Can You Be An Entrepreneur?
Anyone can be an entrepreneur, but only a few can be very good at it. Sure, you might dream of becoming your own boss and running your own business empire, but can you be an entrepreneur — and can you succeed? Ask yourself these six questions and find out:
- Do you have passion? Adriana Lopez writes for Entrepreneur: “The path to success starts with the passion that lives within you … It makes you want to work harder than you’ve ever worked before, and never give up. And, if you do it correctly, that passion leads to profit.” Howard Schultz of Starbucks, even when his family tried to get him to quit, stuck with his vision of coffee shops because of his passion for it. We all know that that turned out pretty well for Schultz. So do you have the passion to leave the safety of your cushy job behind and jump headfirst into your business idea?
- Are you a good leader? Successful entrepreneurs know how to hire the right people and how to lead them. As good leaders, they know how to communicate, not only with their team, but also with clients and the rest of the network. And once your business grows, you’ll need to rely on your leadership skills to make sure your team is on the same page and that you’re all working towards success. Do you have what it takes to build and lead a winning team?
- Do you have a vision? Entrepreneurs see opportunities where other people see problems. Entrepreneurs also have a knack for spotting solutions that most people would just ignore. “Find a need, and fill it” is the entrepreneur’s mantra. Failing that, they make a need, then fill it. Nobody needed Facebook in 2003; it’s basically a necessity now. What’s your long-term vision for your business?
- Can you execute your vision? “Vision without execution is hallucination,” said Thomas Edison. And he should know; he executed a lot of things. It’s not enough to have a great idea. You have to bring your ideas to life. Do you know the ins and outs of the business you want to get into? Is your business plan rock-solid? Can you foresee the trends, and get ahead of them? Do you have the energy and drive required to make your ideas happen?
- Are you ready to fail? Let’s face it, the odds of you succeeding immediately are very low. A recent US study conducted over 22 years showed that while 2.5 million retail businesses opened in that time period, 2.2 million of them closed, and the median length of time they were open was only 24 months. But fear not: failure is part of the entrepreneurship experience. “Failure is very, very common,” one of the study’s authors said. You’re going to fail many times, and you’ll have to learn how to start over again. If you don’t have the passion to carry you through the rough patches, and the strategy to succeed despite setbacks, you might not be cut out to be an entrepreneur. So do you have a plan for how to deal with failures, and is your passion strong enough to get over them and keep going?
- Are you flexible? The business world moves fast. Not everything is going to go according to your plan. Your original vision may change as you flesh out your enterprise. You’ll have to be flexible and adapt to ensure your business’s survival. If something’s not working, you’ll have to change it so that it does. You’ll have to accept your failures, and use them to learn how to succeed.
If after all these difficult questions, you still want to become an entrepreneur, then what are you waiting for?