Dictionary.com defines an ‘entrepreneur’ as: A person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
Over the past 16 years, I have worked with over 300 individual clients, with at least 200 of them being entrepreneurs. Today I will embellish upon three of the characteristics I have observed in the entrepreneurs that I know.
Brian Tracy said, “You have to put in many, many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you achieve anything worthwhile.”
That brings me to the first characteristic:
- Most Entrepreneurs Started Working At An Early Age
At the risk of sounding all… – I walked to school uphill both ways in my bare feet in the snow – I started babysitting when I was 10. I was the only girl with a paper route at age 12, for 3 years. I started at a fast food restaurant at 15 and then was a lifeguard from age 16. Most summers I worked 2 jobs; a few I worked 3. Like many of you, my work life has continued pretty much like that.
Kathy Ireland said, “I work with wonderful people who support me. And, my beliefs are that the business needs to serve the family rather than the family serve the business.”
That brings me to the second characteristic:
- Most Entrepreneurs Have Exceptional Drive
Dictionary.com defines the verb ‘drive’ as to strive vigorously toward a goal or objective; to work, play, or try wholeheartedly and with determination.
Drive is that feeling in your gut that tells you that you want something and that you’re going to do whatever it takes to get there. It is the part of us that will get up early or keep us up late looking for another way to do it, pushing ourselves to keep going. Entrepreneurs have an excess of drive. I have described it to other people as a low-grade buzzing noise that I always hear.
So we have this drive that sometimes other people think is crazy, and we know what we want. I consider drive my default. I tend to take this path.
I have one 11-year-old son. So, how does this kind of overriding drive mix with being an “older” mother for me? I will tell you that it’s hard and I’m torn, often. I want to go, go, go for my business and be at the place where my age peers are with their empty nests and college graduates and weddings. But I’m not there in my life. I am here and I am present.
I override my default. I stop work at 4pm so that I can meet his bus. It’s hard for me to get to morning and evening events. Even though the drive is ALWAYS there.
Michael Gerber said, “The entrepreneur is not really interested in doing the work; he is interested in creating the way the company operates. In that regard, the entrepreneur is an inventor. He or she loves to invent, but does not love to manufacture or sell or distribute what he or she invents.”
This brings me to the third characteristic:
- Entrepreneurs Are Typically Impatient; More Of The Hare Than The Tortoise
This is a tricky one. I say that because, in order to actually pull off many of the things that we say that we can do, we really need to be hares; moving at fast speeds and getting on with it. Another way of wording this is – entrepreneurs tend to be inconsistent.
For us exciting hares, the tortoise seems boring. And yet, we all know the end of the story, the tortoise wins. So while I am definitely more of a hare, I have needed to learn when to use tortoise behavior.
These are just three of the many characteristics that entrepreneurs share in common. I hope that you have enjoyed getting a closer look into the entrepreneur mind set.
By: Kim Lysik Di Santi