Seven Indicia of an Entrepreneur

Do you possess the personality traits necessary to successfully run your own business?

How do you know if you have the necessary skills to launch a business? There is no way to know for certain. However, I find similarities in the emotional and familial makeup of individuals who are willing to consider an entrepreneurial endeavor.

You do not need to fit each of these seven categories to be a suitable candidate for entrepreneurship. But it would likely not be harmful. In general, the more of these characteristics you share, the closer you are to being prepared to try living on your own.

You descend from a line of individuals who were unable to work for someone else. That is not intended negatively. People who are successful in establishing their own business typically had parents who were self-employed. Getting a job with a company is typically easier than starting your own business; those who go it alone often have a parent to model their behavior after.

You’re a lousy employee. There is no need to sugarcoat this. People who start their own businesses have typically been terminated from or quit multiple jobs. I’m not suggesting you lost your job due to a lack of work or switched to a higher-paying position. You were asked to leave, or you resigned before being fired. Consider it the market’s way of telling you that only you can effectively motivate and manage yourself. You find multiple definitions of “job security.” I am incredibly envious of the few individuals I know who have remained with the same employer for 25 or 30 years. They appear very safe. However, how many individuals do you know who are able to remain with a single company for so long? In a rapidly transforming economy, employment stability can be frighteningly unstable. Either you’ve reached your limit or you’re no longer progressing. Sometimes the motivation to start a new venture comes from reaching the top of the pile where you are, taking a look around, and thinking, “There’s nothing else to do.”  What comes next? ” Early success can be wonderful, but early retirement can drive energetic and motivated individuals completely insane.

5. You have already conducted market research. If you haven’t taken the time to determine if there’s a market for your product or service, don’t bother telling me about your brilliant business plan. As the founders of countless failed Internet ventures will attest, “cool” does not necessarily equate to “profitable.” If you haven’t determined whether there’s a good chance that customers will come, there’s no point in building it. You have the backing of your family. Under optimal conditions, a beginning a business  is stressful. It would likely be unbearable to attempt it without the support of your spouse or other significant family members or friends. You are aware that you cannot do it alone. You may excel at business promotion. Perhaps you enjoy managing the financial side of the business. You could be someone who starts a business because you have specialized creative or technical expertise that allows you to develop a product.

It is unlikely that you will excel at all of the aforementioned tasks, or at all of the tasks involved in running any business. Forget everything about going it alone. You are going to require assistance at some point.

Possessing employees, partners, or consultants for those areas in which you lack expertise is an indicator of your likelihood of future success. Ernesto Sirolli, a development consultant, writes in “Ripples From the Zambezi” that no successful entrepreneur has ever succeeded alone. The individual who is best able to enlist the support of others is the most likely to achieve success.

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