When you’re considering making the leap from employee to entrepreneur, there are a number of things you need to think about. Even if it’s been a dream for many years, there’s a chance you just might not be the right kind of person for entrepreneurship; it takes a specific set of characteristics and traits, as well as a certain way in which to use lived-in experiences.
That doesn’t mean you can’t acquire these traits over time, of course. Some people just aren’t cut out for being an entrepreneur, but the vast majority of people can learn how to become their own boss given time, experience and a willingness to change. Here are 6 things every successful entrepreneur needs in order to make it in the cutthroat world of business.
A home environment conducive to work (or relaxing)
It might sound strange, but the first thing an entrepreneur needs is a solid base to call home. The day-to-day stresses of managing a business or actively seeking out clients can be draining and demanding, so it’s important to have a good home to come back to after a hard day’s work. If you’re working from home, it’s even more important to ensure that your surroundings are appropriate. From custom furniture arrangements to proper noise insulation and lighting, making sure that your home office works for you – or that your home is the right place in which to relax – is crucial for any budding entrepreneur. If you’re well into your entrepreneurial career and still haven’t considered this, now’s the time to start.
A hunger to succeed
You might be thinking that this one is obvious, but we’ve encountered plenty of entrepreneurs who just didn’t have that drive or hunger for success. It’s one thing to clock into the office, punch the time card (metaphorically speaking) and do the work that’s required of you, but it’s another thing entirely to actively seek out success and to be willing to try different things to achieve it. If you don’t really want or need to succeed as an entrepreneur, then you’ll be overtaken by those who do have this desire. Before you start executing your business idea, do some soul-searching and make sure that this is what you really want.
A creative mind
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t just mean ticking all the boxes and working hard, although those are definitely both aspects of running a business. As an entrepreneur, you should be willing to think far outside the box, looking for potential alternate solutions to problems that conventional wisdom just doesn’t cover. Nobody’s going to tell you what to do in most situations, so you’ll have to summon up those problem-solving skills on a regular basis. In those moments, it pays to throw convention to the wind, so you’ll need the kind of mind that discards boring and safe solutions in favour of something more creative.
Paradoxically, though, you’ll also need the kind of personality that makes you unafraid to call it quits or cut losses. Part of being a successful entrepreneur is knowing when you’re outmatched, or when you’ve made a bad investment, and pulling out before things get too catastrophic. It’s definitely good to have a pioneering and creative spirit, but you need the kind of analytical skills to know when that creative spirit just isn’t serving the business model you’ve created. If your business has staff, or if you’re working with a partner, they’ll thank you for holding the reins back on a purchasing, staffing or business decision that just won’t work.
A willingness to work
You might be tempted to think that being an entrepreneur eventually means you’ll be able to sit back and let your staff do the hard work for you. It should go without saying that this is emphatically not the case. As an entrepreneur, you’ll need enough gumption to go looking for opportunities. You probably won’t be keeping regular office hours; you’ll work 9 to 5, sure, but you’ll be strongly tempted to work above and beyond that to secure important clients or contracts. As such, you’ll need a propensity for elbow grease, a desire to jump in and get things done. You won’t let personal issues or moods interfere with your ability to work hard, and you certainly won’t stop if the job is half-done.
Finally, it’s crucial to have genuine, unadulterated passion for what you do. There will be tough moments, so maintaining a sincere love for your craft, your industry and your business is paramount. Your staff – if you have any – will thank you for your commitment, and loving your job will make it easier to shoulder any burdens that might arise as a result of bad decisions on either your part or your staff’s part. Chasing contracts, clients and work will be much easier if you love your job. There’s really no benefit to taking a half-hearted approach to entrepreneurship, so if you have any suspicion that you won’t be able to dedicate 100% of your heart to your work, then it might not be for you.