Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Do you have what it takes?

How does crushing debt make you feel? How do you react to rejection? Do you quit if you fail at a task? Do you like to work 18 hour days…forget vacations or days off? Would you work without getting paid?

If those scenarios sound discouraging to you, then chances are you aren't cut out to be an entrepreneur. On the other hand, if you didn't scare that easily, you just might have what it takes. Here are some questions that can help you further assess your aptitude.

1. Do you believe?
It may sound silly, but it really does start with believing in yourself and your business idea. To hear researcher and author James Koch describe it, the classic entrepreneurial personality seems to combine the self-confidence of Muhammad Ali with the sunny-eyed optimism of Little Orphan Annie.  Do you have swagger? Do you believe in yourself? 

2. What's your motivation?
Even above making money, entrepreneurs are driven by the desire to do something of significance. For the entrepreneur, the goal is to leave your mark to make an impact. For most they don’t consider what they are doing as work. Are you motivated by money or by leaving a legacy?

3. How do you see the world?
I think (this is me) successful business owners tend to be more strategic in their thinking ... big-picture oriented, as opposed to being more tactical and focused on details. That wide-angle perspective comes in handy for handling the broad range of challenges that will fall squarely on their shoulders as company chiefs. They have to have the ability to see a solution before most other people even recognize that there's a problem. Do you see solutions or problems?

4. Do you know what you're getting into?
Many businesses fail because their owners didn't adequately assess the market for their ideas. They think it's the best idea ever, and maybe they are able to attract funding for it, but it turns out that ... there aren't customers out there who are willing to pay for it. Do you do your homework or do you go on your gut?

5. Will you stick it out?
You must be prepared to ride out each stage of your company's development. Good old-fashioned perseverance is more important than anything. Are you willing to put it all on the line? Do you have a short attention span?

6. Is it in your DNA?
Finally, there's the question of whether you have to be wired with all of the  right stuff to be a successful entrepreneur, or whether you can learn the necessary traits. Learning accounting, how to write a business plan and how to approach investors can certainly enhance your chances for success.

I would suggest that there is not a class you can take that can teach someone to be a risk-taker…that can truly teach entrepreneurship.

I think entrepreneurs are wired differently than others…are you?

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