Self-Employed: 50 Signs That You Might Be An Entrepreneur

Self-Employed: 50 Signs That You Might Be An Entrepreneur

Self-Employed: 50 Signs That You Might Be An Entrepreneur

Self-Employed: 50 Signs That You Might Be An Entrepreneur


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Are you an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurs are their own breed, unique individuals with very specific character traits and mindsets. In Self Employed, Joel Comm & John Rampton detail 50 different qualities that personify those who could do well as entrepreneurs. These 50 qualities provide a framework for those already working or about to enter their careers so they can decide if they might make it in business on their own. Not sure if the entrepreneurial lifestyle is for you? Or do you want to double-check on yourself to see if the business you have already started in congruent with who you are? This book is for you! Written by two successful entrepreneurs, this book will inspire you to follow your dreams and create your own entrepreneurial success!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683501732
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication date: 04/25/2017
Pages: 242
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

About The Author
John Rampton is an entrepreneur who has started and sold a number of successful businesses and currently operates Due, an online invoice and payments company. He has had a successful blog that is followed by thousands and has turned into an influencer in entrepreneurism, technology, and Internet Marketing. John has also spoken at many technology, marketing, and entrepreneur events. Joel Comm is an author, speaker, consultant and entrepreneur with 12 published books. These books include The AdSense Code, Click Here to Order: Stories from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs, KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays and Twitter Power 2.0. He has also written over 40 ebooks. He has appeared in The New York Times, on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, on CNN online, on Fox News, and many other places.

Read an Excerpt


You Were Raised by Entrepreneurs

When Ralph Lauren's daughter was six, he told her that he wanted to name a perfume after her. It's the sort of thing that dad's who own global fashion brands do for their little girls, and most would have been thrilled to see an elegant bottle of scent carrying their name in cosmetics stores around the world. Dylan had other ideas.

"No, thanks," she told her billionaire dad. "I'm saving my name for something I make myself."

Dylan Lauren is now the owner of Dylan's Candy Bar, a chain of boutique candy stores with outlets in exclusive locations across the country, including in New York, East Hampton and Miami Beach. Its flagship store in New York City is a top tourist attraction and welcomes over 2.5 million visitors every year.

Dylan Lauren is not the only child of an entrepreneur who has gone on to build their own successful business. Tom Yeardye was a stuntman and actor who teamed up with Vidal Sassoon to create a chain of hair salons. Years later, his daughter, Tamara Mellon recovered from being fired from Vogue to partner with a shoe designer called Jimmy Choo. Together, they created a fashion brand now valued at over a billion dollars.

When Jack Abraham sold, a shopping comparison site, to eBay for $75 million in 2010, he was following in his dad's footsteps. Magid Abraham is the founder and CEO of comScore, a two-billion dollar analytics company.

The leaders of successful businesses are filled with founders who are themselves the offspring of people who created successful businesses. A 2015 study called "Why Do Entrepreneurial Parents Have Entrepreneurial Children?" found that having parents who are entrepreneurs increases the probability of the children being entrepreneurs by as much as 60 percent.

Some of that success may be down to talent. The kinds of skills necessary to succeed as an entrepreneur — a sharp mind, a willingness to take risks, a cool head, drive and management skills — may be hereditary in the same way that height and eye color are hereditary; we take aspects of our personality from our parents in the same way that we might take our mother's hair color or our father's male pattern balding.

But researchers Matthew J. Lindquist, Joeri Sol and Mirjam Van Praag, who investigated the link between entrepreneurial parents and their go-getting children, found little difference in the success rates of natural and adopted children growing up in families whose parent ran their own businesses. You might have a better chance of inheriting an entrepreneur's personality if your birth parents are entrepreneurs but success in business isn't genetic.

Something else happens as the children grow up.

That something is likely to include phone calls and check-signing. Some of the success of an entrepreneur's offspring can certainly be attributed to the ability of a rich parent to smooth the paths for their kids. Tamara Mellon's seed funding came from her father. Dylan Lauren's list of influencers includes fashion Alisters like David Beckham, Janet Jackson, Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama — people her father can call, but the rest of us can only read about in gossip magazines.

Certainly, when you have a rich parent who can pay your bills, save you the chore of pitching to venture capitalists, and can connect you to the people who can give you expertise and influence, life as an entrepreneur is always going to be a great deal easier.

But it's not only about cash and influence. What really makes the difference, say researchers, is role modeling.

