This post is by Laura Garnett, a talent strategist who helps executives develop a personalized leadership and career strategy by identifying their zone of genius.
With an evolving economy and the accessibility that technology provides, running your own business has become an increasingly attractive career option. For more and more people, it’s become the easy alternative to being stuck in a job that you hate. I have worked with countless clients that considered being an entrepreneur as a backup plan. But, I’ve seen first-hand over the years that such thinking is faulty. Being an entrepreneur needs to be part of who you are innately. Just because the entrepreneurial path is more well-lit these days doesn’t mean it’s an easy one. Most people are unsure of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I’ve found that some unlikely personality traits — stemming all the way back to childhood — just may indicate whether you have what it takes to run your own business:
You Are a Change Junkie.
You thrive in the space of new ideas and new ways of doing things. In fact, the idea of not improving or altering things on minute-by-minute basis drives you crazy. You see an existing situation and immediately think, “How can that be done differently or better?” This mode of operating sets one up to thrive in the entrepreneurial space. Building a business is all about change management and continuous innovation and improvement.
The signs: You probably lacked focus as a kid, you may have even been called ADD, even though you aren’t. You may have frustrated your teachers or parents by your lack of interest in “staying the course.”
When You Hear “No,” It Fuels Your Ability to Create Action.
When you are building a business, there can be a lot of naysayers along the way. You may get 10 rejections for every one person that says that they believe in you. If hearing “no” stops you in your tracks, then you probably aren’t meant to be an entrepreneur. “No” is a hurdle to cross — something that can help you refine your ideas or actions, but can’t stop you. Giving up is the death of an entrepreneur.
The signs: You broke the rules as a kid or you constantly wanted a reason for why there were such rules. Irrational rules bothered you and you were known to challenge them frequently.
You Delight in Making the Impossible, Possible.
You love the idea of creating something that didn’t seem possible, possible. It excites you. It feels like an inner calling to do something new. You are driven to create. This desire to create should be leveraged through creating an opportunity where you are always thinking of new approaches or ideas.
You were a dreamer. You constantly looked at things and knew that there were better ways to do it — and you had big visions as to how. You may have been prone to saying things that resulted in laughter from adults because your ideas seemed impossible.
When You Say You Are Going to Do Something, You Do It.
You know how to make things happen. You thrive in the space of not knowing how you are going to do something, you just figure it out. People know you for doing what you say, and when you talk about big ideas, they happen. When you are building your own business, vision is essential, but it has to come with the equal ability to create the vision or find the right people to help you execute your ideas. Being action-oriented also builds confidence in others around you. If they see that you walk your talk, they are more apt to follow or to believe that you can make anything happen.
The signs: You were dependable as a kid — and disciplined. You may have started businesses randomly and followed through on the execution. You were making money for a big purchase or for savings. Either way, at a young age, you were already demonstrating that you walked your talk.
If you are well suited for it, entrepreneurship can be the most exhilarating journey of your life. Be clear with yourself first. There is nothing glamorous about doing something that is not in line with who you are. True success comes from figuring out what is best for you and then finding the right fit.