We all have been there at some point in our life where we dreamed of doing something different. Many of us dream of starting our own business instead of being an employee. However, for the majority of people, it remains a dream as they are not able to act on it for various reasons. Ever wondered if YOU have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? In my experience, following signs are a strong signal of you just thinking about it rather than likely to act on it:
- You just don’t have the itch. I think this is the biggest difference between people who take action to become an entrepreneur vs. the ones who never do. The itch. Does it hurt you every morning that you are NOT an entrepreneur when you wake up and get ready to go to your regular job (good or bad). It has to itch. So bad that it should leave a rash (not literally of course:). But you know what I am talking about. If it doesn’t itch, forget about it. For entrepreneurs, being able to do something is a must-have and not nice-to-have.
- You don’t take risks in life. This is huge. To do anything different in life much less being an entrepreneur, you need to take Risks. You need to get out of your comfort zone and take that leap. It cannot be guaranteed. You always to be willing to risk losing things. If you are not a risk taker in general, chances of you running a business on your own are very slim.
- You “analyze and paralyze” everything. In other words, you are not decisive (sometimes related to #2). Entrepreneurs have to make a lot of decisions, sometimes not ideal. You have to go with the information you have at a certain point of time. You cannot wait for the perfect situation. Of course, don’t be reckless but at some points, you gotta decide.
- You are ok with Status Quo. You complain about things but never take action to fix them. Entrepreneurs mostly solve a problem that they themselves had. They hate status quo.
- You never see an “opportunity” in a “problem”. Even if you cannot solve all problems, an entrepreneur’s brain is always wired to think of ideas out of problems they face. Do you ever have thoughts like “Man, I hate this traffic. I wish I could build an app that gives me the best time to drive”. Instead, do you just say “Man, I hate this traffic. Can someone do something about it please?”. If the latter, then it is unlikely you think like an entrepreneur. This one sounds a bit silly but think about it.
- You love to spend money on recreational things only. Entrepreneurs love the “consumer” types who only spend money on things that have no value in return except recreation. The question is: do you want to be the entrepreneur/producer or the consumer ? Entrepreneurs only spend money when it helps them get something in return (few exceptions of course). Otherwise, you will never be able to value money which means you can never invest it properly to create something big.
- You give up too easily. You don’t have the drive. Don’t confuse this with passion which is an overrated word in my opinion. Let me explain further. Do you feel strongly about anything? Have you ever wanted to get something and gone after it hard ? Have you ever refused to give up on something even though it seemed unrealistic at the time? If never, you are probably not cut out to be an entrepreneur. You have to be a bit eccentric and driven to go after things.
- You don’t break the rules. Don’t confuse this with breaking the law but entrepreneurs do things that other don’t. It means that sometimes they will stretch/bend some rules. That is how they create something different.
- You don’t ask enough questions. We all get told to do something because that is the norm. But do you ever challenge it by asking “why” ? My wife hates me because I am never satisfied with the “norm” and I always ask why. It can be annoying at times. But if you don’t do that, chances are you will never ask enough questions to your potential customers/employees/business partners to be successful.
Note that all of the above points, unfortunately, cannot be taught in my opinion. You either have them in you or not. There are 100s of other skills that can be taught on how to be a good entrepreneur like business skills, time management, people management etc. But I strongly believe that entrepreneurs are born with those core characteristics explained above and cannot be taught.