Children growing up in a household in which at least one parent heads their own business will see what running a business involves. They hear the conversations about design and marketing, and get to listen to the reasons behind the decisions that founders have to make every day. For the children of entrepreneurs, life means living with a business mentor who's always available, never more than a phone call away, and wants nothing more than to see their children succeed as much as they have.

You could forget about reading the biographies of great business leaders; you'd have the life of a great business leader unrolling right next to you in real time every day.

That's a huge advantage, and it's only available to the children of entrepreneurs.

If one of your parents is an entrepreneur, there's a great chance that you're going to be one, as well — not just an entrepreneur yourself — but one as successful as your parents. You can learn from them, seek their advice and copy the strategies that they've implemented.

However, if neither parent is an entrepreneur you can still capture some of those entrepreneurial benefits and thoughts through other types of activities for which your parents are participating. An example might be seeing a parent get up everyday and go to work — no matter what, and sometimes working late or traveling and speaking at work engagements. Entrepreneurs tend to need that type of mental dedication to work, as well.

My mom (John) worked with the board of a charity for a children's hospital. The commitment took work nearly every day of the year for 25 years. She had us (her children) run all over the city to pick up needed items and deliver others. We worked in the background of the major fundraising event of the year. My mom also worked another charity that took one full day every week and she spoke at an event once a month that required visual aides — and there was no PowerPoint in those days. Guess who helped with the visuals for that?

The case with neither of our families being what would be called a traditional entrepreneur, as the word is defined now, doesn't mean you don't have examples you can draw from. We both had hard-working parents that encouraged us to start working for money at an early age. This meant paper routes, moving lawns and lemonade stands, followed by getting outside part-time jobs as soon as we could, (and still keeping the paper route on the side).

So, besides both of our parents having a strong work ethic, they instilled other things in us, too, including how to save and spend money wisely. We were both taught to always be looking ahead for opportunities to make money — and what a difference a good income can make in your life — but also — what can happen in terms of both the benefits and the risks.

Even if you have no entrepreneurial family members, you can still become one by reaching out to others. Find a mentor. Get close to an entrepreneur that you admire, and ask if you can pepper them with questions and seek their advice. If you can use your contacts to find someone close — perhaps a friend of your parents or the parents of a friend — that's even better.

Remember that, although the chances of being an entrepreneur are higher if your parents are entrepreneurs themselves, not every son and daughter of a founder wants to go into business; some might want to be doctors, lawyers, designers or writers. And parents who are not entrepreneurs also have skills and knowledge that they want to pass on.

If your parents are entrepreneurs, there's a good chance you'll be an entrepreneur. If they're not entrepreneurs, find a mentor and entrepreneur who wants a protégé and use them as a sounding board to add business knowledge to the love and support you get from your parents.


You're A Drop-Out

The announcement made at Techcrunch Disrupt in 2010 was an earthquake. The event is meant to overturn convention and change industries. It's designed to launch young technology entrepreneurs, throwing funds at them and putting them on a path to the "Three Comma Club." But, when investor Peter Thiel stood up and announced that he would be giving $100,000 each, to twenty entrepreneurs under the age of twenty provided they dropped out of school, gave up on college and used the money to build a business — it was a giant poke in the eye to the education establishment.

"Don't bother with college," he was telling young entrepreneurs. "It's got nothing to teach you. Stop wasting your time and go build your company."

It's a message that many of the world's most successful entrepreneurs have delivered — not with a speech — but with their feet. Both Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg gave up places at Harvard, the world's most prestigious university, to take a risk with companies that could have failed. They both became billionaires.

Steve Jobs failed to graduate from Reed College, a small liberal arts school where he ended up auditing typography classes as he played around with computers and dreamed of launching Apple. More recently, Blake Mycoskie, founder of Toms Shoes, left Southern Methodist University after an injury stopped him playing tennis. He launched a campus laundry service that racked up more than a million dollars in sales before he sold it and started his new company.

Some of the world's great business-builders didn't even finish high school. David Karp, who sold Tumblr to Yahoo for over a billion dollars, left school at fifteen. Richard Branson lasted only a year longer, and Kirk Kerkorian gave it all up in the eighth grade before going on to buy a chunk of land in Vegas and own large stakes in properties including the Bellagio, Luxor and MGM Grand.

