Should You Become an Entrepreneur? 3 Characteristics You Need

Jan 25, 2021

I’m asked this question the most by far, “should I become an entrepreneur”? Yet, it’s not a question for me to answer. It’s hard for someone on the outside to know what’s right for you.

What I believe is, ANYONE can start their own business.

It starts with desire.

You may already have this if you’re reading this. Then, create a business plan for a solid foundation.

  • learn the strengths and weaknesses of your market
  • understand if your business is viable.

But here’s where business plans fall short.

They fail to include the human element. The special qualities YOU bring to the table. The personality traits and attitudes that influence your methods.

Of the many successful entrepreneurs I’ve met, they all used these characteristics to their benefit:

  1. motivation
  2. risk tolerance
  3. how they dealt with challenges

These characteristics play a major role in your success as an entrepreneur.

The good news? If you’re lacking, you can always improve.


What is Your Why?

What’s behind your desire to start a business? What triggered you to pursue entrepreneurship? To navigate this avenue instead of a career?

There’s always a reason.

It could be something internal or external. It could be an event from the past or it could be something recent.

  • you’ve dreamed of this since childhood
  • you’ve reached the ceiling in your profession, but it’s not enough
  • you have a family situation, a layoff, or simply a desire for more

Why do you need to understand the reasons behind your desire?

  1. So you choose a business capable of fulfilling those reasons.
  2. For the motivation required to keep moving forward

If you don’t know your why, your motivation won’t be strong enough. And you won’t last.

Let’s say your motivation is to be successful right out of the gate. Sure, it happens, but for most it doesn’t. Then what? What reason do you have to continue?

When you have a deep why, you’re filled with purpose.

You believe in yourself. You know you’re on the right path, heading in the right direction. You’re motivated to fulfill your purpose.

And that knowledge drives you.


3 Drivers of Entrepreneurial Success

  1. Your why drives you to work hard.
    1. You’re measured by your results. Responsible for your own success. You’re willing to do what’s required to reach your goals.
  2. Your why drives you to be consistent.
    1. To show up every day and put in the effort. Taking steps to generate results, even when your progress seems slower than expected.
  3. Your why drives you to be persistent.
    1. To keep going in the face of challenges. To learn from your mistakes and work smarter.

Without a deep, powerful why you won’t have the motivation to succeed.


What’s Your Risk Tolerance?

Becoming an entrepreneur always involves some kind of risk. But most entrepreneurs feel that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Every business needs a certain level of investment.

  • your time and energy
  • financial investment

But, there’s no guarantee of success. We can’t predict the future. Markets fluctuate. Technologies change. Pandemics happen. 

Understanding your ability to take risks is crucial.

Entrepreneurship isn’t right for everyone. Especially if you prefer safe options and a secure future.

You may have a low-level tolerance for risk.

You may feel more comfortable as a sole operator of a consulting or freelance business. Even with this minimal risk, it’s still possible to lose your investment.

With higher risk tolerances come the potential for higher returns.

Understand, high risk tolerance doesn’t mean stupidity.

It’s not that you’re fearless, running around taking every risk out there. High risk tolerance means that you do your homework. You test it. Work out the kinks. Manage your level of risk.

You only take calculated risks.

And you build flexibility into your plan to give yourself the best chance of success. 

You need to know your risk tolerance before starting out. High risk situations affect your emotions and can cloud your judgement. Causing serious and expensive mistakes.   

Just know, you can increase your tolerance. Do more research. Learn all you can about the business and the industry. Know your options and all the risks involved.

Then if situations present themselves, you’re not afraid to take on more risk if necessary.


How Do You Handle Challenges?

No matter who you are or what you do, you’re going to face challenges.

Too often we see them as something negative. An attack on our comfort zone. A sign we did something wrong. That we failed in some way.

Instead of facing challenges head on, we try to avoid them.

This holds true in business as well. Many encounter challenges and think “why did this happen?” Challenges make us crazy.

If you’re willing to accept the truth that there will always be challenges, your mindset shifts. You learn to:

  • embrace them
  • see challenges as an opportunity to gain insight about your business
  • innovate your business and open doors to new possibilities.

Challenges are your friends.

They push you to become a better version of yourself. Allow you to grow. Propel you to the next level.

When challenges happen, try to see them through the lens of these questions:

  1. why is this challenge happening now?
  2. what am I supposed to learn?
  3. how can I achieve my goal despite this challenge?

Look at challenges as learning lessons. Apply those lessons to create a better, more successful business.


Are You Ready to Become a Successful Entrepreneur?

No one goes into business planning to fail. Failure mostly has more to do with an inability to prepare properly.

But that’s only part of it. 

Motivation, risk and challenges are part of your everyday business life. Give yourself a better chance of success by managing them well.

Ups and downs are part of the journey. Your willingness to improve your approach leads to a more enjoyable ride.

I’m a huge advocate for finding your passion. To figure what you’re meant to be doing, so you can do what you love and sustain yourself for the long term.

If you need help uncovering your deep why, Life Compass has the resources to guide you. You can access them here.

Tell me which characteristic you have the most trouble with and why. I’d love to hear your perspective.