Sounds perfect, right? Not so fast. Like many things in life, just because we CAN do something doesn’t mean we SHOULD. Last week we talked about the essential traits entrepreneurs need. This week we’ll look at four things that indicate entrepreneurship isn’t for you.
Not a risk-taker. As you might guess, being willing to take risks is essential to successful entrepreneurship. What you might not know is that you have to balance it with a healthy respect for the potential drawbacks, problems and obstacles. Stories you hear often focuses on the “full speed ahead” entrepreneurial mindset, but you have to be able and willing to do the less-exciting due diligence to increase the odds for success. It’s a fine line to walk. Being too impulsive, not doing thorough prep work, risks your chances of success. On the other hand, concentrating too much on potential problems can consume too much time, causing you to miss opportunities. And, as you know, if you are completely risk-averse, entrepreneurship is not for you.
Can’t balance creativity AND perseverance. You may have a great idea—or several—but if you lose focus and get bored, you won’t be successful. Many creative people fall into this category. They have one idea right after another, but fail to stick it out and bring them to completion. You need to balance creative ideas with sticking to seeing them through to be a successful entrepreneur.
Doesn’t play well with others. The images of creative geniuses we see in the media often appear to be driven, hyper-focused, and completely self-motivated. If they have team support, everyone seems to forgive them their lack of basic people skills. I always think of Sheldon on the popular sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. He might be fun to watch, but I suspect Sheldon in the real world would be a very lonely person. In reality, entrepreneurs need to be able to effectively interact with others, build motivated and high-performing teams, negotiate win-win solutions to conflict, and inspire others to achieve goals. Entrepreneurs need both strong, focused ambition and team-building people skills to be successful.
Blind to success-hindering tendencies. Often, people don’t realize that they have traits that could hamper success. Some of them include defensiveness, bluntness, impulsiveness, authoritarianism, and close-mindedness. Research has shown these traits to prevent success if they are extreme. Using an assessment tool can give an objective view of any tendencies that hopeful entrepreneurs might need to work on.
While these indicators can give you an idea of whether you’re entrepreneur material, nothing is a deal breaker if you’re willing to work on areas where you may fall short. Remember that we are all capable of change, if the pay-off is great enough. Change starts with knowing what we need to work on, deciding if we want to do it, and getting started with a plan to make the changes.
To find out more about traits that can make or break entrepreneurs, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how you can find out about the traits you need to succeed.