By Mark Creedon
5 ways to know if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur
Are you an entrepreneur?
We’re in the golden age of the entrepreneur, and there has never been a better time to start a company or launch a product.
After the success of disruptors like Uber and Airbnb, there’s no shortage of people keen to create their own companies that will change the way we work and do business.
There’s a lot to like about entrepreneurship.
While big-name disruptors often hog the limelight, it’s important to remember that entrepreneurs often solve problems and invent products that corporates can’t or haven’t yet.
Look at what Bill Gates did with Microsoft or Steve Jobs with Apple.
Having said that, not everyone is cut out for the entrepreneur life.
It’s tough going at times, and there’ll be a lot of naysayers.
People will tell you you’re crazy — maybe you are — people will say your ideas are terrible — and maybe they are.
None of that matters, though, because it’s how you react to what life throws at you that truly marks you out as an entrepreneur and that’s because they tend to have very distinct personality traits.
Here’s how to tell if you are one.
1. You don’t like rules
Now, I’m not saying you have to be a full-time rebel and make life hell for everyone who works with you.
Quite the opposite!
But you do need to have a strong questioning streak and be the kind of person who asks why things are the way they are and if they can be done differently.
Entrepreneurs are natural born leaders in this respect and are not big fans of playing by the rules just to fit in.
This gives them the capacity to see an issue or a problem from a different perspective and often come up with a solution.
2. You’re OK with failing
The fact of the matter is that successful people fail regularly, and they understand that it’s just part of the process.
In fact, they know that it’s an important part of learning, as failure will teach them invaluable lessons about business and their own strengths and weaknesses.
The problem is that many intelligent people tend to aim for perfection.
They expect it from others because they expect it from themselves.
This is a big problem because perfection is not only impossible, it’s also not very useful in building success because it doesn’t teach us anything.
Failure, on the other hand, is life’s great teacher.
3. You play the long game
Those who seek instant gratification and who need results quickly won’t make it as an entrepreneur.
Success stories are often portrayed in the media as “overnight sensations”, but there really is no such thing.
It takes a long time, and many setbacks, to build a successful company and entrepreneurs are great at sticking at something, usually after everyone else has given up!
4. You’re smart
This point is not to be understated.
You don’t need to have been the smartest kid in the classroom at school, but you definitely need an edge.
This could simply mean street smarts.
So much of success in business comes down to interpersonal relationships, and those that get ahead are often the ones who are able to read a room and work out what motivates people.
Great entrepreneurs are like psychologists in this respect.
5. You’re determined
Readers of my previous blogs will know that I’m a big fan of determination.
It’s critical for navigating life and even more important if you want to be successful.
Because things don’t come easily in business, and you need to know how to hustle and stick at something when things aren’t going well.
The top entrepreneurs are so determined they simply expect barriers to be in their way.
Instead of complaining about them they set about finding a way around them!
So how did you fare in the above list?
Were there any traits you could relate to?
If you’re not sure, ask a friend or co-worker who you trust.
We’re often not the best judge of our own characters so it can help to get another person’s opinion.
And remember: don’t worry if you’re told you don’t have all of the traits. Very few of us do.
Take the feedback in your stride and learn from it.
It’s what any great entrepreneur would do.
Mark Creedon is the founder of Business Accelerator mastermind by Metropole and business coach to some of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs – helping them build a true business, not a job.
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