The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity. – Peter Drucker
What Does it Take to Become an Entrepreneur?
Have you ever wanted to become an entrepreneur, but for one reason or another, you never quite took the plunge? Possibly you don’t believe you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Or maybe, you’re afraid of the risks associated with entrepreneurship.
The path of an entrepreneur certainly isn’t easy. A great many people have traveled that path and failed miserably. It’s a path riddled with danger and uncertainty. However, it’s also a path that brings with it an immense opportunity and a chance to live life with unbridled freedom.
On one level or another, all of us want more freedom in our lives. We long to have the freedom to do the things that make us happy. However, for most people, freedom is hard to attain. It’s hard because we feel constricted by our jobs, by other people, and by all the responsibilities that build the framework of our lives. We long for something more. And entrepreneurship just seems like an ideal path that will help us get to our desired aim.
Of course, on the surface, entrepreneurship seems wonderful and can certainly provide us with incredible freedom. However, the path of an entrepreneur is rarely straightforward and simple. It’s filled with struggles, complex problems, incredible adversity, and sacrifice — that most people just aren’t prepared for. It’s therefore not a path suited to the vast majority of the population who value security and certainly over the risks and uncertainties of entrepreneurship.
However, I assume you are here reading this because you have an inkling to follow your entrepreneurial dreams. But do you truly have what it takes to become an entrepreneur? Do you have what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur? Well, let’s find out.
Here, within this article, we will explore the qualities and requirements of entrepreneurship. Moreover, we will break down the commitments entrepreneurs make, and examine the seven distinct characteristics of the entrepreneurial mind. These characteristics include:
- A Customer-Centric Approach
- A Zest for Knowledge
- A Driving Vision
- A Proactive Drive
- An Opportunistic Nature
- A Resilient Attitude
- A Social Knack
However, before delving into each of these areas, let’s first explore the essential requirements for entrepreneurship.
The Key Requirements for Becoming an Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs are often self-starters who follow their own path and passions. They identify key problems, which lead to business opportunities that are riddled with financial risks and rewards.
To succeed as an entrepreneur, you need some knowledge and understanding of how to run and operate a business, as well as how to manage money wisely. However, knowledge is never really enough.
Entrepreneurs are often high-energy individuals who have a strong work ethic, high standards and expectations of themselves and others. They are independent, very ambitious, disciplined and resourceful.
Entrepreneurs are passionate and serious about their business, which also makes them very demanding. They know what they want, and they will bend over backward to ensure that others follow their instructions to the letter.
If the qualities mentioned above resonate with you, then possibly entrepreneurship is a path meant for you. However, a significant number of people who have these qualities fail to succeed as entrepreneurs simply because they lack the commitment to the entrepreneurial path.
Making the Entrepreneurial Commitment
Successful entrepreneurs have a high degree of commitment to the entrepreneurial path. They are fully committed to every task they set, to every project they start, and to every goal they target. Moreover, they are committed to building relationships that can help move their business forward.
Successful entrepreneurs understand that the success of their business or idea is entirely dependent on them. They, therefore, commit themselves to self-improvement, to building a personal brand, to strengthening their reputation, and to growing their expert status within their industry.
The success of their business rests entirely in their hands. They, therefore, commit fully to bringing their vision to reality no matter what setbacks stand in their way. However, this level of commitment ultimately requires sacrifice. It requires a sacrifice of time, energy and money. There is always a price for success.
Successful entrepreneurs understand that sacrifices must be made in the short-term to reap long-term rewards. This is where a high level of commitment is absolutely paramount.
We must fully commit ourselves to the entrepreneurial journey. Fully commit to doing whatever it takes to bring our goals to fruition, even if that means making uncomfortable short-term sacrifices. In the end, it’s that unwavering commitment that will get us over the line.
While a high degree of commitment to the entrepreneurial journey is at the core of success, there are however seven key characteristics that can help accelerate progress along that entrepreneurial path. Let’s break them down one at a time.
A Customer Centric Approach
Successful entrepreneurs have a very customer centric approach toward running their business. Which essentially means that they are highly committed to the service of others.
