entrepreneur?
When I answer the question, “So what do you do?“, I rarely ever introduce myself as an entrepreneur. Among those who don’t get it, it doesn’t matter (I’ve tried, believe me) and among those who do, well, it does not need to be said.
But still, a part of me wonders how saying the words actually feels:
“I am an entrepreneur! What about you?”
The dictionary, with all due respect to Webster and all, comes woefully short in giving us any clarity for the word entrepreneur. I mean, how much does “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so” resemble the traits of an entrepreneur? It sounds more like the job description of either a stock broker or a business accountant to me!
Entrepreneurs are emerging everywhere today, building up businesses one digital byte at a time. I’ve been meeting these amazing guys and gals in the last exciting few years of my life, and heck, I suppose I became one along the way.
Building a company may not be an overnight thing but becoming an entrepreneur kinda is. You are not “sort of” or “kind of” an entrepreneur or “sort of” or “kind of” an employee. There is very little grey here in this black and white world.
If you are miserable at your corporate job, and if the usual answers – the promotion, the raise, the new boss or even the new exciting project – have not fixed the hole in your soul that screams, “There has got to be more, God Almighty! Won’t you please show me the way before I go mad?” or your own calmer version, then you are an entrepreneur trapped in the wrong world!
Vice versa, if you are in business for yourself yet constantly yearn to be a part of a larger organization, work with a team and a boss that cares about you and under the mission and vision of a bigger company, and if you wish for the perks, the people, the environment that cultivates this type of reality, then you are an employee at heart trapped in self-employment.
You know where the tragedy is? It’s when we stop being honest with ourselves and try to do what may look right or please others or be the check-box to our skewed definition of success that bad things start to happen. There is nothing ever wrong with being one or the other but it’s a tragedy when you are trapped in the wrong world, honey!
So today, I want to shed light on the mindset of entrepreneurship definition for you. After all, I had no business coming into it, being a good old employee all my life with no experience whatsoever running a business, and less than 2 years, I’ve made that drastic move, just hired my husband as my first full-time employee, built up a little hobby of a blog into an incorporated entity with products, services and a brand I am proud of, and even signed a book deal while globetrotting.
I would say I was a born entrepreneur trapped in the other world for much too long. What about you? Are you in the wrong world? Read on and find out if you are a born entrepreneur and if you got what it takes to see it through!
20 Top Traits of an Entrepreneur
- Terrified: That’s right. For those of you who think entrepreneurs are these fearless warriors that go to battle everyday, nope. Sorry! We are terrified just about all the freaking time, but we just don’t let the fear shackle us to a wall that we nickname ‘security’ only to feel better. We push through the fear. Period. The fear has its place and it gets to live as long as it does not interfere with the forward momentum.
- Killer of Excuses: You can’t afford to bring along excuses on this boat. And you can’t afford to hang out with those who do! You just won’t survive. Excuses that keep you from going after the idea you can’t stop thinking about because you have to wash the car and visit your girlfriend on a Sunday or excuses like keeping up a social life or a sense of “balance” instead of vigilantly writing that book or finishing that proposal. Excuses get badly crushed around here.
- Patient: Even if an entrepreneur does not want to admit it, because he wants it all right now, the truth is that he is patient like these 2 entrepreneurs, because he is in it for life. He is never going back to the “employee”world if he is a true entrepreneur and the nature of the trade breeds patience down his neck every day until it becomes a part of him.
- Freedom Seeker: Can’t mess around with this one especially with the entrepreneur who has given it up once before (not me or anything!). Seeking freedom to do what she wants when she wants it and how she desires it, that’s her freedom. What projects to work on and what to do with the profit and where to operate the business from and a million other decisions about the business and ultimately about life. An entrepreneur is a freedom seeker!
- Empowerment: The mindset of an entrepreneur is full of empowerment. How else do you think he survives in this world full of sham and drudgery? He empowers his mind and his beliefs and therefore his actions by having faith in the ultimate outcome. He empowers his thoughts so that he can create the reality that he needs in order to pursue his entrepreneurial desires. As opposed to the weakness-oriented mindset. Familiar with that one?
- Self-direction: She doesn’t need a boss, she never was meant to have one. She doesn’t need to check in with higher powers or get validation from her Mamma or Pappa as to whether she is going the right way. She is self-directing her business and her life in the path that she deems best.
