The world can never have too many entrepreneurs… they’ve helped make people’s remedial tasks easier, added millions of jobs to the global economy, made life more enjoyable, sporting games more engaging and so, so much more. Entrepreneurs give people outlets while financing startups and dreams. And they change the way people think, do, and live. Entrepreneurs keep the economy humming, which in turn helps improve the standard of living. Ambitious entrepreneurs have made ailments more manageable and sought cures for deadly diseases. There’s always room for more entrepreneurs; which is one reason why I’m such an advocate of this life – otherwise known as entrepreneurship.
For more than a decade, one of my primary activities has been investing in other entrepreneurs. Some have been incredible and gone on to successfully launch many other ventures, others not so much. Through this experience, I’ve noticed four distinct characteristics which tell me an individual has the entrepreneurial spirit embedded deep inside of them. This spirit is critical for success. And because they have this entrepreneurial spirit, which you may have too, they aren’t happy unless they’re out there hunting their own meat… being an entrepreneur.
Four Characteristics of the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Big ‘unrealistic’ dreams: The funny thing about having so-called unrealistic dreams is they become the goals of others once accomplished by someone.
They are no longer unrealistic after being done once. There are many examples of entrepreneurs demonstrating this over the last couple hundred years.
But to the point, if you’re one of those people who have big audacious dreams and goals, that’s the first marker that the entrepreneurial spirit is in you.
Love meeting new people: Entrepreneurs thrive off the energy of others. And they love to be inspired by others – exciting, motivated people are like crack to us.
As a result, people with the entrepreneurial spirit are the first ones to be in for a coffee, meeting, or round of golf with someone new and ambitious. They genuinely want to learn about what others are working on. Marker number 2.
N.B. – This doesn’t mean introverts don’t have the entrepreneurial spirit. Not at all. I probably fall into the introvert category, but I love to engage with inspiring new people and find out what big goals they have. It’s my fuel.
Thrive when doubted: Every great entrepreneur I’ve invested in or know has a chip on their shoulder. Not an attitude, but they’ve been questioned at some point in their life (who hasn’t?) and never forgot it. This is a big motivator for their continual desire for growth and accomplishment.
Minimal attachment to money: This one sounds counterintuitive, but it’s a very beneficial characteristic for an ambitious entrepreneur. The greatest entrepreneurs I know allocate hoards of capital for their projects (concepts and advance-staged) and already successful businesses. They invest, take risks, donate, and part ways with their cash seemingly on a whim (although it comes after doing tremendous research and planning).
This doesn’t mean they don’t respect money, they just view it as a tool, not an asset. A mindset like this creates a level of clarity and growth like nothing else. Money is a tool for those with an entrepreneurial spirit. There is nearly zero emotional attachment to it.
Do You Have the Entrepreneurial Spirit?
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, although it’d be nice if it were. The first step in considering if it is for you may be self-analyzing if you have the entrepreneurial spirit – often defined with the above four characteristics. These four characteristics shouldn’t be viewed as an absolute, but they should provide a good indication… and they can be trained.
PS – Entrepreneurship is a hell of a journey. A great way to spend a life. I have tons of stories to share, with lessons learned along the way. Subscribe to my free newsletter below. Only my best content will land in your inbox.