I believe that life is too short to be working on someone else’s dreams.
There is a certain glamour to running your own business – the feeling of being your own boss and being responsible for others’ livelihoods can give you the high which no other profession can.
Moreover, we all know at least one person who impulsively quit his/her high paying job to start something of their own – it is probably you too. Other people are often rendered awestruck, even shocked for this kind of ‘courage’ and ‘guts’.
However, you know more than anyone else the hard work that goes into it – it is practically like raising a child and demands more commitment than any other relationship you would have ever been in.
Being an entrepreneur requires a lot more than just ‘one great idea that can change the world’. There are certain characteristics that you are just born with, not something that can be taught.
If you too are at the helm of your own venture, then the qualities below will sound very familiar:
- Decision making comes easy
They say that a true entrepreneur is not a dreamer, rather a doer. I wholeheartedly agree because as the proud founder of many start-ups, I constantly have to make quick decisions and hope I did not make the wrong one.
Now I’m not saying that mistakes do not take place, they always do and will continue to happen. But as an entrepreneur, you end up learning, on how to quickly weigh the pros and cons of any situation, under any amount of pressure.
Depending on their personalities, different entrepreneurs approach the decision-making process differently; some go for a group consensus, others are driven by numbers and data, while others yet go purely with their gut. Nevertheless, they are quick to think on their feet, whatever be the method.
2. Bigger risk takers
Mark Zuckerberg once said, “In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
There is a fine line between being a maverick who constantly gambles and someone who plays it too safe. Without risk, there really is no fun in being a business owner. As entrepreneurs, we eventually learn to balance it out, taking carefully calculated risks.
My favourite example of risk from history would be of Henry Ford, when he slashed down the prices of the then Model T’s automobile, risking steep losses. Yet, it seemed to work in his favour and he managed to meet the market’s demand for the vehicle.
Another personal inspiration for me is Sir Richard Branson and I encourage budding start-ups to follow his mantra, “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”
3. Failure is just another stepping stone
Entrepreneurs learn to develop a rather thick skin to failure and rarely waste time in mourning about an opportunity that did not work out. They do learn from mistakes more easily than others, make quick recoveries and march ahead with a new approach in tow.
We have all probably heard and drawn inspiration of the failures of legendary entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Walt Disney, Arianna Huffington and several others. Trust me, there are many more just like you and me who have faced that too, but what sets us all apart is our ability to pick ourselves up, dust off and move on.
4. The constant thirst to prove something
Entrepreneurs know that they are special in a way that no job will ever be good enough for them. They are constantly looking at the world through a critical lens while planning how they can fix it.
They have this urge to always make it a point with their actions, to prove something, to make a statement. There is that relentless belief that they can make a difference and they will go to great lengths to do so.
5. Networking is second nature
An entrepreneur, no matter if he/she is a seasoned professional or just starting out, will always have an elevator pitch ready. It is a combination of ownership, enthusiasm and pride that enables constantly bring up their venture in conversations and scout for possible opportunities and associations.
Entrepreneurs are masters of the networking game. They are always seen at industry forums reaching out to investors, mentors and consumers, trying to establish as many relationships that can benefit their venture.
I would like to quote from an article in Forbes by fashion entrepreneur Autumn Adeigbo which said, “Have you heard of Kevin Bacon’s 6 degrees of separation? It’s a networking theory that all 7 billion humans in this world are separated by 6 degrees. Or there are 6 people between you knowing every other person on this planet. For a master networker, that degree is much smaller. I would venture to say for me personally it’s 2-3 degrees.”
In the perspective today’s changing world economics, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurships are becoming more and more important. They create jobs, add to national income, help in bringing social change and work towards community development.
Keeping this context in mind, I would like to encourage more and more people to start something of your own. It doesn’t matter if you have two years of experience or twenty or none at all. You could be a stay-at-home parent or in your first year of college.
If you have read this and smiled to yourself thinking, “This is so me,”, well, you know what to do next!