I’m a Faculty Leader at Coach University. One of the life coaching classes I’m leading this month is called Situational Coaching.

Students are asked to pick and research a specific situational client type. Part of their research is to choose a video they feel best represents the -who- of the client. Meaning, what is this type all about? What makes them tick? What tips do you have to coach this type?

One student chose the Entrepreneur. They picked a video created by Entrepreneur.com which listed 15 characteristics of an entrepreneur. I’ll go through the Entrepreneur Magazine listicle and give my take on each.

Over the last decade I’ve coached hundreds of entrepreneurs in 11 countries by phone and Skype. I love having them as clients.

I must emphasize these are characteristics of the top 10% of entrepreneurs. They’re not all built this way. If you’re thinking about being your own boss, do you have the following behaviors? If not, are you willing to modify your behavior to become a successful business owner?

Let’s dive in:

1. You take action 

Many entrepreneur’s wait to launch a product or service until it’s perfect.

A little secret?

Your offering will never be 100% foolproof. You’re gonna tweak it forever, regardless of what it looks like today.

The best phrase I’ve ever heard to describe this waiting to be perfect obsession was coined by Kathryn Minshew: “An ugly baby is better than no baby at all.”

Go ahead and launch the damn thing and worry about buffing it later. Otherwise the market just might pass you by, watching you through their rear view mirror. You’ll be deemed, insignificant.


2. You’re insecure

OK, I’ll go along with this one to a certain extent. Here’s why.

In my former life as a sales executive, I obsessed over every detail when it came to closing a deal with a new customer, managing a large account, etc.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say the best sales executives I know are paranoid. Not clinically. Though they’re concerned about covering their bases and then some so as not to be surprised.

Entrepreneurs are wired the same way. They’re different. That’s why I love coaching this type so much.


3. You’re crafty 

Business owners have nobody to depend on but themselves.

Yes they have a team. But when the rubber hits the road, if it has to get done, the entrepreneur will use every resource within their arsenal (or invent one) to ensure a win.


4. You’re obsessed with cash flow

Cash is king. Enough said.


5. Get into hot water

The top entrepreneurs are always pushing the envelope. They’re willing to take risks if they smell a huge upside potential.

In fact, they’re willing to bend the rules to reach their endgame.

They’re not prone to ask for permission. They take action, and if required, ask for forgiveness after the fact.


6. You’re fearless

Successful entrepreneurs are uber confident.

Some are outwardly cocky.

Then again, I know business owners who appear peacefully reserved.

Don’t let that cool, calm, and collected Dirty Harry exterior fool you. On the inside they’re bubbling with excitement and anticipation, willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their endgame.


7. You can’t sit still

Metaphorically speaking, this situational client type is cookin a half dozen meals at the same time. Meaning they have lots of ideas they’d like to put into play.

When coaching an entrepreneur, I give them lots of space to speak their mind about what they’d like to try next.

At the same time, I care about my clients and want them to be successful. If I see they’re spreading themselves to thin, I’ll never hesitate to say so. That’s what they pay me for. To tell them the truth.


8. You’re malleable

The best of the best roll with the punches.

Entrepreneurs understand the need to adjust to market conditions as they happen.

In fact, they perceive the competitive landscape as a game. They make a move, review the conditions, make adjustments, and make another move.

The best of the best make it up as they go along. It’s all part of the perks of the bigger game; that’s to have fun.


9. You enjoy navel gazing 

Entrepreneurs always look for ways to uplevel their environment.

This includes improving their product offering, their position in the market, their staff, and most importantly, themselves.

The best are never fully satisfied.

One question I can always ask my entrepreneur client to get them moving  is, “OK, what’s next?”


10. Motivated by challenges

They’re competitive.

When an obstacle rolls onto their path, they don’t sit and complain or stew about it.   They take a problem and convert it into an opportunity; aka a Propportunity.


11. You consider yourself an outsider

You’ve got to be a little Cra Cra to be an entrepreneur.

In fact, people in your circle of influence who prefer the safe, comfy place of the proverbial 9 to 5 view you as an outlier. They just don’t get you.

There’s no guarantee of a paycheck. The odds of tasting success are against you. No two days are ever the same. The hours are ridiculous.

It’s risky business being an entrepreneur. That’s what they love about it. Entrepreneurship is a serotonin hit.


12. You recover quickly

Entrepreneurs don’t dwell on their mistakes.

They quickly get up, brush themselves off, and hop right back on the horse and move on.

When my entrepreneur client suffers a major setback I might ask:

“What will you do differently next time you’re in this situation?”

“What have you learned about yourself?”

“What have you learned about your team?”

” What do you need to do to move on?”


13. You fulfill needs

The best business owners are leaders in their field.

Leaders are learners.

They’re always scanning the market. Reviewing the competitive landscape. Keeping abreast of their environment. Leveraging legal changes to their advantage.

Most importantly, the leading entrepreneurs provide their clients and prospective clients the product or service they need before they know it themselves.

They shock their customers with innovative solutions.


14. You surround yourself with advisers

Business owners realize they can’t do it on their own.

In fact if they can do it on their own, they’re not dreaming and visualizing a big enough endgame.

Advisers can be a friend, consultant, mentor, or a coach.


15. You work and play hard

Entrepreneurs leave it all out on the court.

They use every ounce of sweat equity to play to the peak of their potential.

When a client crushes their goal, I ask:

“How will you celebrate this win?”

Celebration is a great way of rewarding you and your team for a job well done.

When I go to networking meetings, I meet many people who are disengaged from their jobs and unhappy with their career. Some ask me for advice on career transition.

While others share their dreams of doing their own thing.

Before you jump into the entrepreneurial water, review this list and ask yourself if you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

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