The concept of the ‘self-made’ businessperson is familiar in many cultures, but it can be a double-edged sword when you’re trying to carve out your own enterprising career.
On the positive side, it’s inspirational when everyday people excel in any field – it reminds us that it’s possible to beat the odds and achieve outstanding success.
But on the other hand, by apparently being completely self-reliant and having sole control of their destinies, the abilities of self-made moguls seem superhuman and their achievements impossible to emulate.
However, if the thought of being your own boss is exciting, clues that you already have the right stuff to take you to the top could be staring you in the face – here are five signs you’ve got entrepreneurial spirit.
1. You’re creative
Even if you don’t work in a sector or job role that’s considered creative, having a keen interest in the Arts could mean you’re destined for the top in your chosen field.
In his bestselling book Originals, organisational psychologist Adam Grant argues that artistic hobbies train us to develop new ways of solving problems and cites research that Nobel laureate scientists are seven times as likely to draw or paint than their peers, and twice as likely to play a musical instrument.
2. You’ve got self-control
Having the ‘oomph’, resilience and initiative to lead a project from the front and pursue it to completion despite obstacles is another sign that you might succeed as a business leader.
Research from The Wall Street Journal’s Young Entrepreneurs Study revealed that students who had started a new society were twice as likely to have entrepreneurial intentions, while those describing themselves as ‘self-starters’ were 1.5 times more likely to be aspiring entrepreneurs than respondents who didn’t.
3. You’re a (male) rebel
While it’s neither wise to condone nor condemn the slightly outlandish behaviour some of us display during those difficult teenage years, the positive news is that the propensity to act out might be an indicator of entrepreneurial tendencies.
Longitudinal German and Swedish research concluded that antisocial rule breaking behaviour in adolescence is a valid positive predictor of an entrepreneurial adulthood in males, but not in females. However, there was little evidence of any connection with registered crime in youth and adult entrepreneurship, so it seems only mildly bad boys may benefit from the correlation.
4. You’ve got a thirst for knowledge
If you’ve got an insatiable appetite for movies, documentaries and books and can’t skip over a new word without looking it up on dictionary.com, you might have the chops for a self-employed career.
Writing in Entrepreneur magazine, serial tech CEO and science fiction author Timothy E. Burke characterises entrepreneurship as ‘a thirst, a drive for work, and a passion to expand your knowledge in a new genre, person, project or industry’.
5. You’re a student
Being a student means you might already have started your journey towards startup success.
Research from Santander Universities shows that 26 per cent of students run or plan to run a business while they’re at university, and their efforts generate £1 billion per annum for the UK economy. In terms of business types, tech-based solutions are the most popular, followed by arts and crafts, then clothing and textiles.
If you’ve clocked up more than a couple of qualities on our list, congrats – our enterprise-focused online MBA might help you hone your startup skills further.
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