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  • The Four “Tells” That Someone is Entrepreneurial

    Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT

    There is no yellow brick road for entrepreneurs – they chart their own path.


    A friend’s son, in a project for college, sent me an email inquiring – What Makes Someone Entrepreneurial?   Based on being an entrepreneur the past 30 years, here are my four “tells” that someone is entrepreneurial.

    1. Insatiable Drive – You have an insatiable drive to create a product or service for a known or an unknown market Like my idea for becoming food self-sufficient and the systems for growing micro greens that came from that idea – I have some ideas of the markets I would prefer to target but I have no idea what the real market is or how I will promote this, yet.  On the other end of the spectrum – I created a way to pass the really difficult PMP exam after only four days of prep – I thought I would teach that course maybe four times a year – but it took over the market and grew the market from 40,000 to over 600,000 over 15 years.  Sometimes you just have no clue what you’re going to stumble into.  HOWEVER – the only way I would have even been in the right place at the right time to even stumble into it was because I was in the came creating these courses for the Project Management training space.  You just seriously never know which ideas will have traction or not – but you have to try anyhow.

    2.  Service from the Heart – You have an interest in serving others without constraints or motivation from corporate policies, managers or bosses.  You have to have an intrinsic drive to bring your creation to life without anyone overseeing what you are doing.  It’s like the forty hour online course we just created called “Certified Accelerated Learner.”  I want to help people learn at least five times faster – it is my driving passion.  You are your own cheerleader and bounce out of bed every morning with excitement for what you are creating.  It becomes what you eat, live, breathe – and it can alienate everyone around you – I call it becoming an entreprebore.   You also start to see opportunities everywhere and wonder why the rest of the world is not an entrepreneur.  On the converse, many people will approach you with ideas they want you to act on immediately since you are an entrepreneur and are into turning ideas into businesses.  It isn’t the idea that makes you successful, it’s the tens of thousands of hours you put into making that idea into a business that makes you successful.  If anyone made you work this hard, they would be jailed for cruelty to humanity.  Yet you happily do this because you are an entrepreneur, do not suffer fools wisely, and would never work for someone else (essentially you are unemployable).

    3. Fearless Risk Taking – You have the ability to take risks where others dare to go. You have to be fearless – especially when cash dries up, all your clients are going with your competitors and you can’t make payroll for the third time in as many months.  I have stopped using money as my metric or the source for achieving goals. Instead I rely on four other sources of capital that have helped me far more than financial capital – my social capital (relationships), knowledge capital (skills and what I can do),  brand capital (brand is HUGE for business), and infrastructure capital (those systems I have created that help me launch new products – especially important in the age of digital marketing).  We teach about how to use all these sources of capital to fearlessly go where no one has gone before in the online Project Turnaround class.

    4.  Unwavering Belief in Yourself – You are willing to continue despite loss of faith and support from family and friends.  Those of little faith,  once you do hit it big will tell you “I knew you would make it someday.”  Once you are financially successful, family and friends you have not talked with for years will ask you to help them out financially with no intent of ever paying you back.  When things get rough for you again (as they will, you are an entrepreneur after all),  this same ilk of humanity will act like it’s all your fault for being a stupid entrepreneur.  You learn how to love people for however they show up in the moment and to quickly walk away from those who would do you harm.

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