Evaluating Your Capacity To Become An Entrepreneur;
"JUST DO IT”, is not merely a slogan that propelled NIKE's sales in the late eighties.
It is also a mantra that "founders to be" meditate on while building their courage to take the giant leap into business ownership. As much as courage is needed to hop onto the cyclone of a Start-Up, preparation, self-evaluation and planning are also fundamental for the survival of the business and most importantly of the business owner. Founding a Start-Up is an extraordinary journey that contains both joyful and painful experiences. Elon Musk quoted a colleague describing starting a business, as “eating glass while staring into the abyss”. That picture could not be more descriptive of how every start-up entrepreneur will feel, at one point or another, on their journey.
Here are some self-evaluation points that might help you define your aptitude for entrepreneurship.
Reflect calmly on the list below and think of situations you’ve experienced, that would apply to each item. Evaluate how that situation made you feel, and how willing you are to relive similar situations, regularly.
1. Patience to handle both Boredom and Intensity;
The first weeks or months of starting your business might be boring as Hell. You could wait for days to get responses from customers and suppliers. No one knows you yet and it takes a painfully long time to build credentials and get your name out. But the moment things get rolling, and your business picks up, it’s nothing short of the scariest roller coaster ride of emotions. Deadlines that are met at the last minute, customers that are too demanding, suppliers that ship you the wrong order, and a whole circus of frenzy. In the middle of all that, will be you (and you alone, if you are the only founder) to orchestrate this chaotic raucous into a smooth symphony. Patience is the virtue that will allow you to handle those adverse stages.
2. Physical and Mental Resilience;
As the intensity of running the business and dealing with its issues builds up, time invested on its operations will increase. Your workdays will be no less than 14 hours, and your weeks somewhere between 6-7 days. Your physical endurance must sustain these long hours of labor. Those hours will hopefully get you to attain your objective. But, there is a possibility that they won’t result in positive outcome every time. In those instances, your morale and motivation should remain unshaken. That’s where mental resilience is essential. If you crash physically or give up easily, it will be challenging to maintain a healthy running business.
It requires energy and tenacity to reach an optimal outcome.
3. Human Relation Skills;
You might be a founding partner or a sole proprietor. Either scenario requires a lot of human interactions; customers, suppliers, contributors, advisors and your beloved competitors. Yes, as much as there may be animosity between you and your competitors, you will have to be pleasant and agreeable when you cross them at industry events and common surroundings. While it's easy to stay away from office colleagues that you don't get along with, you will not have that luxury as a business owner. Most of the time, you will have no alternative to dealing with people that you are not compatible with. Yet, you will need to communicate with them daily, negotiate deals and settle disagreements, in a professional and amiable manner. Therefore, there is just no way around it, if you are not a people person, it is imperative to your business' survival that you associate with one.
4. Performance under Pressure;
Performing under pressure is so much more than making decisions. It is also doing the day to day work. While making decisions under pressure is quite difficult to some, being able to focus on the minute details of a project, with customers calling incessantly, and delivery dates approaching, is excruciating.
It is a skill that is acquired moslty through experience, but if you are already skilled at it as you start your business, you will have a better chance to run you operations smoothly.
If reading this discourages you, then you might need to wait before starting your business adventure. On the other hand, if you know you do not master most of these aptitudes, but your objective is more powerful than your shortcomings, then congratulations! You have the ultimate skill to be an entrepreneur, which is our number 5:
5. Motivation! You will continuously need to build up your skills as you grow your business. Motivation will get you to overcome every challenge willingly. You will work twice as hard to attain deadline, learn new techniques, and deal with the hardest situations. You will be fearless to make mistakes and learn from them proudly. Motivation is your tool to keep you moving forward.
There are always solutions to every problem, as long as you have clarity of the obstacles to overcome, and you are ready to face challenges with enthusiasm, optimism and logic.
Some of the ways to prepare ahead, is to acquire skills you lack and practice getting better at them, prior to starting the business. You can also complement your competences with a partner or associate who masters the ones you are lacking. If partnership is not a route you’re willing to take, you can resort to the assistance of advisors, mentors or consultants that would help you get started and grow your business, before hiring full time experts.
Owning a business is a serious responsibility, so give it your all and make the most of it.