- Stubborn: Compromising on his ideas or giving in to “practical” reasons isn’t exactly a trait of an entrepreneur, so I suppose you would call him stubborn. He is stubborn about his ideas, even though he informs and studies all the time. He is stubborn about finding a new solution to an old problem, and stubborn about making a difference and finding the project that will allow him to do that. Yeah, stubborn.
- Confident: She’s not a scared little mouse, at least not anymore. In fact, she’s sick and tired of being scared, so she is confident. After all, we are all truly confident on the inside if we only remove those layers of doubt and fear and dust off our very own gift of confidence from the depth of our soul. Confidence is the best ally of an entrepreneur. Terrified sure, but confident, baby!
- Doing Sacred Work: An entrepreneur isn’t here to clock in and out, or to do some project and make a fortune and lay on the beach the rest of the time. A true entrepreneur believes his work to be sacred, calls it his life’s work and takes it seriously. He more than just loves his work. He owes it to the world to see it through.
- Purposeful: His work is meaningful, purposeful, and it impacts the lives of others in a big or small way but it’s imperative that the entrepreneur can see that direct line from his work to the end result. It’s not murky waters like corporate initiatives or obscure projects. It can still be complex work and require heaps of intellect but at any given moment, he knows the overall goal, the “big why”.
- Wealth driven not $$ driven mindset: An entrepreneur isn’t just here to make a pretty penny. She is here to create wealth for herself and for others. She is here to show that money can be put to fabulous, wonderful, amazing good deeds in this world and businesses can make dreams come true.
- Creative: The creative gene is not just set aside for the artists or the musicians or the painters. Every single one of us has the muscle if only we use it and an entrepreneur uses it a good bit. He’s neither afraid nor ashamed of pushing new ideas into the world and using his creativity to refine his craft and his approach.
- Dedicated: This is an understatement. An entrepreneur is dedicated to his work like a mother to her baby. Dedication runs in his veins and he never questions it. There may be times to set aside an idea for good reason or to close the door on a business for a better opportunity but the dedication to pursuing this path relentlessly and making something out of nothing on his own terms, now that’s a nonnegotiable.
- Aching to do the work – vacations are for the birds! Entrepreneurs are hard-core people. Productive working is a non-negotiable in their lives. And if you knew how incredibly satisfying it feels to do work that you love, then maybe vacations would become the chore, and I am one hard-core vacationer but I ache to return to my work, and to put my ideas and my creativity to work.
- Self-disciplined: Goal setting and goal achieving becomes a part of the true entrepreneur’s way of Modus Operandi. It comes naturally because nobody is forcing it upon him and because he sees this as a means to getting where he desires most to go. And it is the most natural way of operating to boot.
- Defying the Norm: Going against the flow is in the nature of an entrepreneur. He is not doing it just for the sake of doing it but his way is generally the exception not the norm of society and he is choosing to walk off the beaten path, come what may!
- Fiscally Conservative: An entrepreneur considers having a job as the ultimate risk because your security is completely out of your control. Someone else in some office could decide your end tomorrow and that thought scares the entrepreneur to bits. Risk then become a relative term and the wealth driven mindset of the entrepreneur makes him a fiscally conservative one who takes calculated chances to grow his assets and diversify his earnings.
- Voracious Reader: You cannot survive entrepreneurship without the intense desire to educate and inform yourself. An entrepreneur is a voracious reader of books, magazines, articles, and content that feeds his need to be on top of it all. Plus it makes for a good writer.
- Prolific Writer: Writing daily is the essence of all wealth but especially when you are an entrepreneur and need to express your thoughts and articulate your ways so well that the world takes notice. If you are an entrepreneur, you are a writer.
- Dreamer: Every entrepreneur is a dreamer, just like every single one of us was a dreamer at childhood and maybe even at early adulthood. Some of us are reborn dreamers, reclaiming lost hope of old dreams and starting new fires in our bellies for more. If you pursue the dream vigilantly, relentlessly, and persistently, then perhaps it pays to be a dreamer. In fact, it is the secret to the entrepreneur’s inner wellness and joy. Only time will tell but for now, we are definitely dreamers too.
I’m all out of steam, and it’s your turn now. What’s the next ultimate trait of an entrepreneur? Share your thoughts in the comments below and do not settle for what you are not!
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