Have you ever wondered how people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Oprah Winfrey are different than the average person? What is it that made them such successful entrepreneurs? Is it in their genes? Were they taught superior business skills the rest of the world wasn’t? What’s their trick?
While I might not have all of those answers, I certainly can tell you that they perceive the world differently. They have to, or else they wouldn’t be so wildly successful. As an entrepreneur myself, I can relate to that fact. I’m not a multi-billionaire, but I think have the scoop on at least 7 ways that entrepreneurs differ from traditional job-holders:
1. They see possibilities in everything
Have you ever wondered who invented the sticky note? Or the little plastic things on the end of your shoe laces? You have to wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Entrepreneurs see possibilities everywhere. They see an opportunity, make a plan, and then follow through with it.
2. Their mind is always thinking 10 years ahead
Everything they think about has a consequence. It’s imperative to have a plan — not just for today or tomorrow. How are the decisions that they make today and tomorrow going to impact the next week, next month, next year, or even the next decade? That’s how entrepreneurs think. They think in terms of growth — growth toward the future.
3. They see the “Big Picture”
Entrepreneurs are “idea” people. They see the end result. Maybe they see a problem in the online dating world, and so they come up with an idea to create a funky new dating app. They can “see” and “feel” how it will work before they even make the first move. You could say they are visionaries.
4. They listen to their own inner voice, sometimes ignoring other people’s opinions
Let’s face it — people are not always supportive, especially when someone goes against the norm. I’m sure that there are many entrepreneurs out there who had a great idea that other people thought was crazy. Within the last 50 years, there have been some really interesting products that were first seen on TV. From Suzanne Somers’ Thigh Master to the “Veg-o-matic” to the “Perfect Bacon Bowl.” I’m sure these entrepreneurs gave people a lot of laughs with their unique ideas. But, imagine if the people who invented these listened to other people’s criticisms? They would never have found success.
5. They think in terms of “passive income”
The average job-going person hardly knows what the term passive income means. It means that you don’t put in time in exchange for a dollar. Entrepreneurs can be sitting on a yacht off the coast of Greece and still be earning money. That’s one of the benefits of being an entrepreneur. That’s not to say that it’s not a lot of hard work to get to the point where you can enjoy that passive income. Entrepreneurs think in terms of “making money while I’m having fun.”
6. They welcome risk
Anti-risk is programmed into many human beings. It makes sense — taking risks can be life-threatening. Many people shy away from risk because all they think of is “loss.” But entrepreneurs think “gain” when they take a risk. Entrepreneurs thrive off the risks they take. As the saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” It’s not possible to be successful if you don’t take some risks along the way.
7. They are endlessly optimistic
Donald Trump has lost his fortune before — all of it. But did that stop him from taking more risks and starting over? Did he roll over and say “Oh, shucks! I guess the odds are against me. I think I’ll just give up.” Absolutely not. He came up with a way to make his money back. He didn’t let so-called setbacks stop him. He thrived under the pressure of rebuilding his empire. He is an optimist in his business life.
Entrepreneurship is more than a “career choice.” It’s a way of being. Some people just have it in their blood. Some entrepreneurs are more successful than others, but they all share these ways of perceiving the world. It doesn’t make them better than the rest of the world, but they do have some unique perspectives on life that we can all learn from.