We hear the word ‘entrepreneur’ everywhere these days, with a growing number of business-minded people describing this as their profession, but what exactly is an entrepreneur, and how do you know if you are ready to become one?
We would usually define an entrepreneur as someone who has started up a business, or maybe several companies and has some unique and creative ideas. Most entrepreneurs are driven and determined, and they’re not afraid to take a risk. They don’t want to work for other people; they want to achieve success under their own steam.
Entrepreneurs are aspiring to many, as they tend not to go with the ‘norm’ when it comes to their professional life, and instead, they take responsibility for their future. Some famous entrepreneurs you may have heard of include; The Apprentice’s Alan Sugar, who is known as a ‘business magnate,’ and Richard Branson, the Virgin boss who has grown his business into a range of areas. Oprah Winfrey is another famous entrepreneur, talk show host, television producer, and inspiration to many. These entrepreneurs and many of the others we know are not those who are handed businesses; they are individuals who have worked hard to achieve their success, which is why they are inspirational to so many people – especially aspiring entrepreneurs!
If you’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but have not taken the leap yet, these are some signs you might be ready.
1. You don’t want to be an employee
There are people who prefer structure and a guaranteed income, and those who would prefer to get out the rat race and make their own decisions. Starting a business is not an easy decision to make by any means; you need to have a great business idea; clients and you don’t have guaranteed earnings. Some people love the idea of starting up a business, but the fear is simply too much for them. Others are fed up and ready to make a change. Are you tired of being an employee and want your own business and the flexibility which comes with it? Do you understand the risks involved, but you are willing to take these to achieve your dreams? You may just be ready to become an entrepreneur!
2. You are passionate about achieving success
There are different ways success can be measured, including your income and your reputation and growth. Not everyone can start a business, and if you are considering this, you will need to have an abundance of motivation for achieving success. How that is measured can be defined in any way you wish, but you need that drive, or you won’t get very far in business. Successful entrepreneurs like Oprah Winfrey tend to have a set daily routine, which helps them stay motivated. Note that this isn’t the same routine as going to work; it tends to be more of a spiritual/active routine to get them geared up for the day. Oprah has walked her dogs, undertake a meditation routine, as well as some exercise, all before 10:30 am. Why? Her motivation for success and her understanding that taking care of her body and mind are essential parts of this. Motivation is a critical trait in any successful entrepreneur, and if you don’t have this, you probably aren’t ready to be one.
3. You have a great business idea
It is one thing to have a vision about becoming an entrepreneur, but quite another to become one. Entrepreneurs have business ideas; it may be a spin on another business or a completely original idea. Entrepreneurs tend to be people who are always looking at new ways to challenge themselves and increase their earnings. You can’t become an entrepreneur without a business idea, but if you have an idea and are ready to take it from an idea to a real business, you could ready to become an entrepreneur. Make sure you have done your research, though, and identified a need for it in the market. A business idea, as well as the motivation to get it off the ground, are vital aspects of becoming an entrepreneur.
4. You have support
Not everyone has support when they start up a business, but it does help, especially if that support is financial. When you initially become an entrepreneur and start up a business, it may take a while before you start earning anything. This uncertainty can be problematic if you don’t have anyone to support you while you get it off the ground, or you can’t access any funding. If you do have support, then it may be time to take that leap. Help and support are not just financial, though. Starting a business can be challenging in many other ways, both personally and professionally. You are likely to be working more hours, you may not have as much time for your partner and family, and it will be much easier if you have a support network around you. If you have support, and you are ready to get started with your business, it may be time to get started.
5. You can manage yourself
If you have ever spoken to ‘non-entrepreneurs’ about starting a business, you have probably heard the standard responses, including “how can you do that? I would never be able to find the motivation to work” or “I’d end up just watching TV all day.” A lack of self-discipline is one of the most fundamental differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs can manage their own time effectively. They are driven and don’t need anyone telling them what to do or when to do it. If you can manage your own time and workload effectively without anyone breathing down your neck or in fact, you thrive off it; you are already in the mindset of an entrepreneur. Managing your own time is essential, as otherwise, you will simply procrastinate, and your business will never get off the ground.
