If you fancy yourself an entrepreneur, tell me if this sounds familiar. You used to lie in bed at night, wondering why you seemed so different from everyone else in your life. Your friends and family all like to do odd things like sleep, eat, and play. Meanwhile you enjoyed working and designing new products, setting up lemonade stands, and taking things apart to figure out how you could make a better one. People would look at you funny when you would show them your new fashion line, invention, or offer them a sip of your freshly bottled organic beet juice.
Then it struck you like a bolt of lightning. You realized that you might not be a weirdo at all – you might just be an entrepreneur.
While it is not always easy to tell if you are an entrepreneur, here are a few signs that you just might be one.
You are a masochist
Entrepreneurs enjoy a little pain and risk. Three out of four startups fail, but those bleak outlook numbers never faze the true entrepreneur. In your eyes, failure is just another opportunity to launch your other million-dollar idea. In fact, a 75 percent failure rate means you only have to fail at three businesses before you start a successful one.
Entrepreneurship also involves long hours away from friends and family. While everyone else is slacking off, dabbling in sleep, food, companionship and fun, you will be trying to figure out how to manage a 168-hour workweek.
Your love for earning money started when you were a kid
You might be an entrepreneur if you earned more at your lemonade stand over summer break than your parents made all year.
Most entrepreneurs fall in love with making money at a young age. In addition to his paper route for the Washington Post, a young Warren Buffett hawked gum, lost golf balls, stamps and magazines before he even graduated high school. Richard Branson dropped out of school at age 16 to start a youth magazine, which sold $8,000 worth of advertising in its first 1966 edition.
You thirst for the thrill of launching a new venture
While money is great, entrepreneurship is not necessarily about making money. In fact, many highly successful entrepreneurs stop caring so much about the money and start enjoying the adventure and freedom of creating a new business.
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You are incredibly impatient
Do slow walkers drive you crazy at the big box store? A successful entrepreneur is always on the prowl for making the mundane chores of life move along faster and with less inconvenience.
You are a dropout who ‘could never finish anything” according to an old teacher
You might be an entrepreneur if the thought of finishing a long, drawn out college program bores you to tears – you want success and you want it right now. If you have dropped out of high school or college, you might have exactly the right amount of education you need to become a wildly successful entrepreneur. Tech titan and richest man in the world, Bill Gates, is a college dropout. Billionaires Li Ka-shing and Ted Turner also ditched the books, as did Richard Branson and the founder of McDonald’s, Ray Kroc.
Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page is an introvert, as is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. One study, compassionately entitled THE DOWNFALL OF EXTRAVERTS AND RISE OF NEUROTICS, suggests that introverts create a more effective work environment than do extroverts. On the other hand, it is possible that introverts just want to work quietly while they figure out why some scientists just called them neurotic.
Entrepreneurs are usually a little… strange. Everyone thought Ruth Handler was a whack job when she created a doll that looked like an adult rather than a baby. Even Handler’s own husband thought she was nuts. Today, nobody laughs at the empire Handler made with her Barbie doll.
The next time you lie in bed wondering why you are so different from everyone else, consider the possibility that you are an entrepreneur.