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Are we ready to be an entrepreneur?

Posted at — Feb 25, 2019 by Abishek Muthian

We explored why does one become an entrepreneur, now we will see what does it take for one to be an entrepreneur.

Sacrifices

Sacrifice not just from us, but from our family & friends as well. Running a business successfully is extremely hard & demanding. Very few entrepreneurs have work-life balance & I doubt whether it is even possible during initial years of entrepreneurship.

We are likely to sacrifice our personal income, relationships with our family & friends, hobbies & more importantly our health during our life as an entrepreneur.

Persistence

We are more likely to fail, than succeed with our business. Yet the persistence & grit to learn from our failure & to keep going against all odds is a key requirement for being an entrepreneur. Startup success stories have always been associated with entrepreneurs who have been persistent in their mission.

Another term for Persistence would be Grit,

Angela Duckworth, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania calls Grit as Deliberate Practice.

There is a fluency and an ease with which true mastery and expertise always expresses itself whether be it in writing, in a mathematical proof.

-Angela Duckworth

At the same time Grit can have its downside as well, says Gale Lucas, Research Assistant Professor, Institute for Creative Technologies at University of Southern California.

Sometimes people with high grit may not do the logical, rational things because their grit compels them to keep going.

-Gale Lucas

This means as an Entrepreneur, we should be able to balance Grit with Rationality.

Being good around people

Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux kernel had acknowledged that he was not good at interacting with people. I would like to assume, that it was one of the reasons he didn't become an entrepreneur; though the likelihood of  him featured in the top 10 richest people in the world is high if he had commercialised his creation; but it has turned out to be a boon to the computing industry that he didn't.

Only if we are good around people we would be able to inspire them to work along with us towards a common goal also known as forming a team. All successful entrepreneurs agree that forming the right team is the key to the success. We will see at length on forming a team in the future.

Skills

It is not mandatory to have all the necessary skills to be a successful entrepreneur before starting to be an entrepreneur, but it is necessary that we are willing to learn new skills to succeed as an entrepreneur as we become an entrepreneur.

How fast an entrepreneur learns new skills & apply them, is an important measure used by top accelerators backed by leading venture capitalists.

Ideology

I cannot say which ideology is best for being an entrepreneur, but I can say that if we despise capitalism then we might face some conflict of ideology. I will repeat throughout this series, a business which doesn't make money is just a hobby. So, we are in this to generate profit.

Our idea of entrepreneurship might be to create means to support greater good, which is noble & aligns with many other entrepreneurs as well. As Jack Welch puts it , "business leaders must focus on production and profit because,"

You can't feed the world from an empty basket

-Jack Welch

To conclude,

If we are ready to sacrifice our current lifestyle, have a means to survive without a regular income, an understanding family, friends who turn up when we need them; even if we don't speak to them, persistence to see clearly; the ways to achieve the vision beyond the hurdles, being good with people around us, the ability to learn new skills; apply them, ideologically not opposed to making profit; then we are ready to be an entrepreneur.

Change log

December 2019: Added Grit.