Aspiring entrepreneurs often spend years wondering if they have what it takes to make it on their own. While there are a number of concrete factors that figure into whether an individual can succeed as an entrepreneur – things like opportunity, demand, and access to assets and credit –there’s also a less tangible factor: the entrepreneurial spirit.
If you’ve ever wondered if you’re truly an entrepreneur at heart, here are some questions to help you sort it out.
Do You Like to Run the Show?
The entrepreneurial spirit is one that demands to make decisions, to make things happen, to have a guiding role in every endeavor. If you can’t stand the idea of sitting back and letting someone else take the helm, if you hate being in the back seat, if you answer every call to action with a resounding, “I’ll do it!” your inner entrepreneur is strong.
Do You Love to Learn?
You don’t have to be an expert in everything to be a successful entrepreneur, but you do need to be able to learn as you go. Your ability to study, to listen to good counsel, and to incorporate newfound knowledge into your decisions and actions is critical. Always been a good student (in class or just in life)? That’s a sign you’re an entrepreneur at heart.
Does “it’ Really Matter to You?
If you’re an entrepreneur at heart, the answer to this question doesn’t really need to be quantified by defining what “it” is. Things matter to you. Quality matters. Success matters. You probably keep lists on your nightstand and in your pockets and even on your own hand from time to time of important stuff you just cannot forget or overlook. You probably have a perfectionist streak. The passion you feel – the unique quality you have that makes things matter to you – makes you great entrepreneur material. Entrepreneurs, almost without exception, are motivated from within.
Are You an Optimist?
If we’re being honest, it’s important to acknowledge that entrepreneurship is hard. Starting a business takes a toll on your psyche, on your bank account, on your relationships – on nearly every aspect of your life. For those who persevere and succeed, those tolls are repaid many times over – not just in financial gain, but in the freedoms and personal satisfaction that come with the ability to live a self-directed life. Getting through the hard times to reach that point requires hard work, stamina, and the more elusive but no less essential quality of optimism. You’re going to need a measure of hope to run this marathon.
Are You Prepared to Lead?
It’s almost impossible to make it as an entrepreneur alone. You need people to willingly follow you – partners, employees, customers and others. The cocktail of traits that makes a great leader is not the same from person to person. You may be charismatic or resolute, bold or simply steadfast, fervent or quietly encouraging. The key isn’t which traits you bring to the table, but whether they work. Do people listen to you? Trust you? Aspire to work with you towards positive ends? If so, then you’ve got that elusive quality that makes you a leader – one of the most crucial qualities of an entrepreneur.
Can You Get Back Up?
Hand-in-hand with an attitude of optimism is deep-down resilience. I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs as they’ve started their businesses and I’ve yet to encounter one who didn’t hit a single snag. It’s a simple fact of the process. The winningest entrepreneurs share a core resilience that allows them to reset after any obstacle and start moving forward again. As Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington said in a recent award acceptance speech, the crux of it is that if you’re “knocked down seven times, you get up eight.” This is an essential part of the mindset that makes a person an entrepreneur at heart.
As a franchise consultant, I help hundreds of prospective business owners each year weigh the pros and cons of entrepreneurship and franchising as the next step for their unique circumstances. If one of your goals is exploring the possibility of business ownership, or even if you’d just like to know more about the potential benefits of franchising, I can help you investigate your options at no cost to you. For more information, contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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