The world needs entrepreneurs today more than ever before. Millions of people are losing their jobs. The government are swimming in debt. Opportunities abound disguised as problems. There is no better time to become an entrepreneur.
But is entrepreneurship for everyone? From my experience as an entrepreneur, I don’t believe everyone can be an entrepreneur; and there is nothing wrong with that. You can have a great career climbing the corporate ladder. If you are wondering if you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur, in this article, I’ll share with you 10 sure signs you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur.
1. You are curious to fix something about how the world works
When others are asking ‘why’, the best entrepreneurs are asking ‘why not’. Many successful entrepreneurs set off their journey with the belief that something is not right about how the world works. And they take the responsibility to find out what it is and try to fix it.
Entrepreneurship is not about buying and selling. It is about trying to solve a problem. You can’t be an entrepreneur if you don’t believe there is a problem that is worth solving. For instance, two people may be in the business of selling first aid kit to car owns. For one person, it’s just a way to make money while for the other person, he believes it’s a terrible idea to drive through the highway without a first aid kit. His experience of losing his best friend in a car accident due to excessive loss of blood influenced his decision. If you have the desire to fix problems with commercial value, you have a valuable quality to become an entrepreneur.
2. You don’t easily fit in
A significant number of successful entrepreneurs have felt like they simply didn’t fit in with the “normal”. They dropped out of school, quit lucrative jobs, or made other “foolish” decisions, simply because they had to live life their own way, on their own terms. It’s no wonder many successful entrepreneurs were reported to be weird kids growing up. Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey all fall into the category of weird or nerdy kids growing up.
In a world that celebrates extroversion and persecutes introversion, kids who don’t easily fit intend to grow up self-reliant. They demand more from themselves either to prove to themselves or to others than they can. If you feel like a black sheep or long to live unconventionally, this is a good sign you’re meant to be an entrepreneur.
3. You are comfortable working alone for long
It often takes working on one idea for a long period of time to become a successful entrepreneur. And most times, when you are starting out, you have to do it all by yourself. It’s common for budding entrepreneurs to start off as the manager, accountant, customer service representative, HR, marketer and sales rep.
Although you can minimize this by starting with a partner, you will still have to rely a lot on your ability to pull through long hours on your own, without compensation. Not many people can work on an idea for years without getting paid. So if you can endure the long period of cultivating and developing your business, you have a valuable quality to succeed as an entrepreneur.
4. You have ability to delay gratification
Ability to delay gratification is among the most important qualities you need to grow wealth regardless of your profession. But when it comes to entrepreneurship, it’s not negotiable. In fact, several psychology research has reported that the ability to delay gratification is an indication to predict if a kid will become successful as an adult.
An entrepreneur understands opportunity cost; for everything you accept, you are giving up something else. For every money you spend on an expensive watch, phone or vacation, you are giving up the opportunity to invest that money. Just as you are reading this, you could have chosen to spend the same time watching a prank or the next comedy skit. It’s your choice; and there is a cost for every choice we make. People who become successful entrepreneurs weigh their choices by how close it gets them to their lives and or financial goals.
Being an entrepreneur requires giving up the easier route of getting a paid job, buying fancy possessions and having a great social life. You are putting all of these on the line with the faith that you can have all of it plus more in future when your business becomes successful. You resist the temptation to gratify your immediate want and rather delay it for later when it’s more convenient for you.
5. You are comfortable expressing your creativity
We live in a world filled with cynics; people who seat on the sideline and criticize what other people are doing. And these people are evenly distributed. Being an entrepreneur will require putting your idea and creativity out there. It will take a thick skin to stomach the negative criticism without letting it stop you. Some of these criticisms will be embarrassing. Sometimes, you may be wrong with your assertion. You have to learn to quickly forgive yourself when you are wrong or when you fail and keep putting your foot forward.
You don’t have to start out being comfortable with expressing your creativity, you must be willing to develop this ability. If not, people will pressure you into giving up.
6. You are inclined to taking risk
Entrepreneurship is a risky venture. You will have to bet on what you are not certain will work. You may have high hopes and confidence, but there are no guarantees. Imagine if you just took a loan to secure a business you were sure of before the pandemic struck; things will quickly get worse.
You need at least a moderate appetite for taking the risk to start as an entrepreneur. You’ll have to put your money, your time and your future on the line. No one likes to lose, but we all deal with loss differently. The difference is in the degree of attachment people have with losing. In the long run, entrepreneurs are able to separate themselves from loss and failure and try again; this time with lessons from their mistake. If you are inclined to take risks, you have a high chance to succeed as an entrepreneur.
7. You don’t mind being uncomfortable
Many people just want comfortable live without stress. Nothing wrong with that except if you are an entrepreneur. You may feed on your drive for a better life to push yourself to succeed. But when you start making the money, you’ll have a strong enemy to contend with; and that is the desire for comfort. You’ve probably heard the phrase; comfort zone. It’s a twin brother to average.
Successful entrepreneurs are known to always put themselves in uncomfortable situations because they understand that is the only way to keep growing and moving forward. You have to decide if you just want to make some money to pay bills or you want to build a legacy. If you choose the latter, you can’t afford to be comfortable.
8. You value time more than anything else
Your time is your most valuable possession. Whether you want to or not, you are spending time every single moment. You have spent a few minutes reading this piece. Consequently, you have spent a part of your life.
It’s common to hear entrepreneurs attribute their decision to start a business to value their time and freedom. Ironically, starting a business doesn’t give you more time or freedom. Rather, you feel more satisfied with where you are spending it.
If you easily get upset when people waste your time or when you get caught up with irrelevant things for a prolonged period, it shows you value your time. This is a good thing because it will keep you on the check when you are indulging on time wasters.
9. You are always looking for opportunities
When others are seeing problems, entrepreneurs are seeing opportunities. It’s common to see entrepreneurs building one successful business and diversifying to other businesses. The entrepreneur has an eye for opportunity and easily find them where others see obstacles. If you easily identify opportunities where others see problems, you have an important quality of an entrepreneur.
10. You take full responsibility for your life
In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I do not believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want; and if they cannot find them, they make them”.
Entrepreneurs don’t rely on governments to create jobs for them; they create jobs for themselves and others; they don’t play the victim of the society, they turn a negative experience into strength and look for ways to fix what’s broken. Entrepreneurs take responsibility; they don’t surrender responsibility to others. If this is something that comes naturally to you, you’ll likely make a good entrepreneur.
All of these qualities don’t have to come naturally to you; you can develop them as you progress as an entrepreneur. But you must have at five of these qualities to get started as an entrepreneur.
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