Signs You Should Consider Becoming an Entrepreneur
Doctor, firefighter, athlete, actor, dancer, teacher, astronaut – what did you want to be when you grew up? It’s unlikely that you responded with “entrepreneur” when you were just a precocious five-year-old.
How about now? With a little more awareness of the world and its infinite possibilities, maybe you’re thinking about starting your own business. If you’re not sure about making the leap, here are 10 signs you should consider becoming an entrepreneur.
What is an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is a visionary individual who identifies a need and establishes a business that meets that need. Entrepreneurs typically have big ideas, come up with innovative solutions and take risks that non-entrepreneurs would never take. Entrepreneurship refers to starting new businesses in any industry. It’s not for everyone – and that’s okay! – but if you’ve been thinking about pursuing a new business idea, maybe this list can help you find the motivation to get started.
Top Signs You Should Become an Entrepreneur
While every individual is different, you’re probably well suited for entrepreneurship if you identify with any of the signs below.
1. You’re Driven
All entrepreneurs are driven to succeed. They never stop trying to solve problems or achieve new milestones. Often this drive is present in their personal and professional lives. This drive can come from many sources – wanting to create a legacy, wanting to prove someone wrong, wanting to triumph over an obstacle. Intuitively, many entrepreneurs surround themselves with others who have a similar drive. These relationships can provide important support during the challenges of starting and running a new business. Sound familiar?
2. You’re Self-motivated
One of the main differences between entrepreneurs and other workers is that entrepreneurs don’t need a boss to tell them what to do. They want to be in control and don’t need outside direction. Instead, their work ethic is all innate. They are self-motivated and can work anytime, anywhere. They know it is up to them to get things done.
This is not to say that motivation never wanes. Entrepreneurs are human, after all, and can get stressed or burned out like everyone else. However, they seem to always have an internal fire pushing them forward.
Think about your day-to-day work environment. Are you more proactive or reactive? Do you get work done due to internal factors or because your boss is yelling over your shoulder?
3. You’re Energetic
The irony of becoming an entrepreneur is that many people who leave a traditional job to become their own boss often end up working harder than ever. You’ll likely never work more than when you’re an entrepreneur, so you must have the energy and enthusiasm for this kind of work. This energy has to translate into action, however. You can’t just be all talk and expect to have a successful business. If you find that you can’t sit still and always have to be doing something, you may have a future in entrepreneurship.
4. You’re Flexible
The only thing that is certain in the world of entrepreneurship is that there will always be uncertainty. For many new businesses, things move quickly, and situations and circumstances change frequently. It may seem like there’s always new information to incorporate into business decisions and day-to-day operations. Your level of comfort with uncertainty and change can influence your success as an entrepreneur. If you get stuck in rigid beliefs or ideas, then your business will likely falter. You’ll need to be flexible in order to adapt to the changing environment and demands around you.
5. You’re Curious
While all kids go through a phase of asking, “But why?” if you’re still going through this phase, then you’re probably prepared to take on an entrepreneurial endeavor. Entrepreneurs need to have a passion for learning, desire to figure things out and willingness to ask questions. This curiosity will help you gather all the information you need and help you come up with the best solution or business idea. This curiosity is what will keep you going when you hit an obstacle. It will remind you to ask, “But why?”
6. You’re Smart
This characteristic is an obvious one but in entrepreneurship, intelligence is not just about book smarts. Yes, it’s important to know how to handle money and make wise, informed business decisions. However, your gut instinct and ability to think critically and problem solve are just as important. You need to be good at figuring out what your customers want and how things can be improved. You need to be able to see both the big picture and the steps required to get there. Being smart also means identifying where your skills are lacking and filling in these gaps through education or hiring other employees.
7. You’re Bold
Growing up, you were probably more likely to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. This boldness is important in entrepreneurship. While you don’t want to break laws, it is important to push boundaries and take risks. This boldness is also what allows you to be visionary and to see massive market opportunities where others only see limitations.
Being bold also gives you the strength to speak up when others disagree with you. While there is value in others’ opinions, they’re not always right. To be an entrepreneur, you’ll need to be bold and stand up to individuals or businesses who try to take advantage of you.
8. You’re Resilient
90% of startups fail, but don’t let that statistic deter you from pursuing entrepreneurship. Instead, this number should indicate that you are in good company. The key is to embrace failure, learn from it and recover quickly. In the startup world, there is a lot of talk about a company “pivoting,” or going in a different direction after their original idea didn’t work out. Pivot is essentially failure by another name. If you are tenacious, persistent and resilient, then you stand a good chance of bouncing back from a failure with an even better idea.
9. You’re Confident
Being confident doesn’t mean you’re the smoothest talker or that you crave being the center of attention. Confidence, in the context of entrepreneurship, means that you believe in the importance and validity of your business idea. You believe with unshakeable faith that your idea is a good one. You believe that it presents a unique market solution. You believe that the potential is there and that customers will awaken to it. This confidence is important in convincing other employees to join you, when funding your business venture and when attracting new customers and users.
10. You’re Iconoclastic
Don’t take this the wrong way, but if you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you were probably an outsider as a kid. Maybe you didn’t fit with the strict and traditional education system and grew up to be someone who didn’t like the 9 to 5 workday. Maybe you spent a lot of time on your own. Maybe you passed hours obsessed with one idea. You probably still get bombarded with ideas daily.
The good news is that being different is one of the main similarities among entrepreneurs. Many grew up feeling separate from their peers and continue to feel this way as they pursue their world-changing ideas.
Remember, however, as Steve Jobs said:
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things.”
Ready to Get Started with a New Business Idea?
Don’t worry if you don’t fit all the above characteristics. Every entrepreneur is different, and you’re likely well prepared for entrepreneurship as long as you exhibit a few of these traits. Of course, you’ll never know if you don’t try. The last thing you want is to see the next billion dollar “unicorn” go public and say, “I had that business idea first, but I didn’t act on it!”. So, dust off that business idea and get to work!