As someone who meets and speaks about entrepreneurs regularly, there is one sentence I hate hearing and that sentence is “I want to be an entrepreneur.”
A person who says that sentence is most likely to fail at entrepreneurship. You cannot want to be an entrepreneur. You either are or you aren’t. And if you are an entrepreneur, you can’t work a regular job because you need to be creating and building, not working behind a computer.
So, how do you know if you’re an entrepreneur or not? Here are 5 signs that you might be an entrepreneur.
You’re willing to work hard without getting paid.
This point is so important, hence it being first on the list. Too many people read tech news and assume that starting a company means raising monster rounds of financing and ultimately buying yourself your dream Lamborghini.
Unless you’ve already been down the entrepreneurial path, you probably don’t know what it entails and just how hard it is.
I know of many entrepreneurs who have been building their company for years, have failed to raise capital, and are still dedicated to success without any income to support their family.
I have to be honest, I don’t know how they do it. But if you’re so dedicated to your mission that you’re willing to take loans to make sure you have food on the table, there’s a good chance you are resilient enough to be an entrepreneur.
When you fail, you celebrate.
No one likes to fail, right? Wrong. A good entrepreneur celebrates failure because they can learn from that experience and leverage those lessons to do better next time.
The journey to building a successful company is full of failures, whether it is on the execution side, raising capital, going to market, or many other parts of the process.
Anyone who thinks that they’ll just build the company and achieve success without failures along the way has never been an entrepreneur and probably will never be one.
The more competition you have, the happier you are.
This is yet another very counter intuitive part of being a successful entrepreneur. If you’re opening a pizza shop and someone opens another one next door, chances are, you will be upset or at least, worried.
However, when building a company, especially a technology company, competition should be celebrated. If another company is trying to solve the same problem as you, that means that the problem is a real one and there is demand for a solution.
If you are alone in your landscape and there is no other company addressing your market, that is a real red flag for anyone who is going to engage with the company whether it is an investor, a potential partner, or anyone else.
The word ‘Impossible’ gets you excited.
When you tell a regular person that something is impossible to do, they move on to the next thing. When you tell an entrepreneur that something is impossible, they will respond “Hold my beer.”
Every service you use today was once deemed impossible. Do you think that when the founder of Uber pitched investors that they thought it was possible to change laws and build a successful company by turning all drivers into taxi drivers? They didn’t.
A good entrepreneur is actually motivated by the words “That is impossible.” A good entrepreneur makes the impossible possible.
When you hear of a problem, instead of complaining, you aim to solve it.
We all experience challenges in our lives, some bigger than others. Most people, when faced with adversity might complain and enter victim mode.
A good entrepreneur, when facing a challenge, focuses on how to build a product that will help overcome that challenge.
A newbie entrepreneur focuses on their solution. A seasoned entrepreneur obsesses over the problem they are trying to solve.
Before pitching your solution to an investor, focus on the problem, the pain point, and how many people around the world have that same problem.
Once you’ve established that the problem is significant and widespread, then, and only then should you focus on your solution.
It has been said that entrepreneurs are wired differently than most people and I believe that to be the case because if you examine the behavior of an entrepreneur without context, good chance you’d be confused and even dismissive.
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