There are entrepreneurial signs, sure. Business leaders are a little bit, well, different. Do you think you’re one? Below are two separate types of entrepreneurs. Which one are you? And which type has the best chance of making it?
Entrepreneur Type #1
You were the kid with the lemonade stand that got bigger and more ambitious every year. Or, you had a way of grabbing someone’s attention before they could slam the door in your face—hawking magazines, cookies, or candy door-to-door. Maybe you were someone who just saw the world differently: diving headfirst into software, science, or math problems like a baby otter into water.
Entrepreneur Type #2
You’ve always been nagged by a great idea for a business, an innovation so brilliant you haven’t run it by anyone, because you can never be too careful. Or, you want to open a coffee shop at a corner with no competition for blocks in either direction, but you don’t like people or even, truth told, coffee very much. Or, you work in a job you hate and dream of being your own boss, and jump at the first entrepreneurial opportunity that comes up, without knowing much about the industry or running a business.
What’s the main difference? Type #2s see a single, narrow opportunity—for themselves usually. Type #1s see the world as an opportunity. That’s not to say that all Type #1s will succeed and that all Type #2s will fail. Economic winds push opportunity unsteadily, and it’s hard to say what mix of personality and ideas will be successful.
Need more help? How many of these boxes can you check off?
- You tried 9 to 5 and it made you insane.
- “I know more than my boss” isn’t a mere belief, it’s imprinted in your DNA.
- You’re too busy seeing opportunities to see problems.
- You were raised in a family of entrepreneurs.
- When you dive into something you don’t come up until you’ve figured it out.
- Solutions. They’re, like, your thing, man.
- After a month at a new job, you’re a truly awful employee.
- You connect with people and they naturally look to you for advice.
- Job security makes you feel nervous, itchy and in urgent need of an exit.
- Driven 24/7 to eat better, get stronger, play harder, and be better.
The Game Changer
Of course, some of these are the classic traits for business leaders, while others might just be characteristics of bad employees. But, big combinations of these traits sort of scream: entrepreneur.
No one is saying that strengths can’t make up for weaknesses. Leadership and an ability to connect can be learned for those who are expert solution builders. But there is little hope of future business success for undriven, non-creative people who mostly hate their jobs and the people around them.
There is one thing we haven’t mentioned yet, the game changer—passion. Passion can get an entrepreneur through the bleakest moments. Only those who are all-in, and fully committed and driven, can take the next step, make the next phone call, and close the next deal when the bank account is shot and it’s dark and rainy outside. When most people are ready to walk away, the entrepreneur is just getting started.