The 5 Signs You’re An Entrepreneur

Business entrepreneur cartoon design, vector illustration

There’s a great story about how Earl Woods, Tiger Woods father, taught Tiger about how to be cool under pressure. In golf, the audience is supposed to be quiet while a player prepares to hit the golf ball. Earl turned everything upside to teach his young son.

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Earl would throw golf clubs, jingle his car keys, and play with coins during Tiger’s backswing. He’d do anything he could to teach his young prodigy how to focus.

The analogy is obvious:

Sign #1: You are cool under pressure.


There are times when it will feel like the whole world is falling apart around you as a startup CEO. The pressure will be enormous to do something, anything, to make the pressure go away. For example:

  • Maybe your 80% customer just pulled their business from you, or...
  • Maybe your co-founder just quit with no notice, or...
  • Maybe your lead investor said they will not support your next round of funding.

Through it all, you stay calm, cool, and collected. Your team feeds off your strength as you tackle each problem that comes your way.

That’s the first sign you’re destined to be a successful startup CEO.


Sign #2: You’re able to get people to follow you.


Let’s take the negative on this one. If you can’t get great, talented people to join your company and follow you, then there’s something wrong.

It might mean that you’re not clearly articulating your vision (more on this in sign #3), but, if you’re explanation is clear, and your vision makes sense, then the problem is you.

It’s nearly impossible to win in the startup game without a great team around you. Great leaders are able to attract great followers.

That’s the second sign you’re destined to be a successful startup CEO.


Sign #3: You’re able to communicate your thoughts clearly.


Great leaders have a clear vision that easy for talented people to follow. It attracts great people like a magnet.

Not only will your excellent communications skills attract great talent, it will help close customers, and it will help you close investors too.

That’s the third sign you’re destined to be a successful startup CEO.


Sign #4: You know how to execute a plan.


One of the highest compliments I ever got was when one of my investors, “Raul”, said to me, “You’re a tough guy because you execute your plan.”

Raul was not one to throw out compliments lightly, so receiving this compliment from him meant a lot to me. More importantly, Raul is right.

You can be a have a great idea and a great plan. However, it’s worth nothing if you can’t execute.

That’s the fourth sign you’re destined to be a successful startup CEO.


Sign #5: You care more about your team than you do yourself.


Now, I’m not saying you’re starting your company for altruistic reasons. I am saying that you want to make sure your team succeeds in a very selfless way.

Every action you take is always made in terms of what’s in the best interest of the company and your team, not you. If you have this mindset, you will foster a company culture where your team will never want to leave.

That’s what gives your company, and you, the best chance of achieving startup success.


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