Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. - Winston ChurchillIts like every body wants to be an entrepreneur. Do you? If so, then it begs the question: do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
The anatomy of an entrepreneur is not very different from our own. Deep inside, we are all the same. We cry, we laugh. We love, and sometimes, just a little, we hate. We have our fears. We have our motivations.
So, what differentiates between us, the guys who go to our graves with our dreams intact, and the other lot, which does everything to live their dreams in the here and now. And make a difference too.
Before we look at the quintessential entrepreneur, let us at least have an understanding of who an entrepreneur is:
“Someone who can define the business they want to create, see where it is going, and do the work to get there.” - Mark Cuban.Easy, right?
For you to be described as an entrepreneur you must on the very minimum exhibit these traits:
- Be a risk taker - It is not possible to start anything without having the ability to take risks. When you are just setting out, you are literally walking into an unfamiliar territory. Things might go wrong. They might go right. You may fail. You may succeed. There is just no way of telling for sure! And even when you are established and you want to expand, launch a new product or hire staff - its all about taking risks. As Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s would put it, “If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.”
- Ability to let go - things will go wrong. Once. Twice. Thrice. So many times that you would loose count. In this crucible, the real are differentiated from the fake! Since entrepreneurship is about taking risks, chances are that you will fail several times before your success light bulb goes off. Henry Ford tells us this: "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
- You are great at execution - We all have dreams. We all think we have the greatest idea ever. We all think that we are the disruptors the world has been waiting for. But, we are not all entrepreneurs. Why? Not all of us have the guts to work on those dreams and ideas by transforming thought into action. Wishful thinking does not augur well for entrepreneurship. You must be able to walk the talk. As Guy Kawasaki would put it, “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.”
- Unquenchable thirst of knowledge - If you think you know it all, that your dreams and ideas, in and of themselves, are sufficient, find something else to do! Entrepreneurs rummage for knowledge wherever it hides - in libraries, on the internet, in the experiences of other people, in ordinary conversations, just anywhere. Here is how to become great again, from the Donald (Trump) himself: “Watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself. Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.”
- You are passionate about your ideas - No one succeeds at anything unless they are totally committed to it. And nowhere else is this truer than in entrepreneurship. You can not just succeed because you came up with a great idea. You have to believe it. You have to live it. And not just on the day you launch but every other day. You can post this on Facebook: “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” - Mark Zuckerberg
- Greater purpose - so you have a great idea. You are passionate. You are good at letting go. No one beats you at execution. Is this all? If the underlying purpose of your project is not greater than yourself, you are doomed for failure. There is just no other way of putting it. Inscribe this on your heart: “There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” - Phil Libin