I knew I was an entrepreneur when I was 8…
When I was in second grade I went to the grocery store with my mom. But little did I know, this was not just the normal trip to the store. It would be the start of my entrepreneurial spirit.
As we were leaving I picked up a handful of poster calendars that were advertising for the local minor league baseball team in the area. The posters were free, so I took a large stack only to have my mom tell me to put them back.
I told her I was planning on selling them. She chuckled and let me keep them. What she didn’t know was that over next few days I was about to make $30.00, a large amount of money when you are eight years old.
Each day, after getting off the bus I went door to door around the neighborhood and sold every single poster for $1.00 ( I am sure the Prince William Cannons appreciated my efforts). I am not sure what I even said and I am sure the fact that an 8 year old was hustling baseball posters got me a few pitty sales.
When I went home my mom and dad were stunned. They couldn’t believe I had just flipped free posters into enough money to buy my own lego set.
From posters I eventually moved onto hotdog stands, pokemon cards, and custom fishing hook necklaces. As I got older I started mowing grass and mulching yards. By the time I was in my twenties I was making an easy couple thousand dollars a year just by doing things others didn’t want to do.
Read about 18 side hustles that could help you make money here!
Educator vs Entrepreneur
Interestingly enough, even though I innately had an entrepreneurial spirit, I decided to focus on being a teacher and educator. I saw my parent’s, who were both small business owners, have high tides and low tides in their careers.
Operating in the self employment category, I saw enough of the low tides to realize that going for the safe and secure route was the way to be. Lots of days off, the ability to help others and insurance benefits were all super appealing to me.
More than anything, I had a passion for sports and really wanted to coach high school athletics. Even though I spent 30 Saturday’s a year on a football field or inside of a gym, I still managed to keep my side hustles in tact, but never really exploring my ability.
In 2015 everything sort of changed seemingly overnight. I was an assistant athletic director and loved what I did. However, there was just something missing. I missed the students and coaching, but I also felt like I wasn’t reaching my full potential.
Not to mention – my wife and I had $300,000 in student loans – and if we didn’t figure out ways to make extra money we would most likely have those student loans forever.
Entrepreneurs take action.
In 2016 I made a decision that caught most people off guard – I stepped down as an assistant athletic director and went back to teaching. To most this seemed like a step back. I mean who would take a pay cut in this day and age?
Sort of like an arrow, sometimes you have draw things back before you can propel forward. I realized that if I pursued the path of athletic director in my late twenties that I may miss my shot at owning and controlling.
From 9-5 I could be the best teacher I was meant to be, but after that I had time and options to turn side hustles into side companies.
I still have a long way to go and quite honestly I am just getting started. I had a friend do a guest post back in November that touched on his leap of faith. He went from a secure cushy accounting gig to being an entrepreneur. Here is the kicker – he already had three kids!
So as I realized more and more people were considering doing their own thing, (Actually one of the simplest things to do to get started is just to start a blog), I decided to write about the characteristics of an entrepreneur.
The 6 Characteristics of an Entrepreneur
- You get bored easily.
- You can’t sit still.
- You take risks.
- You take action
- You are not afraid of challenges.
- You like helping people.
1. You get bored easily.
If you are the person who gets bored sitting at a desk and doing the same thing over and over again then chances are you might be an entrepreneur deep down inside. Some people are completely content with the 50-50-50 plan. Working/driving 50 hours a week, 50 weeks a year for 50 years, only to hopefully have a nice retirement was not my cup of tea. I could only imagine how boring doing the same thing for 50 years would be.
2. You can not sit still.
I think one reason my students like me is because I can empathize with them when it comes to sitting in a desk for extended periods of time. More and more jobs are focused on sitting behind a computer screen for 8 hours a day. Never-mind the health ramifications of sitting all day, but if you like interacting with people, moving around and meeting people you might be an entrepreneur.
3. You take risks.
Entrepreneurs take risks. A guy I know who quit teaching to become a full time blogger after making $3.00 in 6 months took a huge risk. Bobby’s reasoning – he said why not now when I am young. Entrepreneurs think differently in many ways, the biggest is probably in the area of risk taking. By no means am I saying quit your job and become and entrepreneur, but most entrepreneurs to inherently take risks. The entrepreneurial world is sometimes considered high risk high reward.
4. You take action.
Entrepreneurs do not play around – they take large amounts of action. Grant Cardone often says it requires the same amount of energy to take large amounts of action as it does to take no action. As an entrepreneur it is up to you to make things happen. Personal responsibility and realizing that you make take action that is not necessarily compensated up front is part of the game.
5. You are not afraid of challenges.
Lastly, entrepreneurs are not afraid of challenges. Opposite of the can’t be done mindset, entrepreneurs think, “How can I do this?” The more challenging something is the better in the entrepreneurial world. Entrepreneurs can not be afraid of hearing the word “NO,” nor can they expect everything to go their way. In fact, the challenges serve as motivation to push forward and keep at it.
6. You like helping people.
You will never be a successful entrepreneur if you don’t like helping people and or believe you can. That is what being an entrepreneur is all about – helping people. The services or product you offer is designed to help others. You must firmly stand by and believe that! Stay true to helping and you will always be successful in your endeavors.
At the end of the day it always boil down to one thing: your perspective. What someone views as boring someone else might view as the best thing since sliced bread. Some people might say why waste your time pursuing something on the side while others might say you are crazy if you don’t.
If you read something that caught your attention then you might be an entrepreneur waiting to happen. People who are already entrepreneurs would probably agree to the list of characteristic that describe an entrepreneur. They could also probably add about 10 more.
As I create more content for my blog and run a small marketing company (partnership link) I realize that everything – entrepreneurship, work, school, marriage – boils down to one thing: relationships.
Growing, nurturing and keeping quality relationships is key to whatever you decide to do!
(If you have no interest in entrepreneurial advice I am currently open to content suggestions, reach out to me here if you would like to read up on a personal finance subject!)