Do You Have What it Takes to Be an Entrepreneur?

mocha momentsWho has the most talent for building and sustaining a business?

How can we find these people who are so crucial to the future of our economy?

What are the personality characteristics and behaviors that lead to business building success?

These are valid questions because we’ve all heard the challenges small and mid-size companies face with regard to growth:

  • 40% of startups shut down within the first 3 years.
  • 50% of startups don’t make it past 5 years.
  • Only about 4 in 10,000 startups become large enterprises of $100 million or more in revenue.

Even in the face of these dismal odds, many gainfully employed folks, dream of owning their businesses someday. Those more comfortable with risk-taking branch out to pursue their dream and end up proving the stats right.

Who wants to be an entrepreneur? It seems that everyone does! According to Predictive Success, a privately held international consulting so-you-want-to-be-an-entrepreneur_large (2)company, “Entrepreneurs are the role models and heroes of modern day society. Moreover, current economic conditions will inevitably see increasing numbers of entrepreneurs.”

Many people go into business for themselves because they figure they could do a much better job at producing the product or providing the service than their current boss can. Some people have an innovative idea that they think is worth going out on a limb for and putting their money where their mouth is. Others are just fed up of being in a job and going into business for themselves seems a worthwhile and viable alternative.

The reality however is that not everyone is suited to entrepreneurship even though what they are proposing is innovative.

In his book “The Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder” written with Sangeeta Bharadwaj Badal, Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup says “Innovation is essential, and we need it. But the real magic starts with entrepreneurs – with people who are born with the rare gift to build successful businesses. An innovation has no value until an ambitious entrepreneur builds a business model around it and turns it into a product or service that customers will buy. If you can’t turn an innovative idea into something that creates a customer, it’s worthless.”

According to the research, nature trumps nurture as far as entrepreneurship goes. Entrepreneurs are born, they learn to use their innate talents, and then they succeed. The ones who become superstars are the ones who had innate talent and were able to make the most of that talent.

Gallup’s scientific approach to studying success reveals that top performers in any role exhibit similar talents — recurring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior that naturally equip them to excel in a role. In the realm of entrepreneurship, Gallup discovered 10 talents that highly successful entrepreneurs possess:

BUSINESS FOCUS: You make decisions based on observed or anticipated effect on profit.

CONFIDENCE: You accurately know yourself and understand others.

CREATIVE THINKER: You exhibit creativity in taking an existing idea or product and turning it into something better.

DELEGATOR: You recognize that you cannot do everything and are willing to contemplate a shift in style and control.

DETERMINATION: You persevere through difficult, even seemingly insurmountable, obstacles.

INDEPENDENT: You are prepared to do whatever needs to be done to build a successful venture.

KNOWLEDGE-SEEKER: You constantly search for information that is relevant to growing your business.

PROMOTER: You are the best spokesperson for the business.

RELATIONSHIP-BUILDER: You have high social awareness and an ability to build relationships that are beneficial for the firm’s survival and growth.

RISK-TAKER: You instinctively know how to manage high-risk situations.

The degree of your natural ability in each of the 10 talents will determine where you will be successful and where you may fall short on your entrepreneurial journey.  Your dominant talents would be those talents that you use consistently and lead with naturally. Your contributing and supporting talents are those not necessarily applied by you to achieve success and you don’t naturally lead with them.

The idea is to focus on your areas of expertise and lean on others to shore up the critical areas of business that you are no good at. It certainly makes sense, but it’s amazing how many entrepreneurs feel like they have to take on the full burden of every challenge by themselves. I joke with many entrepreneurs reminding them that they don’t have to always “invent fire.”

Knowing yourself is the key to becoming a successful entrepreneur and living a better life. This knowledge brings relief in knowing and accepting that you don’t have to be all things to all people. As an entrepreneur, this knowledge is freeing.

Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Pamela Butler says “There is a person with who you spend more time than any other, a person who has more influence over you, and more ability to interfere with or to support your growth than anyone else. This ever-present companion is your own self.”

The discovery of WHO YOU REALLY ARE can help resuscitate a failing venture or begin to rebuild a crumbling business; discovering your true self means freedom.  Understanding whether you are cut out to be an entrepreneur can mean the difference between success and failure. If you are interested, go take the assessment here – (I am not affiliated in any way nor am I getting a commission for sharing this link.)

Whether you are interested in developing your own entrepreneurial talents or understanding those talents in others, the Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder will help to start the conversation. It creates a language to talk about how people can naturally be better business-builders by identifying and developing their entrepreneurial talents.



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What would your life look like if you could power your own success, never feel confused about what you need to do and never hesitate to do it?

  1. Do you have clarity around WHO YOU REALLY ARE?
  2. Are you being noticed for your contribution in your current role?
  3. Do you know WHAT you need to do to get the results you want?

Find out how much you really know about yourself…

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