People become entrepreneurs for many reasons. Sometimes it’s just because they cannot find a job that pays enough, is interesting enough, or challenges them enough. Other times it comes after a long life of working for others and moving up in a company and then realizing that they can do more with their own business. Yet others start a business because they want time freedom and flexibility.
While there are many reasons for becoming an entrepreneur, it’s critical to choose the right business and run it properly if you want to be successful. It’s fun to say you’re an entrepreneur, but it’s a whole other thing to really do it successfully.
What Is an Entrepreneur?
There is a lot of discussion about what makes an entrepreneur, both online and offline. For example, a freelancer is not really an entrepreneur in the sense of creating a business that they can retire from and still earn money, or sell to someone else to keep running into perpetuity.
An entrepreneur builds a business that can outlast them, while a freelancer earns money providing services or benefits to someone else for pay. But if that person is out of the picture, the freelancer won’t get any money. An entrepreneur also takes a financial risk that is greater than average to run their business, while a freelancer generally doesn’t have that many expenses.
Both are perfectly legitimate ways to earn a living, but the goal is slightly different. One is to work and earn money, and the other is to build something that is about more than making money and will outlast you and earn money today. You can choose to call either one of these, freelancer or business owner, an entrepreneur, but technically there is a mindset difference that is very subtle:
- Entrepreneurs build a business that outlasts themselves
- Freelancers build jobs that support themselves and their family
It’s minimal but it is different, and is an important distinction when we are talking about becoming an entrepreneur. The following pages will give you information about starting your own business and becoming an entrepreneur that manages their own resources to run a business and build a business that will live on after they’re gone.
Do You Have the Right Personality to Be an Entrepreneur?
The other aspect of entrepreneurship that is important to note is whether you have the personality to do it or not. Are you self-motivated? Can you act without a boss? If you notice you are missing some of the personality traits that entrepreneurs possess, can you make up for it by buying those traits or skills?
What Characteristics Do You Need to Become an Entrepreneur?
There are lots of articles you can read online about all the personality traits that an entrepreneur should have. Many of them bring up the idea of being passionate about your work; however, there are more important things than passion when it comes to business success.
After all, some days you will hate your business. But you really don’t have to be that passionate about the work, just excited about the results. This list of skills and personality traits that you need to be successful all hinges on your ability to do the work.
- Expertise – You need to know what you are doing. Without that, you need to at least have someone you can call on who knows what they, as the expert, are doing. You can outsource everything in your business, so you don’t (for example) need to know how to build a website to be a website builder. You just need a plan for finding clients and assigning the work to other people.
- Perseverance – Once you start a business, you cannot give up when the first thing goes wrong. You need to be able to stick it out until you experience success. If you have done the research and you have the actions planned, you need to do those before throwing in the towel. Stick to it for at least a prescribed amount of time before quitting.
- Resilience – In truth, an entrepreneur needs to be able to fall and get back up immediately. Things are going to happen that cause you to second-guess yourself. That is normal. All businesses have normal ebbs and flows. Your ability to weather these storms is what will make you an entrepreneur.
- Resourcefulness – A lot of people think you need a lot of resources to start a business, but in truth, you just need to be resourceful enough to recognize when you have access to something amazing. For example, some of your resources may be money, people, or technology.
- Motivation – If you don’t have the natural ability to motivate yourself and others to achieve a vision or goal that you have in your own head, it’s going to be hard to be successful. However, if you lack motivation but you have the skills and desire, you can buy it in the form of a coach to help you find it.
- Commitment – This is the ability to truly be in your business 100 percent. You don’t want to dabble in this business and that business and play at business. You want to do your due diligence and then stick to a business and make it work.
- A Sense of Adventure – Owning and running a business is a journey that you’re going to take which is going to be a lot like being on a rollercoaster. There will be ups and there will be downs. Sometimes you will go very fast between the two; that’s the way it is. They say that an entrepreneur likes to take the risk, but the truth is, a person who works for someone else is taking a risk too; they just don’t realize it.
The other traits are also important, but when you notice that entrepreneurs encompass all types of personalities, from introverts to extroverts and everything in between, you quickly realize what makes them successful.
Research and taking strategic forward action that helps you reach the goals you make is what it takes. In short, doing makes you successful. You can have all the intention in the world plus lots of plans, but if you don’t implement and do something, nothing will happen.
Once you make a choice to become an entrepreneur, the next thing you need to do is to decide which type of business you need to start to be successful.