By Glen Hellman
There’s an old adage that leaders are born and not made. So, if your three-year-old complains that you’re trying to dilute her when you add more milk to her chocolate milk … you just may have a budding startup founder on your hands.
In that spirit, here are 10 signs that your child has the startup founder gene:
- Understands the Value of a Dollar. She doesn’t stop crying when you give her a bottle; she stops crying when you give her a dollar.
- Everything Is a Negotiation. You ask him to take a bath, and he asks you to prepare an ROI to convince him it’s a valuable use of his time.
- Short and to the Point. She has an elevator pitch down pat for her birthday present wish list.
- Delegation. He’s hired your cleaning lady, the pool boy, and the lawn care guy to man his multiple lemonade stands.
- Practiced Preparation. She has a 10-slide PowerPoint pitch trying to convince you to upgrade her stroller.
- Values-Positive Attitude and Work Ethic. While watching Sesame Street, he keeps yelling at Oscar the Grouch to stop whining and get a job.
- Well-Placed Hero Worship. Instead of pictures of Mother Goose characters on her wall, she has pictures of Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and Marissa Mayer — and when you ask her who is Marissa Mayer, she just laughs at you.
- Valuation-Focused. You tell him you’ll be paying him an allowance, and he wants to negotiate the pre-money.
- Understands Voting Rights. When you try and discipline her, she points out that you only have common stock with no voting rights.
- Creates Barriers to Entry and Exits. All his friends are locked up with non-competes that won’t allow them to change playgroups for a year after resigning from his playgroup.
Glen Hellman is an angel investor, serial entrepreneur, and has worked for venture capitalists as a turn-around specialist. He’s a principal at Driven Forward, board member at the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, a Vistage coach, and a mentor at the Founder Institute. You can e-mail Hellman at email@example.com.
Originally published: Oct 26, 2011