If you've gone to college, become disillusioned, then tossed away the books to launch your own firm, you're in good company. There's no shortage of founders of enormous businesses, and other business talent who have done the same thing, then gone on to do great things. Do note, however, that the non-college education trend has become less successful in recent years. In our own experience, we have found that many talented successful individuals not having a college degree has not been the end of the world for them.

However, that isn't my recommendation. It is surprising how many times that little piece of paper that says you graduated from university will open doors for you when nothing else will. If you don't have that opportunity for a university education, or you don't want it, you can still get out there and prove you can build something without having to spend hours in the classroom. With your education or whether you choose another path — we have found the most important action for an entrepreneur is to be out there, pounding the pavement, using street smarts, and experiencing what the real world has to offer.

However, it's not quite as simple as saying some entrepreneurs can't or don't complete college or that if you want to build a successful business, you need to give up your education. In 2014, LinkedIn's Data team took funding data from Crunchbase, and analyzed the demographics and relationships of more than 1,200 tech entrepreneurs whose companies had managed to raise money the previous year. What they found suggested that, if you were looking to raise funds for a tech company in 2013, it paid to not only complete college — but to attend a good one; then after university to first work and build experience at a large firm; and to wait until you're in your thirties before going cup-in-hand to investors.

Most of the VC-backed entrepreneurs had listed a college education on their LinkedIn profiles, with nearly 30 percent graduating from a top-tier school such as Stanford, MIT or Harvard. A similar percentage had worked for a company with a market capitalization of more than $50 billion, and 40 percent had worked at director-level or higher. A fifth had founded a previous company and the amount of first round funding raised increased as the age of the entrepreneur moved through their thirties.

So, if you're studious and committed to your studies or if you lacked the confidence when you were in your early twenties to break out on your own, you may still be not just an entrepreneur, but a successful one with a better chance of persuading a venture capitalist to open his wallet. Top entrepreneurs who did stick around at school include Jeff Bezos who picked up two bachelor's degrees from Princeton; Nick Woodman who studied visual design and creative writing at the University of California at San Diego before creating GoPro; and Jennifer Hyman, co-founder of Rent The Runway, who completed both her bachelor's degree and her MBA at Harvard where she also met her business partner.

The willingness of some top entrepreneurs to give up a good education tells us nothing about the value of education. It tells us everything about how entrepreneurs see risk.

In an interview with the BBC, Bill Gates explained his decision to leave Harvard as an easy one to make and an easy one to explain to his parents. He and Paul Allen felt that as they were studying an opportunity was opening in the new computer industry, and they were going to be left behind. "And it wasn't as though Harvard wouldn't have taken me back," he added.

If Microsoft hadn't landed some early deals, if IBM hadn't started using Windows in its machines or if Apple had devoted as much time to software as it was dedicating to hardware, Bill Gates could simply have returned to Harvard and continued his studies, a little more experienced and a little better able and ready to face the world upon graduation.

Entrepreneurs make difficult decisions every day. They have to decide how to invest their resources, which features need to be cut to bring the product out on time, and which benefits to emphasize in their marketing. They have to choose personnel to lead projects, define corporate messages and make deals with partners, suppliers and distributors that will make or break the company. The choice to forego parts of an education is just one decision that an entrepreneur has to make. What makes someone an entrepreneur isn't the difficult decision they make, but their willingness to make it.

Though we can all name that handful of incredible, famous, and not-formally-educated entrepreneurs — what are the other entrepreneurs doing? Well, most of them have gotten their education and finished university. We both finished college. I (Joel), while a seasoned keynote speaker, have surprisingly never used my degree in Speech Communications from University of Illinois to secure a job. So have our degrees helped us be entrepreneurs? We can't say for sure. The actual studies didn't really help, but here is what did help — life experience interacting with people as we made our transition into the real world. We learned what productivity looked like.

We discovered who the movers and shakers of the future were. We observed our professors and asked if they gave ludicrous and absurd amounts of homework? Was it a waste of time? Well, an entrepreneur learns really quickly at college that they want to be the boss. Is that a waste of time? An entrepreneur learns really quickly at college how to work and how to "please" the professors to get the grade. Is that beneficial for business? You may want to ask yourself, who will you be pleasing as an entrepreneur? Not just yourself. You will have customers (maybe even an old professor) who wants something different from your product or service, and you learn how to iterate and pivot to save your business.

