Running your own business isn’t for everyone – that’s why not many people do it. So what makes entrepreneurs different from anyone else in business?
I’ve been building businesses for over 20 years, and now that I've become a success coach for female entrepreneurs - I've noticed there are some interesting personality traits that entrepreneurs share, and some similarities in our upbringings I find fascinating.
Let me preface this by saying I haven’t done any formal research into this. These are simply my own observations being an entrepreneur for as long as I have been, being around other entrepreneurs, and coaching them.
All of the successful entrepreneurs I work with or know had parents who separated when they were young, or experienced significant dysfunction or trauma as a child.
Then we grow up and have something to prove.
We know how to deal with uncertainty and how to be resilient. We have an emotional strength because our brains are wired to face fear and adversity.
We want to control the things around us and many of us experience mild OCD.
We’re not controlling of others - actually I would say it’s the opposite, we like to collaborate with others. We see the value in collaboration.
The control is more about being in control of a situation… controlling ourselves… knowing exactly what we like and what we want… it’s about having structure.
As entrepreneurs working for someone else is typically not a great experience... for anyone! It’s not great for us as the employee, and it’s not great for anyone who’s employed us.
Entrepreneurs are driven. We’re driven by our ideas and concepts and creativity. We think outside the box, and typically that won’t jive with an employer who has their own idea of how things need to run, or they’re getting their marching orders from their boss so they’re just doing as they’re being told to do.
Entrepreneurs can’t be micromanaged and typically “moving up the ladder” in a company takes too long for an entrepreneur. We think fast, we move fast, we love to grow and evolve….. we like movement. Within most companies that kind of movement happens excruciatingly slowly for us entrepreneurs.
This is interesting because we take on a lot of risk and like I mentioned, we arrive to the party with a lot of emotional strength because of the environment we grew up in, but we are also very vulnerable.
As business owners we face risk, uncertainty and fear over and over and over again… yet in order to do that we recognize our weaknesses and we admit our mistakes and our failures.
Here's the thing... if we want to succeed we need to fail over and over and over again, and we know this. When everyone else around us is telling us to stop doing what we’re doing because they just don’t get it, we know we need to experience those failures in order to succeed.
So we’re very brave about getting back up, dusting ourselves off, and heading right back into the lions den because we know that failure is a big part of our success journey.
Great leaders are both brave and vulnerable, even though that might seem to be contradictory.
As entrepreneurs we get distracted very easily. We crave new things. We’re very curious. We’re creative and get new ideas all the time – and when this gets really bad, the we usually need our teams or staff or coaches to reel us back in.
I’ve had to work on this myself and help my clients overcome it because it can lead to confusion with your clients, your staff, and within yourself. It can lead to spending more money than what’s necessary. It can lead to unfinished projects and some bad planning.
So knowing that and learning the art of staying focused on the current project is important for us as we build our businesses.
Those are the 5 Strange Similarities of Entrepreneurs that I’ve personally noticed over the years.
We’re a unique bunch that’s for sure.
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