Are You An Entrepreneur?

At the age of 14, I came up with the idea of doing a garage sale in my neighborhood, using the proceeds to microfinance a group of women in Congo that are widows. Fast forward to now, at the age of 26, I am constantly brainstorming small business venture ideas. I think of things like, how do I put my parents house on Airbnb and generate profit? How do I leverage from my current skill sets learned in  university, and charge target organizations for it and make money as a consultant. What I have noticed throughout the years, are successful traits that makes one an entrepreneur versus the average 9-5 worker, and how I need to grow in those areas in order to assure maximal success chances if embarking in an entrepreneurial journey. There is nothing wrong with you identifying as one who prefers to have a secure and cushy 9-5 job, you have to know that about yourself and be confident in that. That being said, there is something so appealing about business starters, whether it is their courage, boldness, creativity or tenacity, we just admire them from a distance because they’re game changers. Here, we seek to document characteristic traits of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur:

  1. Perseverance - If you read any books about today’s largest companies, who once started small, what each founder will tell you, is that the first 2-5 years they barely made any profit. However, they had the vision, believed in their project, and kept going. Despite the obstacles and challenges that came along, they continued to fight the good fight, because for them it was about the end goal, and doing whatever it takes to get there.
  2. Long Term Goal - Many people when it comes to money or anything they try in life, they expect an immediate return for their time and energy invested. Most entrepreneurs see the long term gain first, which allows them to be patient when not seeing the immediate gain. This type of thinking also applies to money and those who are frugal; they save first, instead of spending immediately.
  3. The Bottom Line - All entrepreneurs or business starters have a deep reason why they start their venture(s). For some it is to live a flexible life and not have a boss, others it is for their products or services to lead to some level of impact, for some it is purely out of passion. While making money is attractive and motivating, I always see more determination and drive for people who start entreprises for reasons other than money, that’s just an observation.
  4. Risk takers - We need 9-5 workers to run an efficient economy, but business starters are often the game changers in the market. To start an enterprise, whether it is a craft-based company (think of Brit+co), or selling thriftshop vintage clothing on eBay (think Sophia Amarusso), or a minimalist magazine print starting in a dorm’s room (think Kinfolk), entrepreneurs are able to take an idea or interest and make that first step, it requires risk and for you to move away from being comfortable in what you know.

If you desire to be an entrepreneur but cannot identify areas in your character that you think may be holding you back from taking that first leap, work on these traits, and you will eventually get there. Feel free to check out my entrepreneur 2 pages business plan SHEET.

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