6. You can turn your hand to anything
When you start up your business, you will be responsible for everything, at least initially. You will be running your social media, doing your accounts, attending networking events, replying to customer queries. It is as exhausting as it sounds! You should be able to multi-task and deal with all aspects of your business – something you don’t need to do as an employee. If you understand this and are up for the challenge, you are in the right frame of mind to become an entrepreneur. A true entrepreneur doesn’t think any jobs are beneath them. They don’t think they are too good to do administration, and they are more than willing to get on the phone to potential clients to get business. If you want to become an entrepreneur, you need to have all hands-on deck. Are you ready?
7. You want to grow
Successful entrepreneurs tend to spread their wings into many different areas and never stand still for long. They look for opportunities to invest or other business areas to develop, and they are committed to continuous growth, both in their business and personal life. Tony Robbins is an entrepreneur. He has created many self-help books and is widely known for his seminars across the world. People pay thousands of pounds to see Tony’s seminars, as they regard him so highly and recognize the positive outcomes it can have on their professional and personal lives. One of the attributes people love about Tony Robbins is that he is committed to growth in his business and his personal life. As an entrepreneur, you need to be committed to growth in your business and out with it too. Entrepreneurs understand that professional success is just as much about personal success.
8. You can accept failure
Of course, you don’t want to go into any business thinking you will fail, but you must accept that this is a plausible outcome. Many entrepreneurs have a string of failed businesses behind them, but has it stopped them from doing what they love? No, they have gone onto the next idea and kept going until they have reached the levels of success they desire. Walt Disney was dropped as a Newspaper Editor due to a lack of imagination. The success of the name speaks for itself. Steven Spielberg, the famous movie director, was rejected from film school before he became the success story we know today. JK Rowling’s Harry Potter script was rejected by publishers 12 times. Did she give up? No, she kept going until a publisher accepted it, and the franchise is now worth $25 billion. Entrepreneurs take rejection and keep going until they find the gold. Is that something you could do, or would failure or rejection cause you to give up on your dream? If it’s the former, then you have one of the essential qualities of a successful entrepreneur.
9. You have patience
The saying ‘patience is a virtue’ has never been more accurate than when it comes to starting a successful business. Successful businesses very rarely become an overnight success. They take time, effort, and a lot of patience. As an entrepreneur, you need to be willing to take time with your business, deliver an excellent service and focus on the long term rewards the business can bring. Most people are always looking for short term rewards and don’t have the patience for long-term rewards. Lack of patience is why there are many more people working for companies than there are entrepreneurs. If you are patient and determined, with a focus on the long game in business, you will more than likely get your reward. If the idea of putting in the graft and having to potentially wait years to see the rewards, becoming an entrepreneur may not be for you.
10. You need something more
Entrepreneurs tend to feel that they were put on earth to do more than just work and line someone else’s pocket – and this is what makes them different from most people. They feel like they have a higher purpose, and ultimately, they want more from life. If you crave purpose in your life and you are not happy working for other people, you may be ready for life as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs think differently from the masses. They don’t want the 9 to 5 routine that most people opt for or are too afraid to break free. They need something different, and they won’t rest until they find it. If you feel that you have a higher purpose when it comes to your professional life, it may be that becoming an entrepreneur is the next natural step for you. Some people will simply never be content, as long as they are working for someone else, and this is what makes them different. It’s what puts them into the ‘entrepreneurial mindset.’ Entrepreneurs are different, but you won’t meet any real entrepreneurs who are not willing to put in the hard graft to achieve their goals.
Starting a business is exciting, but it is also incredibly daunting at the same time. Although many people love the idea of becoming an entrepreneur, most will never do it as they find it too risky or are nervous about the prospect. If you are one of those people who has always dreamed about starting a business and you have the determination to succeed, we hope this has given you a better indication of whether you are ready and what steps you need to take to get prepared. As Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”