13 Telltale Signs You Might Be an Entrepreneur

May 5, 2014  |  18 comments

Question: What is one surefire, inborn trait that you believe inevitably leads to entrepreneurship?

EMILY ELDRIDGE HOLDMAN 
PeopleKit

Curiosity

"Entrepreneurship starts by asking questions. Why is there not a product that helps me do X? How could we build a product that better solves the target audience's needs? Could technology make this easier, more efficient, more sustainable or more affordable? If you continually ask questions, you'll find a problem to solve."

KIM KAUPE 
ZinePak

Holistic Thinking

"Entrepreneurs are quick to see the whole picture, not just pieces of the puzzle. This complete view helps them move the pieces into place that will form the results they are after. The majority of people are at the mercy of details and calculations, which, while important, limit them. Entrepreneurs have the ability to view situations with a wide lens. "

ERIC HOLTZCLAW 
Laddering Works

Adaptability

"Entrepreneurs must be able to adapt on the fly to new situations and work with others to help them adapt. Entrepreneurship, at its core, is figuring out a new solution to an old problem or creating opportunities that address problems we didn't know existed. Adaptability -- viewing the world as fluid and malleable -- is required to succeed."

MICHAEL COSTIGAN 
Youth Leadership Specialist

Disobedience

"People who follow all the rules are generally not entrepreneurs. A self-starter must be able to see beyond the often short-sighted objectives and identify long-term goals that may or may not be aligned with what other people tell them to do. "

JOSH WEISS 
Bluegala

Riskiness

"All entrepreneurs are born with a high propensity to take on risk. Starting a business is always going to be a risky endeavor, and the risk-averse are not willing to chance it."

DEREK FLANZRAICH 
Greatist

Enthusiasm for Building

"Ever since I was little, I was building with blocks, with sand, with Legos -- anything I could get my hands on. In some ways, being an entrepreneur is no different: We're building the future that we want to see -- much like the castles we built in the sandbox way back when."

ELIZABETH SAUNDERS 
Real Life E®

Confidence

"As an entrepreneur, you are trying to do something that you've never done before, and, potentially, something no one has ever done before. To make it through the times when you feel frustrated, overwhelmed or uncertain, or when you have others doubting or criticizing you, you must have unshakable confidence in yourself and the value of your work. "

CHRISTOPHER PRUIJSEN 
Sterio.me

Autonomy

"Entrepreneurs have to be autonomous in the way of self-motivation, thinking outside the box of conventional wisdom and rule systems, and, sometimes, even doing things others tell them are impossible or bad ideas. That said, an entrepreneur should, of course, always be receptive to advice -- it's a balance as it's important to be a good listener, too."

MITCH GORDON 
Go Overseas

Irrational Thinking

"This may sound strange, but it's absolutely true. Founders need to view the world in a different and unique way. Look at the most successful entrepreneurs, and you'll generally find a difficult person. As my MBA professor told me, "Starting a business isn't a rational choice." I agree. You need to have an irrational, exceptionally stubborn belief in yourself, your vision and your product. "

GAGAN BIYANI 
Growth Hackers Conference

Competitiveness

"Entrepreneurs love to win. They want to win so much that they look at the other team and say, "If they can do it, why can't we?" There is a quiet confidence that accompanies all successful entrepreneurs, and it comes down to their belief that they can beat the other team. From there, you also need to be extremely intelligent, self-aware and willing to take calculated risks."

ERIC KOESTER 
DCI

Impatience

"Are you tired of waiting for someone else to fix a problem you see, sick of something you want going through committee approval or frustrated that you can't get your superiors to listen? Do you just want to fix it yourself? Well, you are likely to become an entrepreneur. "

ZACHARY YUNGST 
Cater2.me

Chronic Restlessness

"I think that a true entrepreneur is someone who always has his eyes on the horizon, looking for the next big thing. The "chase" does not have to be negative, though. When you apply it to a business or startup, it becomes a trait that fights complacency. You are constantly looking for ways to make your great business idea better. "

REBECCA ZOROWITZ 
Ooh La La Brands

Tenacity

"Successful entrepreneurs have the drive, determination and endurance to make it, no matter how hard the struggle or how many times they fail. Failure is a key stop on the way to success, and it is what separates the winners from the losers in business. The tenacious entrepreneur will continue to work hard and break all barriers with her unshakable willpower and persistent personality. "

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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