Successful Entrepreneur

5 Signs You’re a Real-Deal Entrepreneur

You took the leap and started a business, but now you lie awake at night feeling like a fraud, like you don’t deserve the success you’ve created.

It’s called imposter syndrome, a term coined in 1978 by two clinical psychologists referring to high-achieving individuals who are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Before you spend another minute telling yourself that your success is just a matter of luck and has nothing to do with your hard work, take a look at these five characteristics that prove you’re a real-deal entrepreneur.

1. You executed an idea

“Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must be driven into practice with courageous patience.” – Hyman Rickover

Anyone can have an idea. It takes execution to turn that idea into a business. No matter what your business idea is, it’s virtually guaranteed that someone else has—or had—the same idea. It’s the execution of the idea that brings it to fruition and makes it unique and worthwhile.

Just think: there are plenty of social networks, but only one Facebook. There are several search engines, but only one Google. There are many electric vehicles, but only one Tesla. Without proper execution, the greatest ideas die out.

2. You have drive and conviction

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Starting a business takes perseverance. All entrepreneurs take financial risks, work long hours, and face setbacks, but you have the drive and conviction to continue to overcome whatever obstacles emerge.

Whether your end goal is to build wealth, achieve a flexible schedule, or leave a legacy, you have the passion and the drive to push through and build your dreams.

3. You don’t let failure stop you

“Failure is success in progress.” – Albert Einstein

Those who are weak lose motivation when things don’t go as planned, but you know that failure is a springboard to growth. Instead of giving up in the face of failure, you use it as an opportunity to reset your perspective, make necessary changes, or have that “aha” moment of inspiration you’ve been waiting for.

In her column for Forbes, writer Alison Coleman interviewed Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. With nearly five decades in business, Branson is known primarily for huge successes—but he’s faced his share of failures, too. He offers this advice for entrepreneurs facing failure: “Failure is a necessary part of business, so it’s incredibly important for all entrepreneurs and business leaders to know when to call it a day, learn from their mistakes, and move on, fast.”

4. You built a top-notch team

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

As you know, a growing business can’t be built solely by one individual. It requires a team of people with complementary skills. Whether your entire team is on payroll or you rely on a network of consultants and independent contractors, you’ve created a top-notch team that brings new perspectives and specialized knowledge that enhances your business.

5. You invest in yourself

“Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talents; nobody can tax it or take it away from you. They can run up huge deficits and the dollar can become worth far less. But if you’ve got talent yourself, and you’ve maximized your talent, you’ve got a tremendous asset that can return tenfold.” – Warren Buffett

When most people think of investing, they think of stocks, bonds, commodities, or even investing in the dream of another entrepreneur—but all of these investments rely on someone else to turn a profit.

You’re different because you know that the best investment involves turning your passion into financial success. You’re always open to learning and sharpening your skills. You read books, listen to inspirational podcasts, take seminars or classes, grow your network, and invest in your own health and wellbeing.

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So, fueled by your personal drive and with input from the team you’ve assembled, you’ve followed through on your idea and overcome the obstacles—all while continuing to invest in yourself. Congratulations, entrepreneur, you’re the real deal!

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