Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Silicon Valley has created many billionaires – so it’s no wonder so many people dream of being entrepreneurs. But is entrepreneurship really the right thing for you?
Entrepreneurship is not easy. Let me make that clear. It isn’t always glamorous. Think of it this way: if entrepreneurship was simple, risk-free and just a barrel of laughs, wouldn’t everybody be doing it?
Do you accept, or even enjoy failure (after failure after failure)?
One of the major aspects of entrepreneurship is failure. You will be knocked back. You will be let down. Day after day, it will be one rejection after another. That is, until you gain acceptance (which might never, ever happen.)
That journey could take literally decades. There is no such thing as an overnight success. Entrepreneurship is a very risky and often sole-destroying lifestyle. So to be totally upfront, don’t become an entrepreneur if you take failure personally and struggle to recover from it.
However, if you’re the type of person that finds it east to pick yourself up and dust off, grit your teeth and try again, then you have a chance of making it.
Do you have a Transformational Purpose?
Becoming an entrepreneur purely to become filthy rich rarely produces the results. Entrepreneurs are Transformational Leaders with a Transformational Purpose. That purpose must be powerful, personal and front of mind – the first thing that’s thought about in the morning, and the last thing at night. Those who focus purely on the financial prize have found that it isn’t enough to create the motivation and energy to keep going, no matter what. If you don’t have a Transformational Purpose then you might want to think again about becoming an entrepreneur.
Matt Redhawk’s transformational purpose is to help families to become self-sufficient and to take control of their own destinies. Yours might be to ensure that no person, anywhere in the world, goes without clean water. Whatever it is, it should be a grand vision on a national (or even global) scale.
Can you pivot and adapt easily?
Entrepreneurship is rarely a linear path. Your plans and your product launch/strategies will no doubt meander as you learn and navigate the minefield of raising finance and soliciting support from distributors. You can’t be wedded to a single plan. Instead, entrepreneurs must be flexible enough to evolve their plans to accommodate changing conditions, competitors and market conditions. Those that are focused on the outcomes, and constantly remind themselves of why they’re still going, are more likely to succeed as entrepreneurs.
Derek Farrar, the founder of Parker New York summed it up: The best advice I ever got… “Never stop evolving.”
You need lots of good friends, and can you cope with loneliness?
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely place. You’ve got to take risks and sometimes stand alone. It’s a lifestyle that requires travel, long and unsociable hours, and undeterrable grit. How do you cope with loneliness?
For many, the antidote to loneliness is friendship – having a network of people who are reliable, that can provide a lifeline of support, or even be a shoulder to cry on. It’s not just about the hugs and invites for dinner-parties though. Having a strong group of friends gives an entrepreneur access to potential business partners, associates or referred business.
Entrepreneurs are rarely people who isolate themselves! If you don’t have a wide circle of friends and are not a natural networker, then this lifestyle might not be for you. You might start off strongly, but without a group of friends you can turn to when the inevitable knock-backs and crises arise, it will be a very tough, lonely place to be.
If, however, you have a great circle of friends that provide you with a diverse, solid platform to share, discuss and get feedback on your ideas and strategies, then you’re in great shape to become a successful entrepreneur.