So you want to be an entrepreneur? You want all of the plus points such a career move creates: your own business, control over what you do and when you do it, and last, but by no means least, the opportunity to make some real cold hard cash.
Lots of people aspire to this, but not so many are successful. The following are signs that you’ve got what it takes to take the road to be successful entrepreneur.
The ability to work hard. Really hard…
You might think that working for yourself means that you can take time off whenever you feel like it. Errr, time to think again. While most employed people in the US stay close to the regular 40 hours per week, many of those who are self-employed work 60+ hour per week, according to a poll by Gallup.
Sure, you can pick the hours you work, but for the self-employed (at least at the start), there’s no-one else to pick up the slack but you. Working late, working public holidays and weekends… They’ll all become the norm when you work for yourself.
You need money
Be it in the form of your own capital or managing to get backers, you’re going to need money. And it’ll ALWAYS be more than you first think. Your financial health is crucial to your success, and this means the ability to plan for the present and the future, and the ability to be frugal about the money you spend.
The ability to accept failure.
However good you are at what you do, there’s going to be some form of failure along the way. It’s not the failure itself that’s the sticking point, instead it’s about how you deal with it.
The ability to be able to learn from mistakes and knockbacks is vital to keep moving forward. In fact, things going wrong can actually be beneficial, because it’s only from making an error that you discover new and innovative ways to continue growing towards the success you crave and need.
You need knowledge in whatever field it is that you’re going to work in. OK, you can learn some aspects along the way (and this is true of every type of job), but you do need some in-depth knowledge of what it is you plan to do.
Successful entrepreneurs have a truly strong desire to learn and to keep on learning. They read everything they can about their trade or skill, take courses, listen to experts, take criticism, and, most importantly, realize that what you don’t know is as vitally important as what you do…
True conviction and determination
To succeed as an entrepreneur you need drive. The pure need to keep pushing yourself forward, especially when it seems all is against you, is crucial. It’s also necessary to be flexible in your attitude to the way you achieve a goal.
For example, when you come across a blockade, rather than thinking of it as an obstacle, your mindset needs to be ‘how can I work around this’, to continue moving towards the end result.
Be technologically savvy
There are so many tools out there that can help you on the road to success. And no business today can be successful without technology. You’ll need to understand how to market your business online, and by using social media.
It’s simply not an option in the 21st century for any business not to have an online presence. If this is something that’s so far eluded you, then it’s going to be steep learning curve to get up to speed.
Know how to calculate risk
As a group, successful entrepreneurs tend to be risk takers. But this doesn’t mean that they simply throw caution to the wind. Instead, they take risks that have been carefully calculated in their favor. OK, so some of these might not pay off. But in the long term, all risks that are taken need to have the highest chance of being successful.
Be a good negotiator
This is something that can be learned to some extent. But in general, having the ability to negotiate is something that needs to come naturally. It’s a cut-throat world out there, and to be competitive in your chosen field you need to be better than your competitors.
To do this you’re going to have to be able to negotiate great deals with suppliers in order to have a competitive standing in your market. On the other end, you need to negotiate great sales to your customers. So skills in this are vital at every step along the way.
Love what you do
To successfully work for yourself it’s vital to enjoy what you do. The most talented entrepreneurs have worked out a way to make money from doing what they love. Cooks become restaurant owners, artists self-promote their work, sales people find a product they love and work out how they can successfully market it to the masses… You get the picture.
Have a great idea
No matter how good you are at whatever it is you do, you need to have a truly good idea in order to succeed. Now, this doesn’t necessarily need to be something new – but it does need to have a USP.
Sometimes discovering yours means thinking outside the box somewhat. Look for ways your idea can do something differently from your competitors. For example, Tinder found a whole new way of dating – not a new idea, but coming at it from a different angle made it the huge success it is today.
And what about Uber? We all had the ability to book a taxi online, but these guys took it to a whole new level. You get the picture…