35 Early Signs That You’re an Entrepreneur

Early Signs You're an Entrepreneur in Times Square

Entrepreneurs are a very different breed of human beings. They don’t just act differently; even their thought processes are different. They are constantly drawing from their personal habits, traits and dispositions to generate ideas that are purely genius or simply insane, at first.

However, just because you have crazy ideas doesn’t mean you’re built for a life of entrepreneurship. Neither is it for those who just want to ‘be their own bosses’ or don’t want to work 9-5 every day. If you’re thinking about being an entrepreneur, find out how many of the following skills you have. You don’t have to have all of the traits or skills; but the more you have, the more likely you are to succeed at being an entrepreneur.

1. Your family is made up of entrepreneurs – your parent(s) is/are in entrepreneurship because they just can’t imagine working for someone else. And neither can you.

2. You abhor status quo. In any setting, you’re the one always questioning why things have to be done the way they are done. You’re not scared to be different if you think it’ll improve things, and are ready to act on your thoughts.

3. You are a confident person – you believe in yourself and in your abilities. As an entrepreneur, you’ll be selling yourself, so without confidence in your ideas, how can you succeed. You’re also every optimistic about general life things.

4. You’re a passionate person. Sometimes, you will invest hours in some project without realizing much gain from it. Only passion will keep you going in those times.

5. You’re relentless, you never give up and you never take no for an answer.

6. You have an uncanny ability to build relationships from thin air because you know how to join the dots. People are drawn towards you, sometimes because of your passion, but mostly because people like to be around you.

7. You spend more time with your business partner than you do your significant other.

8. You dropped out of college: see Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates (As a disclaimer, they dropped out of Harvard, not the local community college).

9. Your home to work commute consists of a journey from your bedroom to the sitting room.

10. You suck at being employed. You’ve probably been fired a couple of times. Don’t worry; you’re not the only one. About half of all entrepreneurs get fired more than once in their lives. Sometimes it’s just in the DNA; you’re not a bad person.

11. You cannot hold down a day job for too long a time, mostly because you’re always resisting authority and don’t take orders very well.

The Boss at Your Old Job

12. You believe that job security can be defined in more than one way: for instance, working in a job where you’re in control and therefore secure about your future, rather than working for someone who can ruin your entire career in one move because of some mistake, or because they can.

13. Your wardrobe is primarily made up of T-shirts, which were probably purchased at SXSW. If you’re more advanced, you’ve printed out a couple with your business name and/or logo.

14. You’re naturally competitive, but you take losses in stride. You know that you can do better next time.

15. The first thing you do when you get up is check out GitHub.
GitHub Logo

16. You’re unemployable; but that is not necessarily a bad thing. You’ll be better served by acquiring life skills than being privy to the office politics that characterize most 9-5 deals.

17. Your work week comprises more than 60 hours, but you make less than you did when you were holding that per-hour job at the local diner in high school.

18. You want to have control and final say over a company of your own. Therefore, you’re hands-on about most things that are taking place at your business.

19. Everything you see gives you an idea, you see opportunities everywhere you look. When you get in a building for instance, you’re more interested in how much it’s worth and what businesses/companies it hosts.

20. When you hear the word ‘pitch’, your mind does not go to baseball.

21. The last personality test that you took branded you as a ‘reformer type person’ – purpose-oriented, self-controlled with perfectionist tendencies.

22. You know how many power outlets there are in your favorite coffee shop, and every time you walk into a new place, that’s the first thing you notice.

23. You have a logical thinking brain and can find methodical ways to assess the overall situation, and create solutions to an existing problem.

24. While we’re on the subject, you’ve tried to find an app for problem-solving. Finding none, you proceeded to create business models and software architectural plans just to find out whether it’s really workable.

25. Your communication skills are off the charts. You can connect with people and they with you.

26. Your mantra for success and keeping it together was drawn from something Steve Jobs said.

27. When you were a kid, you probably sold stuff from lemonade stands. Anytime there were class sale projects, you were among the highest sellers.

28. Majority of your SMS alerts are from Twitter about your followers rather than the people who are actually in your contact list.

29. You are a self-starteryou start projects and work on them until you’ve seen them through.

My Company Org Chart

30. Everything you do every day is measured in terms of delivery of returns on investment.

31. Your suits are in the closet gathering dust. You like to dress shabby chic or smart casual. You’d pick jeans and a t-shirt over suits any day.

32. You’re not bound in by reality. This is a good thing for innovators or inventors, and entrepreneurs have a better chance at succeeding if they’re both.

33. You’re always thinking outside the box. You’re not bound by rules or norms. If you were, how would anything ever change?

34. You accept various forms of payment because ‘some things are way cooler than money’ –game tickets, devices, baseball cards, shoes and other things that tickle your fancy.

35. Your definition of holiday is that working day where nothing interferes with all the stuff that you want to do.

Entrepreneurship is not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. More than that, it’s who someone is. Entrepreneurs have an interesting combination of insanity, rebellion and obsession. If left unchecked they would probably be on the frontlines of a coup, with their innate brilliance, inquisitiveness and a healthy dose of foolhardiness.

All indications are that it should never work, but for some reason, for this unique group of people, it’s the perfect recipe for success.

Thanks to Jack Dawson of RemoteDBA.com for contributing these ideas.

Emory Rowland

I'm editor and keeper of the flame at Clickfire, fanatical social media blogger and builder of Internet things from way back. My love for social media and success with organic search led me to start my own consulting company. Apart from the Internet, I could be considered pretty worthless. More...


  1. This post was both liberating and empowering to read… with a good chuckle here and there. To see these qualities in the context of entrepreneurship was really awesome – having had a lot of them ‘knocked down’ by well-meaning folk. I hope every budding entrepreneur reads this post and holds their head up high knowing they were born to do this – born to swim a little upstream ;) Thanks for the post.

  2. Tom

    I can agree with at least 20 of them ;) Specially those about dropping out of college and eleventh :)

  3. thanks for sharing with us

  4. Hi Emory – I can identify with lots of these. I sold my software business in 2009 and retired. App Academy recently did an interview with me where I explained how I pulled it off. Here it is, if you are interested: https://webetripping.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/podcast-how-an-entrepreneur-achieved-lifestyle-freedom/

    • Emory Rowland

      Hi Steve, thanks for sharing. Enjoyed listening to the podcast. The freedom to travel and experience other cultures is a great reward. The remotely self-destructing password story is interesting :)

  5. Andrew Thompson

    Great article! This article is helpful for me because I had come to know about the signs of an entrepreneur. This article is short, but if you know more about these signs of an entrepreneur then you can take help from remote dba support. As the world moves to the next century, more people willing to become entrepreneur, but not all can succeed. Thank you Emory for sharing this helpful article. Well done.

  6. Hey Emory, I’m pretty sure this post could also be “35 early signs that you are a freelancer” :-D

    I had fun with most of your listed points :) :) :)

    • Emory Rowland

      Hi Jice, You could be onto something. Neither entrepreneurs nor successful freelancers live passive lives it seems :)

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