Successful entrepreneurs fully understand their customer’s needs. They know what their customers need at every stage of the sales cycle. Moreover, they make it easy for their customers to do business with them.
They sell their customers on the transformational power of their product or service, then provide high value on the back-end — thereby turning customers into raving fans.
Successful entrepreneurs essentially go the extra mile to serve their customers by any means possible. And that is essentially what helps drive long-term growth and success.
A Zest for Knowledge
Successful entrepreneurs have a comprehensive understanding of their business, industry and ideal customer. They are fully committed to lifelong learning and therefore invest copious hours every week in their personal development.
Successful entrepreneurs make the time each week to upgrade their skills and educate themselves by reading books, attending seminars, and undertaking courses. They invest in developing their business acumen to help them make better and more educated business decisions.
However, collecting all these nuggets of gold doesn’t always happen in isolation. It rather happens in cooperation with other people.
Successful entrepreneurs are often involved in clubs, meetups, and organizations where they share their knowledge and experience, while also learning from others. They understand that learning from others can dramatically shorten their path to success.
In many instances, successful entrepreneurs also have mentors and coaches who help guide them along their journey. They use these people as support mechanisms that help provide them with the direction they need to make better business decisions moving forward.
A Driving Vision
Successful entrepreneurs are motivated every day by a compelling vision that drives them forward. They set big audacious goals that are geared toward giving them a competitive advantage. And this, of course, pushes them forward toward realizing their vision.
For most people, a vision is often something that’s far off in the distant future. But for successful entrepreneurs, their vision is part of everything they do and part of everything they are and embody. In fact, their vision is integrated into every goal they set and task they undertake. This helps them to stay focused and motivated in the short-term.
Given this, successful entrepreneurs understand the value of planning ahead. They realize that they need to be following a plan of action that helps them to accomplish their vision. But it’s not only about following a plan. It’s also about measuring progress. When we take the time to measure our progress, we are more readily able to make adjustments to remain on course when things get off track.
A Proactive Drive
Successful entrepreneurs are extremely proactive with driving their business forward. They proactively pursue prospects and leads to generate new sales. They proactively negotiate with suppliers to lower prices. They proactively network with other businesses to create joint venture opportunities. And they proactively reach out to their existing customers to increase purchase frequency and value.
Successful entrepreneurs never get too comfortable. They understand the importance of proactively improving things, changing direction, and expanding business opportunities. They are always on the move and working with a sense of purpose that drives them forward to new and better things each day.
An Opportunistic Nature
Successful entrepreneurs have an opportunistic nature. They don’t wait for opportunities to be handed to them, they instead proactively create opportunities for themselves.
They feel as though they don’t need to wait for the perfect moment to take action. They rather take action in the moment to make things happen on their terms. And when facing a problem, they are determined to turn it into an opportunity to move forward in a better way.
Successful entrepreneurs always think in terms of what’s the best way to capitalize on the problems they face. In their eyes, problems are only opportunities to make things better or to change direction in more optimal ways.
Successful entrepreneurs create these opportunities for themselves by seeking out joint ventures and referral opportunities. They create new business opportunities by getting involved in clubs, associations, and charities.
Successful entrepreneurs consistently promote themselves and their business. The act of promoting themselves exposes them to new groups of people with connections, knowledge, and skills that can help expand their business and generate more sales.
Successful entrepreneurs look for opportunities to do things a little differently. This helps them capture the attention of the media and stand out from the crowd.
They make the most of their skills, services, and products to help generate exponential value to those they serve. They understand that by giving, they will naturally open doors to new and unexpected opportunities that previously weren’t within their reach.
A Resilient Attitude
Successful entrepreneurs experience setbacks just like everybody else. However, for them, setback are only temporary conditions that can bring about positive outcomes if tackled in an optimal way.
Successful entrepreneurs experience their fair share of criticism, rejection, and failure. They go through intense fears and also make terrible and costly mistakes. However, these circumstances never phase them. They pick themselves up, learn from the experience, and just keep moving forward with more determination than every before.
Successful entrepreneurs understand that the vast majority of people will not believe in them, or in their vision. They’ve heard people tell them time and again that what they’re doing is impossible, and that failure is inevitable. But in such instances, what seems to deter them, only encourages them to work harder to prove people wrong.
