How Do I Know If Entrepreneurship Is Right for Me?

Make your own decisions. Set your own schedule. Play by your own rules. The freedom of entrepreneurship appeals to many. It’s no surprise then that every year many people heed that call and set up shop as an entrepreneur. Yet more than 50% of small businesses don’t last more than five years.

How do you know if your new business will be one of the ones that survive? Well, you don’t. But you can evaluate whether you personally have the essential qualities that all successful entrepreneurs need to have. Otherwise you are probably dooming your business to failure before you even start it.

To be a good entrepreneur, make sure that your passion and your products are in alignment.

Entrepreneurship may be right for you if:

  • You can keep yourself motivated. Sure, as an entrepreneur you don’t have a boss telling you to get back to work or to stop checking your Facebook page, but if you can’t manage to buckle down enough to deliver the goods, then your business doesn’t stand a chance and you’re wasting your own time. Being an entrepreneur inevitably means being your own boss and telling yourself to get back to work.
  • You have money or you can get your hands on it. New businesses need money to get up and running and they always need more than think. Even if you believe that you need nothing more than a computer to get started, this is wrong. You’ll need at least a computer, an Internet connection, a logo, a website, a business license, and probably a phone, a printer, computer paper, a handful of pens, a new coffee mug… You get the idea. Many businesses are initially started with personal funds and if you have some money saved up, then great – you can start out ahead of the game. Otherwise you will need to know someone who will lend you money – whether that someone is a bank, a venture capital firm, an angel investor, or a rich aunt. 
  • You are genuinely enthusiastic about your business and the products and services you will be selling. When you’re just starting out this is absolutely key because if you’re not a believer in your own business and what you’re selling, then why should anyone else be? To be a good entrepreneur, make sure that your passion and your products are in alignment.
  • You have a thick skin, or can get one. You may have invented the greatest product known to man (see previous point above) and think that everyone should rush out to buy it right away, but the truth is that not everyone will think so and some people can be very loud and rude about it. You need to be prepared for that rejection. Taking that one step further, you need to be prepared for nasty customers. You may have done a great job, but some customers are never satisfied. Just don’t let that ruin your day. Entrepreneurs need to understand that you can’t please all the people all the time. It’s just not possible but don’t let that get you down.
  • You know that failing isn’t the end of the world. Really, it isn’t. If you think it is, then you have no business being an entrepreneur and should plan on sticking to your steady job. Being an entrepreneur is inevitably fraught with risk; businesses have ups and downs, and sometimes even go bust. But some of the best entrepreneurs had a business or two or even more fail before they latched onto something that brought them their wild success. Everyone wants to succeed, of course, but sometimes failure is nothing more than the run up to a great success.