Let’s just start out by saying that wanting to make a ton of money, set your own hours or be your own boss is not a sign that you will be a successful entrepreneur. It takes more than that. Sure, those factors may contribute to the excitement of owning your own gig, but they don’t determine whether or not entrepreneurship is right for you.
So, what does?
Passion and Persistence
The startup phase is stressful. It takes grit and commitment to chase down those doubts that whisper “you’re not going to make it.” So ask yourself: Will the enthusiasm that got you going fade when the hours are long and the profits are lean? Will the passion you have for your product or service suffer when the going gets tough?
It’s OK if you honestly answer “I’m not sure” because there’s a way to test yourself and find out. When making the transition into entrepreneurship, start out as an independent consultant for a successful business. For example, start a direct sales business with Amway, a worldwide leader in health and beauty products. Six months into the experience you’ll know whether you have the courage and sales chops to keep going, whether it’s working for them or for yourself.
Entrepreneurs are competitive with others and with themselves. They don’t take no for an answer and they are unwilling to lose.
Have you heard of the Bucket List Family? Garrett and Jessica Gee have taken the internet by storm with videos and posts of their worldwide travels, all while towing two kids along with them. The backstory to this family goes like this: In 2011, while attending college at Brigham Young University, Garrett downloaded a barcode scanning app and hated it. He tried another and hated it. His next thought was the entrepreneur motto: “Anything you can do I can do better.” Garrett told himself he could design a scanning app that was better than the rest, and he did. About $54 million later (the price tag of the sell of the app to Snapchat), he and his family are now location independent as he continues to design more apps.
According to entrepreneur Daniel Isenberg, there is a gut level fit for people who are potential entrepreneurs. Are you good at juggling multiple responsibilities, making decisions, avoiding burnout? As a Harvard professor, Isenberg has developed a two-minute test to help people determine whether or not they should take the plunge. Simply answer “yes” or “no” to 20 questions such as:
- I like a challenge
- I like winning
- I seek out better ways to complete tasks
- I question conventional wisdom
Answer “yes” to 17 or more of the questions, and Isenberg suggests it might be time to do some research and soul searching. Start by talking to entrepreneurs and collect as much information as you can. You want to learn from their success and failures. Then, sit down and make your decision. If you have some money in the bank, several credit cards and a great support system, it might be time to go for it.