Published December 20, 2010
There are many ways to distinguish people when it comes to their perspectives about life. One of the most basic and most obvious distinctions can be found in the way people respond to others' progress. In that regard, I have found two main types: entrepreneurs and sleepwalkers.
•Entrepreneurs use other people's progress as a driving force for their own and strive to become better at what they do.
•Sleepwalkers criticize others in every way possible because they get satisfaction from dragging them down.
Of course it's up to you what you want to be, but regardless of how you look at it, and no matter what you do for a living, thinking like an entrepreneur is no longer a luxury. It's a prerequisite for success, even if you don't run your own venture.
Here is an instrument called "Entrepreneur" that can help you find out whether you have an entrepreneurial spirit or not. I created it in collaboration with several groups of MBA students, and I've used it successfully in my business courses and seminars since. I'm often told that this test is not just a useful self-reflection tool, but also a great reminder about important focus points. A participant recently told me that she printed and framed the 12 points so that she can look at them regularly. Together, the first letters of each point form the word "entrepreneur." It works like this: Rate yourself in each of these characteristics on a scale from 1 to 5:
1 = not at all
2 = somewhat
3 = reasonably
4 = pretty much
5 = totally
Excellence: You only compare to benchmark: You look, learn and engage in self-evaluation. You make your own SWOT analysis in order to determine your personal Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. You determine your next steps from there.
Nimbleness: You keep your eyes open for new opportunities. Wherever you go, you try to find sources of inspiration. You are inquisitive, and you love to see new things and meet different people because you can learn from them.
Tenacity: You are a go-getter. Your days are often long, and others might consider you a workaholic. Your passion is renowned among your friends, and rejection only fuels your determination to succeed.
Resourcefulness: You are the creative kind. You try to find a way to make the best of every situation, and you turn crises into valuable learning experiences. You nurture your creativity because you are aware that this is the best way to stay sharp.
Endurance: You realize that success doesn't come overnight and that greatness is a product of long and repeated practice. You have learned that today's rejection often leads to tomorrow's victory, so you don't let it distract you from your goal.
Planning: Whenever you face a task, you start developing a strategy to accomplish it as effectively and efficiently as possible. Depending on the complexity of the task, you will have your plan on paper or in your head, but it's always there.
Resilience: You know that plans don't always work out as intended, so you develop backup strategies (plans B and C) to ensure continuation of your progress. "Quitting" is not a word in your vocabulary.
Effort: You are a hard worker. The days you don't have anything to do are few and far apart. You love being productive and are passionate about your work. You are an overachiever.
Nobleness: The projects you engage in contribute to the well-being of others. If they don't, you make sure that at least they don't harm anyone. You want your work to pay off, but you also appreciate a clean conscience.
Enticement: Selling your point is crucial, so you have learned to convince others that your goals are worthwhile. You take pride in what you do, but you are open to constructive criticism.
Uniqueness: Whether it is the nature of your product or service, the quality of your work, the way you carry yourself, the way you approach others or anything else, something about you sets you apart, and that something is very obvious to those who encounter you.
Reliability: This is a transparent world. Everything you do can be quickly communicated on a global scale. Aware of that, you keep your reputation solid. You meet deadlines, deliver quality work and remain reasonable in your dealings.
How the Score Works:
50 to 60: You have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. You are well aware of your qualities; you don't like to be micromanaged, and you find inspiration in many things to keep going and growing.
40 to 49: You are well on your way. You need more encouragement and might consider looking for a mentor who has strong entrepreneurial skills to help you develop your entrepreneurial mind-set further.
30 to 39: You are rather laid-back and easily satisfied with your circumstances. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't get upset when others pass you by on the career ladder.
20 to 29: You have a tendency to think negatively about others who progress faster and do better than you. You blame things on others, and you feel the world owes you more than it has given so far.
Below 20: You will seriously have to try stepping out of the sleepwalker mode. You see the world as an unfair place and have stopped trying. The fact that others' efforts lead them to progress beyond you makes you negative.