Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs…
These names are synonymous with the word entrepreneur.
But who (or what) is an entrepreneur really? And how can you tell if you are one, or if you have what it takes to become one?
For starters, a moment of truth: If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re probably not reading a blog post wondering if you are because you’re too damn busy running your own business. On the up side, if you are reading this, you’re likely on your way to greater entrepreneurial glory because you’re eager to soak up every nugget of actionable info available to you.
Pro tip: having a profound interest in learning and growing is one surefire trait of an entrepreneur. In his autobiography Like a Virgin, Richard Branson writes “Entrepreneurs are innately curious people.” So, congrats, you’re well on your way!
[bctt tweet="'Entrepreneurs are innately curious people.' - Richard Branson #quoteoftheday" username="hostgator"]
Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
Like many of life’s challenging topics (trust, love, success…) entrepreneurship is a subjective concept.
The word entrepreneur is vaguely defined by Merriam-Webster as a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money. So, is an entrepreneur someone who opens a taco stand and then cliff dives to earn a few bucks? Clearly not.
Entrepreneurship shouldn’t be shrouded in mystery. In fact, entrepreneurs are positioned to be the real truth-seekers; the rule-breakers who defy the odds of the status quo to advance their mission, service, and product to deliver solutions. Think you fit this bill? If you match these traits, you’re moving in the right direction.
1. You’re a master of balance.
In a recent small business poll, an overwhelming percentage of business owners believe that the strongest entrepreneur is a well-rounded jack-of-all-trades.
Entrepreneurs wear countless hats -- they’re marketers, accountants, customer service reps, and sales teams all wrapped up into a single person who achieve balance in moments of uncertainty and straight up chaos.
2. You know how to work hard to create opportunity.
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs (Andrew Carnegie, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey) built their empires on little more than the grit and know-how to create opportunities where most overlooked. Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck, more recently known for his motivational rants and Snapchats promises that there are no business short cuts. “If you want results,” he says, “put in the work.”
3. You’re passionate about what you’re doing.
You must care deeply about what you’re doing because you’re going to be living and breathing it. All. The. Time.
Being an entrepreneur is no 9 to 5 gig; it’s a full-time lifestyle where you are your own brand. While risky, the good news is that according to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” So far, so good for him.
In the 2015 film Steve Jobs, Jobs is portrayed as an isolationist who’s quoted as saying “I’m indifferent to whether or not people like me” while Richard Branson speaks at length about solid communication and the power of teamwork.
At the end of the (work) day -- likely more than 14 hours long for the entrepreneurial-minded -- there’s no right or wrong way to be an entrepreneur. While certain personality traits may be more common in entrepreneurs than others, there’s no guidebook on how to be an entrepreneur, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
[bctt tweet="A typical entrepreneur's work day may be as long as 14 hours. #startups #whatittakes" username="hostgator"]
What do you think it means to be an entrepreneur? Have any favorite entrepreneurial role models? Leave a comment! We’re always listening.