Top Menu


Are You an Entrepreneur? – 10 Telltale Signs

Are You an Entrepreneur? It is thrilling, punishing, exhausting and emotionally draining, yet at the end of the day, starting your business is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. It is no wonder then that 87% of topics tackled in mentorship forums by The Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ASBE) revolve around success in entrepreneurship.

The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that over 93% of all queries in its mentorship programs also have to do with the rigorous task of making it as an entrepreneur. The picture is no different at the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship® (USASABE) with startup investors intensively asking for assistance to make it as entrepreneurs.

Is Entrepreneurship Innate or a Trainable Skill?

So, is entrepreneurship a skill that can be taught or is it inherent? Was it special skills that enabled Mark Zuckerberg to see a larger picture for Facemash, the precursor of Facebook, which others in his coterie of friends could not see? In all forums, the late Steve Jobs portrayed confidence that revealed he was born an entrepreneur and these are traits you see in Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and many more successful entrepreneurs.

Reading the Signs that you are an Entrepreneur

Well, various studies have shown there are telltale signs you can use to gauge your probability of success as an entrepreneur. Indeed, maverick contemporary entrepreneurs from Virgin’s Richard Branson to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban show similar traits.

Studies by myriad varied organizations including Harvard School of Business, Gallup and Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), among other bodies, attest to existence of such traits.

Here are some highlights of these signs which can set you on a path of confidence towards business success:

  1. Persistent Restlessness

The saying that you should never sit on your laurels applies aptly for any credible entrepreneur. If you are a go-getter, who achieves one goal and immediately starts hustling for another challenge, you have what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.

  1. Family Lineage of Self-employment

It might seem like splitting hairs when you say most successful entrepreneurs come from families with a heritage of self-employment, but the numbers prove it. A study by the world renowned Stockholm School of Economics in 2010 showed that 49.5% of nascent entrepreneurs had self-employed parents compared to 37.3% in the control group. A clue here; Bill Gates is the son of William H. Gates, a business magnate. Need you doubt further?

  1. Your Passion is Inborn

If you are a go-getter, who lets nothing come between a project and its objectives to be achieved, then you can ace it as an entrepreneur in today’s increasingly tough business environment. Failure never affects a born entrepreneur because their passion is inborn.

  1. You are a Gadfly

When Socrates was forced to drink hemlock and die, the poignant statement the revered scholar made still applies in modern life. The Greek teacher said he was a gadfly who’d keep pestering the horse, which in this case represented the state.

In business, a born entrepreneur is never satisfied with the status quo and wants to know more. Just look at Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Program to take ordinary people to space, or successful Movie producer James Cameron’s DEEP SEA CHALLENGER voyage to the remotest part of the earth – Mariana Trench – to appreciate this sign.

  1. Self-confidence is Your Nature

When Mark Zuckerberg bought WhatsApp for $19 billion, every pundit thought money was making the young Billionaire go bonkers. However, Zuckerberg was adamant and the buy went through. Today, WhatsApp is not only the most popular App in the world; Facebook has been able to monetize the messaging platform. Such self-confidence is only evident in natural entrepreneurs.

  1. You are a Control Freak

On paper, this might seem like a negative quality until you get into the intricate business world where myriad aspects of your business determine your success. Your success depends on how much control you are willing to yield.

As an entrepreneur, you need to have a feel of every aspect of your business, and while this can be detrimental, it is a trait seen in some of the most successful entrepreneurs including the late Steve Jobs, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary and Bill Gates, among others.

  1. You are Independent Minded

If you have always had a problem with authority, then it is highly likely that you cannot tolerate being employed.  It is a trait seen in Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerbereg, among other billionaires, who dropped out of college as they were uncomfortable with being confined in terms of thinking and application of their genius.

  1. You have a Magnet Effect

While successful entrepreneurs may look aloof, you will be surprised to learn they are really amiable if you have similar interests. They have an effect of pulling like-minded individuals towards them and unusual, albeit profitable, partnerships are born from such character.

  1. Risk Taking

The music industry is one of the most perilous and if an artist makes the wrong choice in terms of a recording label, then they are done for.

Well, the most prolific entrepreneurs in this industry, including billionaires Shawn Carter (Jay Z), who is worth over $520 million, Andre Romelle Young (Dr. Dre), who is worth $550 million, and Sean Combs (P. Diddy) worth over $700 million, have proven that risking is natural to born entrepreneurs. All these music moguls made career suicidal record label moves, but today they are the kingpins.

  1. You are a Doer

One of the most glaring misconceptions about contemporary successful entrepreneurs is that they depend entirely on their skilled staff for ideas and implementation. If this is what you thought then you are wrong.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg is a hands-on project freak, Virgin Group’s Richard Branson is always on the ground even when problems occur, Warren Buffet is always talking and working numbers and Dr. Dre is still producing hits at 50 years. Mind you, these are just a few of the entrepreneurs you can cite in terms of breaking their backs for success.

Well, they say there is no secret to entrepreneurship success, but looking at these 10 traits vis-à-vis the Forbes Top 100 Entrepreneurs, it is obvious there is a correlation. Luckily, you can always surprise everyone by joining this league without these traits. After all, this entire list does not forestall your entrepreneurial success.

Author Bio

Charlie Brown is a web developer and UI/UX specialist at He works at a design, branding and marketing firm, having founded the same firm 5 years ago. He likes to share knowledge and points of view with other developers and consumers on platforms.

Small Business Can Newsletter
Small Business Can is run by businesspeople for businesspeople. We share our experiences, successes and failures. Sign up for our insightful (and sometimes funny) newsletter and stay up to speed with all the latest insights.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply