Maybe those dreams of becoming an astronaut or rocket scientist didn’t come true, but many successful business people exhibited signs of the entrepreneurial spirit early in life. At the time, you and your parents might not have picked up on them, but looking back it’s clear: you’re a born entrepreneur and you have been since you were a little one.
Here are a few signs that you have always had innate talents to owning a successful business, how to spot signs in your own kids, and how you can nurture them. If your kids are displaying opposite attributes—not to worry, some of the world's most successful entrepreneurs were high school dropouts.
1. You never had to be reminded about your homework
Procrastination and entrepreneurship are like oil and water, but if you were the kid who always buckled down to get that science project done in advance, you had the makings of a small business owner. For you, time management was never an issue and you didn’t thrive with a looming deadline. If you spot this in your own children, they’ll likely continue along this positive path—but the occasional acknowledgement of their time management prowess won’t hurt.
2. You loved group work
You were the natural leader in any group work project, had a knack for matching everyone’s strongest skills with the tasks at hand, and to this day you get a rush when putting together the dream team. If you notice your child takes the lead with group projects, applaud their initiative but also look for signs of “bad leadership.” Nobody is a perfect born leader and things like micromanagement are better addressed early on.
3. You were always picked first at gym
This doesn’t mean that a total non-athlete who was always picked last won’t or can’t be a great entrepreneur. However, if you had a variety of skills including athleticism and others recognized it, it means you naturally stand out from the crowd.
Many successful entrepreneurs have a slew of diverse passion projects. The better you are at a number of things, the better your odds of manning a successful business. If you notice this about your child, feel proud but also make sure to teach them humility and modesty.
4. You never took the easy route
Even if you could choose to take electives that were “easy” for you in high school, you mixed it up. You wanted to learn about accounting, woodworking and dance all at the same time. Entrepreneurs force themselves to learn about diverse things and not just rely on their strengths. If you see that your child’s schedule looks like a hodgepodge mess with no real core, that’s a good thing. Check out what other electives are offered and talk to them about how they’ll shake things up even more next term.
5. You knew when to call it quits
Some children keep taking saxophone lessons for years because they don’t want to disappoint their teacher, parents or whoever else they think it’s important to. However, if you decided to speak your mind and tell your parents you’re no longer interested (after giving it a fair shot), that bodes well for an entrepreneurial future. If your own children sample things instead of picking something and sticking with it no matter what, respect their decision.
6. You always had your nose buried in a book
Not all entrepreneurs and leaders are naturally outgoing—some of the best business owners are bookish, reserved or introverted. If you were quiet but studious, curious and talented in other realms, you can turn that into a great entrepreneurial foundation (especially in the digital age). Don’t force your own child to feel like they need to change their personality to be successful or liked.