Lots of articles are written regularly about the personalities and characteristics of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. While I agree it definitely helps to have these attributes, in my experience, a particular type of career frustration is also a strong indicator of whether you'd be a good entrepreneur.
What Type of Career Problem Do You Have?
Everyone has career challenges at some point. Ironically, most people wrongly assume their situation is unique. The truth is, at any given time in your career, if you're feeling dissatisfied, studies show you likely have one of only four basic career problems. That said, out of the four, one stands out as a problem that could be a sign you have entrepreneurial tendencies...
When Things Aren't Moving Fast Enough
Having worked with thousands of professional on their careers, the ones that constantly feel like their careers aren't moving fast enough tend to be the most entrepreneurial. That's because they're craving a sense of accomplishment. As a result, they initially assume the solution is to find a different job or to aggressively climb the ladder so they can get more recognition and responsibility. However, with each attempt to move things faster, they become more impatient. Why? They aren't feeling fulfilled. The solution? To align their skills with a big problem they want to solve.
Top Entrepreneurs Say, "Tap Into Your Frustrations."
In a speech, Zuckerberg advised entrepreneurs to go after real problems, not settle for something easy.
"Do something that's fundamental.... A lot of companies I see are operating on small problems. It's cool to want to be an entrepreneur. The problem is trying to build a company that solves a tangible problem. The most interesting thing is to operate on something fundamental on how humans (live). It was fundamental for me. I feel this need really acutely. I wanted this."
This is in alignment with entrepreneurial advice from Sir Richard Branson, who says:
If none of your ideas for a business inspires you to take the plunge, ask yourself 'what frustrates me?' Jot down a list of all the things you would like to see changed or done better. If it frustrates you, it is likely others will want to see change too, and it could be the spark that ignites a great idea."
That said, even if you find the big problem you want to solve, you still need to make sure it aligns with your passions. Or rather, how you like to add value. Let's take a closer look...
The "Visionary" Persona Is a Must-Have for Entrepreneurship
There are 8 types of people in the workplace. Each one delivers value in a different way. They're called "personas" and they're vital to success and satisfaction in a career. If you like to deliver value on the job one way, but your employer needs you to do it another way, the results can be disastrous. This quiz can help you determine your top 2-3 personas in the workplace. When it comes to entrepreneurship, having the "visionary" persona is needed. If you can't visualize a solution to the problem and inspire others to support that vision, you won't succeed. Assessing your personas to A) ensure one of your top three is visionary, and B) to understand your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to delivering value will help you to identify talent gaps and build a team to help your vision succeed.
In summary, if your career isn't progressing fast enough, take a step back and assess if your entrepreneurial strengths are actually creating your dissatisfaction. Who knows? You could turn that frustration into the next Facebook!