The successful entrepreneur doesn’t believe in luck. They instead believe that they create their own luck, and therefore their own success. Good luck is simply a result of working harder and smarter than other people. It’s a result of working with more desire and desperation than your competitors. And it’s also about taking more chances that can help your business capitalize on unique opportunities that provide you with a competitive advantage.
And of course, successful entrepreneurs are extremely competitive. They have a competitive drive to achieve and overcome severe problems that would normally stop other people in their tracks. In many respects, they thrive under pressure and perform at peak levels when their backs are against the wall.
Most importantly, though, when facing adversity, successful entrepreneurs show a willingness to adapt to changing conditions and circumstances. They always move forward with the times and change their approach to meet consumer behavior and demands. This is the kind of resiliency that keeps propelling them forward to higher levels of achievement.
A Social Knack
A successful entrepreneur has a high degree of social intelligence. They understand the value of building relationships for mutual gain. It’s not only about driving their business forward, but also about helping others to fulfill their own goals and vision.
Given this, successful entrepreneurs spend a copious amount of time networking with other business owners and entrepreneurs. They understand how to negotiate mutually beneficial outcomes that help drive their business forward.
Successful entrepreneurs do however realize that as hard as they work, they simply cannot do everything themselves. They therefore also spend time building a team of motivated and inspired individuals who believe in their vision. They then effectively utilize their team’s skills, knowledge and expertise to drive that vision forward and achieve massive results for their clients, customers, and shareholders.
The journey down the entrepreneurial path, no doubt presents numerous challenges. Facing these difficulties, ain’t easy. Many will try, but very few will succeed in the long-run.
Taking the plunge down the entrepreneurial path, of course, can be incredibly rewarding. When it pays off, we get the opportunity to create the lifestyle we have always wanted. However, when it doesn’t pay off, we may very well end up facing terrible uncertainty and struggle. But how do we know? How do we know what path to take or what the future may bring?
I guess we never really know the answer to that question. All we have going for ourselves is “us”. YOU, hold all the answers within you. YOU are the only one who truly knows whether or not the entrepreneurial path is right for you.
If after reading this article you can acknowledge with certainty that you tick all the boxes and have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, then, by all means, take the plunge. And of course best of luck with your journey. You are after all the one who will be generating that luck.
However, if on the other hand, you feel that after reading this article you don’t quite have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, then that’s okay too. This path isn’t for everyone. But at the same time, you don’t necessarily need to give up your day job working for someone else to become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is something you can do on the side. Grow a side business while working on developing your mindset for success. In time, you may very well be ready to make the full plunge down the entrepreneurial path.
Time to Assimilate these Concepts
Did you gain value from this article? Is it important that you know and understand this topic? Would you like to optimize how you think about this topic? Would you like a method for applying these ideas to your life?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I’m confident you will gain tremendous value from using the accompanying IQ Matrix for coaching or self-coaching purposes. This mind map provides you with a quick visual overview of the article you just read. The branches, interlinking ideas, and images model how the brain thinks and processes information. It’s kind of like implanting a thought into your brain – an upgrade of sorts that optimizes how you think about these concepts and ideas. 🙂
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Gain More Knowledge…
Here are some additional links and resources that will help you learn more about this topic:
- 5 Steps You Must Take Before Becoming an Entrepreneur @ Entrepreneur
- 6 Fundamentals Every Entrepreneur Needs to Success @ Harvard Business Review
- 10 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs @ Investopedia
- 17 Ways to Know You Were Born to be an Entrepreneur @ Inc.
- 50 Habits that Prove You Were Born to be an Entrepreneur @ Entrepreneur
- How to Become an Entrepreneur in 12 Weeks: A Cast Study @ Forbes
- How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur with Zero Business Experience @ Inc.
- How You Can Succeed as an Entrepreneur @ Success
- Mark Cuban Highlights 11 Ways to Know You’re Meant to be an Entrepreneur @ Business Insider
- The Easiest Way to Succeed as an Entrepreneur @ James Altucher
- This is How You Know You’re NOT Meant to be an Entrepreneur @ Forbes