How Do I Know If I Have What It Takes to Become an Entrepreneur?
How do I know if I have what it takes to become an entrepreneur?
It’s a common question. Everyone’s scared and questioning themselves before they strike out on their own. However, I’d argue that it’s the wrong question to ask.
You see, it’s not so much about becoming an entrepreneur as it is about finding out that you are one. You are either bred for it or you bleed for it. You don’t just one day make up your mind to do it. It’s something inside you.
In fact, “entrepreneur” wasn’t a word that existed in my vocabulary when I started out. I like to describe myself as “an entrepreneur before you knew what that meant,” but the truth is that I was an entrepreneur before I knew what that meant.
I’ve had it in me my entire life. I can remember waking up early to buy soda from the corner store and selling it out of my backpack after the school took away our vending machine. (It was the first time I had worn a backpack in years, so that should tell you where my priorities lie.) I remember getting my first computer when I was 7 because, although I always hustling my butt off in real life, I knew that technology was going to overtake it, and I wanted to be prepared.
Even at a young age, I knew how to make money by capitalizing on what people needed and the technology available to get it to them.
So many successful entrepreneurs have similar stories—to the point where, I believe, if you don’t have those memories of early entrepreneurship, hard work, and self-reliance, then you’re behind the curve, and you’re probably setting yourself up for disappointment if entrepreneurship is the path you want to take.
Key Outlooks Shared by Successful Entrepreneurs
The point is, there are certain intuitive mindsets shared by entrepreneurs that cannot necessarily be taught. You don’t wake up one morning and decide to be an entrepreneur. It’s a way of life that naturally develops from having an entrepreneurial mindset. It’s a result of a few key attributes:
- An entrepreneur must have an intuitive business savvy. For example, your business might do great, but then tank 12 months later. You’ve got to know when to let go. You can’t be too emotionally invested or you won’t be able to make the right decision. It’s all about focusing on business and understanding the process (regardless of the industry). The people that get emotionally attached are the ones that end up in debt up to their eyes.
- Entrepreneurs are usually the hardest workers in the room. That work ethic is what keeps me up until 3 a.m. and wakes me up at 7 a.m. Having intrinsic motivation—the feeling that drives you to push yourself regardless of external rewards—is absolutely critical. You cannot be an entrepreneur if your only focus is on what car you’re going to buy or which coast to build your vacation house on. Trust me, it’s not always smooth sailing, so when things get rough, you need to be able to fall back on your on self-motivation.
- Entrepreneurs share the recognition that failure is a part of success, and that the two are inextricably linked. Most of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs had dozens of failures under their belt before they hit upon success. What ultimately made them successful, however, is self-awareness to know when to pivot and how to improve in the future.
- They are passionate about the journey, not just the destination. That journey will be long and full of twists. There will be failures and hardships, but you still need to get up the next morning excited and ready to give it your all. If you love the process (not only the results), you’ll be more likely to stick with it through the ups and downs.
Sure, you can do things to sharpen your business skills. However, there are just some attitudes that can’t be taught, those attitudes are much harder to teach.
There has to be an initial spark—an outlook and a passion—that starts the fire.