Do You Have What It Takes to be an Entrepreneur?


Recently, a colleague asked me a tough question: When did you realize you were cut out for small business ownership? In the beginning, entrepreneurship just made sense because it paid in the currencies I valued: independence, flexibility, and accountability to my values instead of someone else’s. The question really got me thinking about what it takes to not only be an entrepreneur, but succeed at it.

Here are five of the key traits I’ve discovered that make a successful small business owner:

  1. Leadership

Leadership is about that the capacity to guide a group of individuals. It’s also the ability to cultivate a team of people whose opinions and ideas you respect.

I don’t know anyone who has accomplished greatness alone. A successful entrepreneur will have the support staff that will ask the hard questions and give you honest feedback.

  1. Self-Awareness

The trait that follows cultivating a great team is the ability to look at yourself in a critical and honest way. It takes self-awareness and confidence to listen to other people’s perspectives, know when you’re wrong, and accept the advice of others.

I often say that a mirror is the most important tool an entrepreneur has. That mirror is a combination of introspection – or a group of people you trust to tell it like it is – and the self-confidence to graciously accept that criticism.

  1. Proactivity

The word ‘entrepreneur’ has its origins in the French verb entreprendre, meaning ‘to undertake’. A successful entrepreneur is somebody who does.

Plenty of people have wonderful ideas but without action and initiative, nothing will happen. An entrepreneur is somebody who’s going to act on ideas, advice, and criticism.

  1. Resilience

Fear not failure, for it is the path to success ­– if you’re able to learn from those failures, that is. A great entrepreneur doesn’t give up in the face of failure, they reassess and persevere. It was when I did this myself that I realized: I’m made for this.

  1. Satisfaction

Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur all the time. Throughout his life, my grandfather vacillated between running his own businesses and working for the government. The best entrepreneurs are content with the value their business brings to them.

You have to assess whether your company is still paying you in your personal currency – the value you get from working for yourself instead of someone else. If it is, then you’ve got to take it, own it, and give it 120%.

Thinking about taking the leap to small business ownership? Give us a call to see how we can help: 289-466-5210. Remember, we don’t charge to chat.