Becoming an Entrepreneur
Ever wonder if you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur? Well, you have come to the right place because we are going to pick the brain of my husband, Eric, who is a seasoned small business owner. He has over 31 years of small business experience and we are going to look at 10 qualities every entrepreneur should possess.
Eric’s entrepreneur journey began at the young age of sixteen when his parents helped him purchase a lawn mowing business complete with truck, trailer, and mowers. These early business years helped him excel at accounting and gain an understanding of revenue, expenses, and profits. Saving also became a learned attribute and helped him purchase a 1.5 acre piece of land. By age 21, he built the sweetest little ranch house which would later became our first home together.
That mowing business has long since been sold and Eric’s business vision grew into other pursuits. Along the way he obtained a BA in accounting, joined his dad in a successful excavating business, owned and operated an accounting office for 13 years and later joined business partners in purchasing a rental property and trucking company. His most recent venture has been working with family to start a soccer complex. (Read all about that in an earlier post HERE.)
Below are Eric’s top 10 qualities every entrepreneur should possess. He has found these things to ring true, not only in his own experience but also from years of counseling many other business owners as their accountant. So let’s dive in and see if you have what it takes to build your own business from ground up!
Ten Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur
1. Financial Wisdom
As we compiled our list, Eric emphatically said, “This should be number one!” A successful business owner needs to know when to save and when to spend. He explained it isn’t as simple as “spend money to make money.” As a business person you need to be money wise, knowing when to spend and when to save depending on the type and size of the business you plan to build. But all too often, business owners invest large amounts of money right out of the gate before their business is even producing revenue. This can create great financial strain on your startup.
You will fail at some aspect of your business. That’s a fact. Can you pick yourself up and learn from your mistake? If you can, you will mature as a business person and likely grow a better product or business.
3. Willingness to take risks
“No risk, no reward,” as the old saying goes. If you prefer the security of working for someone else, clocking in and out, and being guaranteed a set paycheck every week, well, being an entrepreneur might not be for you. Being an entrepreneur requires the ability to step out into the unknown.
Knowing what you are amazing at and knowing what areas you are weakest in, is important. Having people around you who will speak truthfully and help you grow is priceless. Incorporating people on your team that have the courage to speak truthfully will help you and your business grow. Have you ever run into someone who is totally NOT self-aware? You just want to run in the other direction! Don’t be that guy or gal!
5. Follow Through
Do you follow through on your ideas? Even when the road gets tough, you can’t be a quitter. Because I guarantee the road is going to get tough! Are you determined enough to figure it out and make your product or service a reality?
6. Love of Learning
Technology, product demand, and so many other aspects of business are constantly changing. Your business needs to grow and change with the times or it will die. As a business person you will need to grow and change too. It is imperative to invest in continued learning experiences like classes, conferences, webinars, or even connecting with a mentor who will help you build a rockin’ business.
7. The Ability to Pivot
Eric and I laughed at number 7, remembering the Friends episode where Ross, Joey, and Chandler tried to get the sofa up the narrow stairwell. Can’t you just hear Ross yelling, “PIV-OT”. LOL 😂. But in all seriousness, when circumstances demand a new course you need to be able to navigate uncharted waters and make difficult decisions sometimes changing directions from your original plan. The reality is, things don’t always go as planned. Can you come up with new ideas and plans of action?
8. Good with People.
Business is all about the client. People want to hire the person who will solve their issue: the mechanic fixes your broken car, the tech guy solves your computer glitch, the life coach helps you overcome a personal hurdle, and the carpenter builds your dream home. Can you empathize with the people you are serving. Are you driven to help them solve their need and can you communicate that service in a kind, respectful manner? Face it, who wants to hire the grouchy plumber, or disrespectful doctor? No one! Big SEE YA LATER… I will find someone else to do the job!
9. Hard Working
We personally have not met too many lazy AND successful business people. I am sure they exist somewhere…there always seems to be an exception to the rule 🤷♀️. But 99% of the time the truly successful businesses are run by hard working business men and women. I am not encouraging you to become a workaholic but success in our opinion is a well balanced work/family life. No business is worth the price of your family. That said, however, running a business means you will need to put in a lot of hard work. Over time the hard work you invest will pay you back in growth, clients, and income.
Are you able to be your own boss? Transitioning away from a work world where some else tells you what to do might sound like heaven to some of us. However, a lot of people need the pressure of a supervisor or a project deadline to motivate them to complete their tasks. When you are your own boss, it is up to you to get it done or leave it for another day, and procrastination can be the death of your business.
Want a fun way to see if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Take our quiz and see your results.
Want more info on becoming an entrepreneur? Check out Entrepreneur.com’s article 5 Signs You Have What it Takes to Be an Entrepreneur.