from INC Magazine 15 Jan 15 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Evidence shows that entrepreneurs tend to share similar personality traits & life experiences. If you possess the following traits, you might just have what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are like super-heroes for the modern age, creating life-changing products & offering services that make life simpler. We’ve all probably fantasized about becoming an entrepreneur while watching Shark Tank, but have you ever wondered if you could take your dreams further and actually turn an idea into a successful business?
1. You’re Smart. The lore about entrepreneurs is full of examples of people who dropped out of college and made their millions through raw talent & ingenuity. Both Mark Zuckerburg & Steve Jobs quit school and started their companies before the age of 25. Book smarts may be overrated when starting a business, but intelligence is not. In a study out of at UC Berkeley, researchers looked at data comparing self-employed people. They found those who fell into the entrepreneur category scored higher in cognitive ability learning aptitude. Are you a fast learner? Are you good at solving problems? Do you have a superior memory? If you answered yes to all of the above, you may be the stuff that entrepreneurs are made of. Read on.
2. You’re Confident. It takes confidence to believe in your entrepreneurial dreams and take action. Many entrepreneurs find themselves up against tremendous odds and an onslaught of nay-sayers, when they’re in the startup mode. It comes as no surprise that entrepreneurs need to have high self-esteem. Researchers looked at entrepreneurs’ responses on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem questionnaire, which measures the level of approval or dis-approval of one’s self, and found that entrepreneurs score twice as high as salaried workers. If your big ego is considered a hindrance in your daily life, you should know that entrepreneurs like Bill Gates & Steve Jobs were in the same boat. Your high confidence and thick skin may pay off when you’re going through the inevitable ups & downs of starting a business.
3. You like to Ask Questions. If you were the type of kid who drove your parents crazy with questions like “Why is the sky blue?”, you might have been exhibiting the first signs of your entrepreneurial spirit. Entrepreneurs ask questions like “What if?” “Why?” & “Why not?” Instead of trying to improve what already exists, they challenge assumptions, find new alternatives, & sometimes synthesize opposing ideas. They say that curiosity killed the cat, but it can pay off when it comes to entrepreneurship.
4. You Experiment with Solutions. Aside from asking provocative questions, entrepreneurs also experiment with solving problems. In the same study cited above, experimentation was identified as an important part of an entrepreneur’s DNA and what helps to create an innovative culture within a company. They define experimentation as tinkering with objects, exploring new places, or mulling over intellectual ideas. Rather than stop at one solution that works, entrepreneurs are always experimenting, moving on to the next idea – when one doesn’t work. If you’re constantly taking things apart, whether physically or intellectually, your penchant for experimentation is highly valuable as an entrepreneur.
5. You don’t Give Up. Every entrepreneur has a story of how they got to where they are, and the most compelling stories are about their perseverance. Milton Hershey started 3 candy companies, before he founded the Hershey Co. Walt Disney was fired before going to Hollywood, where he would eventually start his own animation studio. From the inception of a new business idea to the moment when their business is finally in the black, entrepreneurs face a variety of obstacles, and the most successful are those who can rise above the fray. Another study found that the most successful ones have a higher adversity quotient, or a higher tolerance for failure. Starting a business takes guts, but being able to keep going in the face of adversity, is what can make you an entrepreneur worthy of the history books.
6. You take Responsibility for Results. Most entrepreneurs believe that their actions, not luck or fate, are what manifests their desired outcome. It stands to reason that those who believe they have control over the future of their business, are more likely to take action to get their desired outcome, rather than leave it to chance.
7. You recognize Opportunities. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s absolutely necessary for you to be able to identify new business opportunities – before the chance passes you by. In fact, rather than seeing change or disruptions as setbacks, successful entrepreneurs see them as opportunities. Researchers define this skill as “opportunity recognition,” or the ability to scan an environment and identify high & low potential opportunities. Some entrepreneurs are better at it than others, but even if you’re not born with this skill, it’s something you can improve over time.
8. You’re Action Oriented. It’s not enough to just recognize opportunities; entrepreneurs also have to take action based on their observations, and fast. Because of changing trends, fleeting opportunities, & the possibility that someone else might beat them to the punch, entrepreneurs often work quickly to get a project or business off the ground. 63% of the entrepreneurs started their businesses only weeks to a few months from when they had their initial idea. And 60% of them started one without a business plan. That’s good news for people who prefer action more than contemplation (although contemplation has its benefits too). If you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person, entrepreneurship is an occupation where your decisiveness and fast reaction time will be useful.
9. Networking with other Entrepreneurs. 10. Rebellious, 11. Work-aholic, 12. Collaborate & delegate, 13. take Responsibility + many more in Premium Content.