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The Key Characteristics Of A Game Changer Entrepreneur


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The Key Characteristics Of A Game Changer Entrepreneur

I’ve been working with entrepreneurs for more than four decades now, and my favorite type of entrepreneur to work with is a Game Changer.

These are entrepreneurs who are so freed up from the pressures of time and money that they can see and continually set up their entrepreneurial life as a game—one they can win and enjoy. They use their time and activity to create new, better, and different offerings that transform the way things are done in the marketplace. So, in effect, they change the game for themselves and others.

Cash vs. creativity.

I’ve come across two very different types of entrepreneurs over the course of my coaching career. The first is what I call a “cash player.” Cash players are interested in money—and not much else. If presented with an idea to create or be a part of something new, they write it off if they can’t see how money is going to come in right away. This is fine, and cash players are necessary in the marketplace, but they’re not the type of entrepreneur I’m interested in working with.

The other type of entrepreneur, and the type I much prefer to work with, is what I identify as a “creativity player.” These entrepreneurs are fascinated by the process of putting things together to create something new. They’re confident in their money-making abilities, so they trust that they’ll make money on their new ideas somewhere down the road, but that’s not their first consideration. They’re interested in creative partnerships, creative teamwork, and creative breakthroughs. Creativity players may still use money to keep score, but the game is about something much bigger for them. It’s about growth.

What I’ve discovered is that all the Game Changer entrepreneurs I’ve met are creativity players, not cash players.

As I work with more Game Changers, three other distinguishing characteristics have come to the fore:

1. Passion.

The work Game Changers do is a real expression of who they are. It comes from the inside. They get enormous amounts of meaning and purpose from their work, and they feel very strongly that they’re creating something of great value.

They make money in a way that stimulates and motivates them, and they recognize that they can continually increase the energizing aspect of their careers, making it so that they never want to retire.

Game Changers don’t see other entrepreneurs as competition but instead jump at opportunities to combine their unique skills with somebody else’s unique skills to create something new and unique in the marketplace.

2. People.

For Game Changers, their work is all people-based, and we’re not talking about millions of people liking what they do. Game Changers think in terms of specific individuals. They’ve gotten so good at getting inside the heads of their favorite customers or clients that they can see the world through the eyes of the people who will benefit from their game-changing idea.

Their first instinct is to consider, “Is this really helping this person? Is it transforming the game that my customer or client is able to play?”

“A sign that you're a Game Changer is that your competitors want to be your students.”
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3. Permission.

Entrepreneurism can be a lonely business. At the start, it requires you to depart from how the general population does things, and that’s something you need to give yourself permission to do if it’s the road you want to take.

For an entrepreneur to jump into the Game Changer game, it requires another level of permission, and that’s for them to use their passion to transform the lives of particular people in the marketplace in a new way.

Entrepreneurs are unique in their ability to create their own game, yet even some very successful entrepreneurs don’t realize that they have the freedom and ability to do this. Game Changers have realized it, and they’ve learned to continually design a game that keeps them fascinated and motivated, and becomes the foundation for achieving all of their evolving life goals.

If you’re wondering how you measure up, start by asking yourself these three questions.

  1. Are you passionate about something you’ve created?
  2. Do you have a clear idea of the people who are going to be transformed by your new idea, and does the idea of being a hero to them excite you?
  3. Do you give yourself permission to play this game for the rest of your life?

If you can confidently answer yes to all three, then you’re a part of an elite group of Game Changer entrepreneurs who are making a continued contribution, altering the marketplace, and transforming their industries.

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About the Author

Dan Sullivan is the world’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship in action. He is the founder of The Strategic Coach Inc. and creator of The Strategic Coach® Program. Visionary, creative, wise, playful, and generous, he is a true champion of entrepreneurs worldwide.

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