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Want to Start a Business? 10 Signs You've Got What It Takes

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks

Some people are just born with what it takes to start a business. Here are 10 signs you were born to be an entrepreneur.

Born to start a business

From Henry Ford and Coco Chanel to Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg, entrepreneurs all seem to be wired a bit differently. But were they born to be entrepreneurs or did they learn it? Probably a little of both. Here are 10 signs you are a cut out to start your own business.

Young starter 

Justin Palmer, founder of MedSaverCard, a prescription assistance program for uninsured or underinsured patients, said born entrepreneurs usually get started at a very young age.

"They don't wait to gain enough experience, graduate college or get someone's permission first," Palmer told BusinessNewsDaily. "The entrepreneurship bug is something that you can't get out of you, and if you have it, it will surface very early in life."

Intense work ethic

Kari DePhillips, owner of online marketing firm The Content Factory, said an intense work ethic is a trademark of those who are born to build a business.

"They all work 12-hour days at least twice a week," DePhillips said. "That's not to say that they don't take time off or go on vacation, but when they're working, they're in the zone."

Creative vision

As president and founder of the marketing and public relations firm Astonish Media Group, Paula Conway has worked with entrepreneurs for more than 15 years. She believes creativity is the cornerstone of all born entrepreneurs. 

"Entrepreneurs are always thinking and coming up with creative ideas," Conway said. "Each day is a new adventure for entrepreneurs, as they are constantly dreaming and creating new ventures in their minds."

Tolerance for ambiguity

Tania Luna, a psychology instructor and co-founder of Surprise Industries, a company that helps organizations harness the power of surprise to increase employee and customer happiness, works with both entrepreneur and nonentrepreneur types, and believes the biggest difference between the two is a tolerance for ambiguity.

"Born entrepreneurs can handle the tension of the unknown, take action in the face of uncertainty, and embrace surprise," Luna told BusinessNewsDaily. "Nonentrepreneurs have a much greater need for safety and certainty, which can be really crippling for companies that want to innovate and iterate." True entrepreneurs crave uncertainty, she said.

"They thrive in situations where anything can happen and there is no map with X marking success," she said.

Hatred for working for someone else

Mustafa Khalifa, CEO and founder of men's luxury watch company Boxer Watches, said a key sign of a natural born entrepreneur is someone who has a problem taking orders from others.

"It's someone who hates working for someone else," Khalifa said. "They don't understand why they should work hard to build someone else's dream when they can work hard building their own."

As a result, Khalifa said entrepreneurs are willing to put in the hours to create something for themselves doing something they love.

"They realize that even if they're not good at what they do, at least they love doing it," he said.

Always seeing potential

Business coach Jaime Tardy said those who are born to build businesses see potential in things that others don't.

"That means whether they are buying a company that isn't doing well, and can see the potential to turn it around, or even as a young kid being able to see the potential in selling snacks to a bunch of hungry kids on the bus," Tardy said. "They can see these opportunities that many aren't looking for."

Desire to make things better

Business and executive coach Teri Johnson, who has started a number of her own companies, said one sign that someone has the entrepreneur gene is that with every business they encounter, they automatically look for ways to make it better.

"You might hear them say, 'They'd have more sales if they were more visible to the street,' or 'I love this product, but they need to improve their packaging'," Johnson said. "It can be fun, or a bit of a curse."

Willingness to get your hands dirty

A willingness to do every part of the job, no matter how undesirable it may be, is a critical sign of a born entrepreneur, said Millie Tadewaldt, managing director at Sandbox Industries and co-founder of a number of her own companies, including DoggyLoot, Lost Crates and CakeStyle. 

"A born entrepreneur won't shy away from doing the grunt work," Tadewaldt told BusinessNewsDaily.

She said they understand that having a full grasp of every aspect of their business is required to optimize processes and be a good manager.

Ability to solve problems

Digital strategies architect Holly Kile said natural-born entrepreneurs are all problem-solvers who are skilled at looking for, and addressing, key issues.

"They are not just naturals at coming up with solutions to problems," Kile said. "They also tend to identify problems before many people even see them, and then get the jump on creating that solution."

Willingness to fail

Jason Park works with a number of entrepreneurs as the associate director for marketing, communications and digital media for the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, and said entrepreneurs all are risk-takers who are prepared to test ideas and products that may actually fail.

"The important outcome of this failure is that the entrepreneur learns something vital to their business or target market, and moves forward from that failure," Parker said.

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Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
Business News Daily Staff
Chad Brooks is a writer and editor with more than 20 years of media of experience. He has been with Business News Daily and for the past decade, having written and edited content focused specifically on small businesses and entrepreneurship. Chad spearheads coverage of small business communication services, including business phone systems, video conferencing services and conference call solutions. His work has appeared on The Huffington Post,,, Live Science, IT Tech News Daily, Tech News Daily, Security News Daily and Laptop Mag. Chad's first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014.