If you’re an early-stage entrepreneur, you’ve likely experienced people questioning why you’d want to start your own business. Often, starting your own business is perceived as risky, too much work, or an expensive endeavor. But for those in it, this risk and hard work can pay off with greater fulfillment, passion, autonomy and flexibility that you might not otherwise get in a traditional 9 to 5 role.
So how do you know if you’ve got what it takes?
There’s a big misconception around entrepreneurship that it’s something that you’re born with. This is not true. Research has shown that the more times you try to start a business, the more likely you are to succeed, hence showing that entrepreneurship is a learnable skill. There are a number of core entrepreneurship characteristics that you can learn over time to become a successful entrepreneur:
You’re a curious problem solver. Every business idea needs to solve a problem for its customers. If you’re able to question the status quo, spot problems or shortcomings in the current markets and turn these into opportunities and ideas, then you’ve got the makings of a great entrepreneur. If you want to boost this characteristic, then try actively reflecting on your experience as a customer and note down ‘pain points’ or frustrations that you have while using some of your most frequent products or services. These pain points are opportunities for innovation!
You’re resourceful. It’s true that you do need resources to start a business, but often entrepreneurs actually need less than they originally think. Being resourceful and finding crafty ways to make things happen (even if you don’t have the time, money or expertise) is a critical success factor for entrepreneurship. If you want to boost this characteristic, then jump on Google and familiarise yourself sites such Startup Stash or Startup Resources. These platforms offer dozens or free or low-cost tools that can help you with brand design, marketing, websites, customer service, fundraising and more.
You’re resilient and bounce back. Every entrepreneur will experience setbacks, rejections or failures at some point in their business journey so it’s critical to be able to bounce back from these when they happen. However, this is much easier said than done, especially when you get No’s from key people or organisations and doors closed on you. If you want to boost your ability to bounce back, take a leaf out of Jia Jiang’s book (watch his incredible Ted Talk 100 Days of Rejection here), and try getting out there and asking 3 people for things that you don’t think you’ll get. For example, it could be your local barista for a free coffee, a stranger for $10, or your partner to make you dinner every day for the month. You’ll likely get a no, but each time you ask, it’ll be less and less difficult.
If you’re ready to dip your toes in the entrepreneurship water and want to explore starting your own business, then come to one of our Work My Own Way events or book in an inhouse business coaching session, all at no cost.