Did You Have A Lemonade Stand?

lemonadestandplusI was at a networking meeting this morning where we participated in a structured exercise as a way to get to know our tablemates. One of the questions we answered was, “What in your childhood/adolescence set the stage for you to become an entrepreneur?” This was a great question! I learned that the group of women I was sitting with had some similar experiences and common personality characteristics to my own. Was this a coincidence?

What prepared us to lead the life of a risk taking, hardworking, no nonsense, self-employed woman? If today’s discussion was any indication, we women entrepreneurs didn’t take no for an answer, we questioned the status quo, we were the responsible child in our family, considered by ourselves and others to be problem solvers, and some of us began early to figure out ways to make money.

I started to wonder if there are “real” childhood entrepreneurial commonalities, or was my observation just a fluke? In pursuit of an answer, I found the article below and decided that I am on to something. Apparently our group would be in good company with others who have childhood traits that predict entrepreneurial success! Read the article and let me know what you think. I am curious to know if you relate to any or all of these characteristics.

4 Childhood Traits That Predict Entrepreneurial Success, by Laura Garnett

You Are a Change Junkie.
You thrive in the space of new ideas and new ways of doing things. In fact, the idea of not improving or altering things on minute-by-minute basis drives you crazy. You see an existing situation and immediately think, “How can that be done differently or better?” This mode of operating sets one up to thrive in the entrepreneurial space. Building a business is all about change management and continuous innovation and improvement.
The signs: You probably lacked focus as a kid, you may have even been called ADD, even though you aren’t. You may have frustrated your teachers or parents by your lack of interest in “staying the course.”

When You Hear “No,” It Fuels Your Ability to Create Action.
When you are building a business, there can be a lot of naysayers along the way. You may get 10 rejections for every one person that says that they believe in you. If hearing “no” stops you in your tracks, then you probably aren’t meant to be an entrepreneur. “No” is a hurdle to cross — something that can help you refine your ideas or actions, but can’t stop you. Giving up is the death of an entrepreneur.
The signs: You broke the rules as a kid or you constantly wanted a reason for why there were such rules. Irrational rules bothered you and you were known to challenge them frequently.

You Delight in Making the Impossible, Possible.
You love the idea of creating something that didn’t seem possible, possible. It excites you. It feels like an inner calling to do something new. You are driven to create. This desire to create should be leveraged through creating an opportunity where you are always thinking of new approaches or ideas. You were a dreamer. You constantly looked at things and knew that there were better ways to do it — and you had big visions as to how. You may have been prone to saying things that resulted in laughter from adults because your ideas seemed impossible.

When You Say You Are Going to Do Something, You Do It.
You know how to make things happen. You thrive in the space of not knowing how you are going to do something, you just figure it out. People know you for doing what you say, and when you talk about big ideas, they happen. When you are building your own business, vision is essential, but it has to come with the equal ability to create the vision or find the right people to help you execute your ideas. Being action-oriented also builds confidence in others around you. If they see that you walk your talk, they are more apt to follow or to believe that you can make anything happen.
The signs: You were dependable as a kid — and disciplined. You may have started businesses randomly and followed through on the execution. You were making money for a big purchase or for savings. Either way, at a young age, you were already demonstrating that you walked your talk.

Comments

  1. I can relate to this article. My first business was at the age of 9, selling tee-shirts through the Seals and Crofts fan club newsletter. I would buy the album cover decals in bulk and iron them on to the various sizes and colors of tee-shirts ordered, and then mail them out. No one knew that they were doing business with a 9-year old, and my mother had to co-sign all of my checks. I have had many creative businesses since!

    • I love this Audrey! I was smiling big while reading your story and I can see where your early start supported you get where you are today!

  2. Absolutely! It’s like a way of being in the world that we we learn early as a context for the rest of our lives. I had to find a way to put food on the table at age 3. So, I put on my nurse outfit and set up a reception table at the front door. I charged every non-family member a nickel to come in, just like I had seen my father do in his doctor’s office. Since he left when I was 3, we didn’t have a bread winner and we didn’t have food sometimes. I was often able to save enough to order a pizza which could feed all three of us.

    My next gig was to follow in the footsteps of the scratch lottery tickets — brilliant way to make a few bucks! You just create little cards with windows that open and play “fair” with lucky winners — what a great profit margin. The only bummer was that it turned out to be illegal for 8-year-olds, only the state gets to play that game. Good thing I didn’t grow up in Vegas!

    • Thank you, Heather, for sharing your touching story of being a 3 year old problem solver! I love the creativity of the lottery tickets idea as well. These tales come as no surprise knowing how you have grown up to be a brilliant entrepreneur. Kudos to you!

  3. This is an interesting article. I can’t say that I showed these traits as a child. I was not a change junkie and was a rule follower. Only when I entered the business world did I start to find ways to make things easier or faster to do. However, I was dependable as a kid and still am to this day. If I say I will do something, I do it. I simply wanted to be my own boss for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it truly was to help people who did not know my skill set and to constantly be learning something new from every company. Secondly it was to have destiny over my schedule. Running your own company is both the most challenging and most rewarding experience you can ever have. And for all of those who say you can’t do it or it won’t last, prove them wrong! Blessed to be in business 11 years and counting….

  4. I looked at this a long time ago as to why some people are volunteers and others not, looking at my history at 7 I started as a brownie, then girl scout, where we helped in rest homes, then to Rainbow girls, where I worked my way to Worthy Advisor, also high school, future teachers of America, then I got in Real Estate at 26 and felt my wings of independence( 41 years now). I’m very active in Rotary and my community, I look back and think it comes from my activities as a child, along with being the oldest of 4. Food for Thought!!

    • I love that you make the connection between your childhood and young adult activities and who you grew up to be! Thanks for sharing:-)

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