There is an incredible entrepreneur we know. No one has it together like she does. Her business is worth a lot. She may not exactly be Elon Musk, but she has achieved very close to that sort of accomplishment personally, professionally and financially. She has two Ph.D.'s. She believes education is so important that she has set aside a million dollars (separately) for each of her grandchildren — which they will receive upon completion of a higher degree than a Bachelor's Degree. Dropping out doesn't mean you are going to succeed or fail as an entrepreneur. But, it sure could be a sign that you were made for something different.


You've Been Fired

There are few moments worse than when a head appears around the office door or over the top of the cubicle, and you're called into the manager's office. You know what's coming. You can see it in the manager's eyes, the way they shift in the seat, and the way they try to avoid looking at you.

You know you're being laid off.

They'll give you a reason: the company is in trouble and has to make cutbacks; you haven't met your targets; your position is being phased out; they just don't think the job suits you.

It's always painful. It doesn't matter how little you liked the job, how much you might have complained about it, and how often you might have dreamed of walking into that very office and telling your manager where he can stick his job — when the rejection is aimed in your direction, it hurts.

The only moment worse is the one that comes when you return home and have to tell your family that your job's gone. That hurts even more. Been there. Done that.

But being fired is a part of life, and it's a part of life that even many of the most successful people in the world go through at some stage. Oprah Winfrey had what she thought was her dream job reading the evening news on Baltimore WJZ-TV. That was until she was canned for becoming too emotionally involved in the stories she was describing. She was moved to daytime television, a shift that she saw as a step down until her ratings went through the roof.


Excerpted from "Self-Employed"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Joel Comm & John Rampton.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Introduction xii

Part 1 Background 1

1 You Were Raised by Entrepreneurs 3

2 You're A Drop-Out 8

3 You've Been Fired 13

4 No One Will Give You A Job-And That's Just Fine 17

5 You Had a Lemonade Stand-And Tried To Sell The Franchise Rights 21

Part 2 People 25

6 You Put Your Business Before Your Family 27

7 And Your Family Supports You Anyway 31

8 You Like People And People Like You 35

9 Your Imaginary Friend Is Steve Jobs 39

10 Your Idea of a Friendly Get-Together is an Hour on Twitter 43

11 You Thrive in a Group 47

12 You Pick Your Crowd with Care 51

13 Some People Think You're Nuts 55

14 Your Life Partner Totally Gets You 59

Part 3 Personality 63

15 You Have Charisma 65

16 You Believe Everyone Has Laws-And Everyone Else Has Rules 69

17 You Know Your Limits 73

18 You Have Opinions and You're Not Afraid To State Them 77

19 You Change Your Mind as Often as The World Changes Its 81

20 You Believe In Yourself 85

21 Your Passion Is Infectious 90

22 You Think The Right Response To An Order Is A Question 94

23 You Only Feel Job Security When You're The Boss 99

24 You Want To Be The Captain Not The Admiral 103

25 You Can't Toss A Rock Without Hitting An Opportunity 107

26 You Take Personality Tests-And Wonder How To Monetize Them 111

27 You Ignore The Problems And Look For Solutions 115

28 You Know The Difference Between An Idea And A Product 119

29 You Always Reach The Finish Line, Even If You Have To Draw It Yourself 123

30 You Don't Believe In Real Life 127

Part 4 Process 131

31 You Think "No" Means "Not Yet" 133

32 You Know What Everyone Else Is Doing 138

33 You Accept Money-And Other Items Of Value 142

34 You Have Your Eyes On The Prize 146

35 You Hear "Me-Too" And Think "I'm Out" 150

36 You Can Do Three Impossible Things At The Same Time 154

37 You Do Your Homework 158

Part 5 Goals 163

38 You Want To Shake Things Up 165

39 You Live For The Dream 169

40 You Want To Win But You're Not Afraid To Lose 173

Part 6 Lifestyle 177

41 Your Suit Is A T-Shirt And Your Favorite Label Is A Logo 179

42 You Love Holidays Because You Can Finally Get Some Work Done 183

43 You Work More Hours Than A Doctor And Earn Less Per Hour Than A Burger Flipper 187

44 You Only Speak One Language: Business 191

45 You Judge Cafés By Their Wireless And Power Outlets 195

46 You'd Rather Have An Office Than A Spare Bedroom 199

47 You Don't Scrimp On Sleep, Except At Night 204

48 You Have An App For Everything 208

49 You Understand That Time Is More Valuable Than Money 212

50 You're Not Thinking About Doing It. You're Doing It 216

About the Authors 220

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