Friday, February 3, 2012

The DNA of a Future Entrepreneur

We've all heard the characteristics of an entrepreneur—they’re driven, hard-working, passionate and quite frankly, a bit obsessed.  But at the same time, most entrepreneurs don’t know that they’re going to be an entrepreneur at a young age.  So what does the DNA of a potential entrepreneur look like?  We caught up with Devin Mirfasihi, law student at the University of Kansas, who has many characteristics of a future entrepreneur.

1.  Future entrepreneurs want to do everything and kick ass at multitasking
Devin is the perfect example of a would-be entrepreneur because he juggles so many different activities.  He started out as a finance student at KU and quickly landed a job on a Garmin Internet team.  While working at the KC-based company for 2 years, Devin discovered that he could do even more, and decided to go to UMKC to study law.  On the side, Devin is a student rep at Kaplan and has his real estate license. 

So that’s finance, technology, law, student relations and real estate.  A variety of different interests, but he seems to tackle them all with grace.  Being able to juggle multiple interests and tasks is a sure sign of an entrepreneur. 

“I tend to overextend myself,” says Devin.  “But when I think about the future, I just want to have a business that helps a lot of people in a substantial way."

2.  Future entrepreneurs know that work-life balance is important
Although many entrepreneurs struggle with a work-life balance, a majority of them do recognize that it is extremely important.  Young, would-be entrepreneurs feel the same way.  They know that in order to become a success, it’s important to juggle work, family, friends and hobbies as evenly as possible.

“I’m busy and I juggle a lot of things,” says Devin.  “But my project management work keeps me organized.  It’s also very important for me to be social.  I can’t keep up mentally if I’m not being social with friends.”

But these friends are more than just buddies to hang out with on the weekends—they could be future business partners.

“I surround myself with smart friends,” says Devin.  “I look forward to interacting and working with them in the future.”

3.  Future entrepreneurs know the power of collaboration
Entrepreneurs are good at working in groups, are effective team leaders and know the power of collaboration.  Devin commented that he is only as strong as the people he surrounds himself with.

“I don’t do everything myself,” he explains.  “I leverage people and resources to get where I need to go.”

4.  Future entrepreneurs love challenging tasks and problem-solving
For entrepreneurs, problem-solving is a part of everyday life.  In fact, entrepreneurs strive on being challenged throughout the day.  When stimulated with a challenge, entrepreneurs tend to go above and beyond to reach a solution. 

“I always want to learn.  I always want to be challenged,” notes Devin.

5.  Future entrepreneurs don't love the corporate world
Almost every entrepreneur has been in the corporate world before—it could have been a short stint as an intern or a 25-year long career in business.  Whatever the case may be, entrepreneurs can tell (usually early-on), that the corporate world is not for them. 

“Law is pretty corporate,” explains Devin.  “But if I do law, I would like to start my own law firm.  It’s hard, but it’s doable.  I like the flexibility and I like being able to control my own client base.  When you start your own thing, you get to meet different people every day too.” 

6.  Future entrepreneurs are passionate right off the bat
If there’s one thing that current entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs share, it’s passion for an idea.  Passion is the driving force that wakes entrepreneurs up at 3:00 in the morning to write down an idea.  Passion is the reason why entrepreneurs spend 90+ hours a week on a business.  Passion is the reason we see new successful businesses pop up around the world.

“I want to pick something I’m passionate about,” says Devin.  “When I buy into a product, it’s easier to sell.” 

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