“Success is not just good luck. It is a combination of hard work, good credit standing, opportunity, readiness, and timing.”
– Henry Sy Sr.
Many of us want to manage businesses as it offers plenty of potential for income and better chances of gaining more wealth than simply getting employed. But let’s face it, not everyone has the right skills, mindset and attitude that is required not only for a business to survive but also to thrive and grow.
As a result, for the following reasons, you or someone you know may not be cut out for the rigors of entrepreneurship.
1. You prefer to follow orders not to issue them
Many graduates are taught how to do the job, and many are good at doing them. But that only means they can be good employees and not employers who are arguably steering the wheel of business. This is understandable because since it’s easier to follow orders from the boss than to make business decisions that could make or break a company.
So if you are comfortable, and even prefer to be order-taker, then entrepreneurship is not for you. On the other hand if you have the tenacity to get things done even if it means getting help from colleagues or outside contacts, there’s a sign of a budding businessman (or businesswoman) in you.
There’s a quote from businessman Farrah Gray that says “build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” And being an entrepreneur is like a dreamer who occasionally takes risks and not afraid to fail. It’s not a bad idea at all to work and fulfill someone else’s dream. Parents want dreams of their children to come true. So do teachers to students, and volunteers to underprivileged people in the society.
But if you have dreams yourself — such as becoming a successful pizzeria or beauty salon owner — you should take a break and considering a shift to focus towards fulfilling them.
2. You abhor hard work
The foundation of success is hard work, among others. It’s a cliche to hear “work smart, not hard” as both elements prequalify gains and advancement in a business.
Honestly speaking, there is nothing pleasant with hard work. But it’s a crucial characteristic of a successful entrepreneur; heck, even those who labor hard are not guaranteed success, given other circumstances. But those who value hard work, and see inspiration — not burden — in doing are often on track to success and get rewarded.
If you think success in business is composed of healthy capital money, picking right employees and just sit at the swivel chair for profit report to come in, don’t waste your time trying to get in. Did you know billionaires like Henry Sy immigrated to the Philippines as a kid to escape poverty in China and used to buy goods at Divisioria, sell them at his father’s small shop? He labored from dawn until night until his efforts paid off and earned him the title as “Father of Philippine Retail.”
Before founding Mang Inasal and eventually becoming a billionaire, Injap Sia as a child had to do stock inventory, stack merchandise, and man the cash register while his peers enjoyed playing in the streets and riding their bicycles.
4. You get along with everyone
Just when you think you are fit to become entrepreneur because you maintain good relationships, avoid arguments and abide by the law, think again.
A study by researchers from Stockholm University that teenage boys with tendency to display modest anti-social behavior are positive indicators of successful entrepreneur in the future.
Although we might think this is a bit ironic, theorizing that great relationships are among the basic foundations of a successful business, there is also inherent reason why those with brushes with the law have better chances of leading business to thrive. As Fortune puts it, “entrepreneurs are, almost by definition, looking to take risky actions that somehow upset the status quo.”
For examples, look at Bill Gates who was arrested in December 1977 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While the exact circumstances of this arrest are not known, but it is said to be for a traffic violation. He had been arrested earlier for speeding and driving without proper license. Apple founder Steve Jobs reportedly took drugs and abandoned his family.
So when you’ve been involved in class brawls, shouting matches, getting into detention often for breaking classroom order, or getting labeled as nerd, geek or boring, get your feet wet with basic entrepreneurship and see how it goes.
5. You stick with positive view of life
It is good to project an optimistic of life, but to be an entrepreneur, you have to look at problems unnoticed and take advantage of the opportunities missed out by others.
When Airbnb founders discovered that hotels were full during a design conference in San Francisco, they came up with the idea of renting out three airbeds on their living-room floor and cooking their guests breakfast. At that moment, an entrepreneurship idea was born as what we know now. A similar concept of sharing economy was born with Uber when its founders had difficulty hailing a cab, they came up with a eureka moment has commercialized hitchhiking and disrupted taxi industry in many parts of the globe.
USA Today reported, “Serial entrepreneurs find new problems to fix, “because, let’s be honest, there’s a lot that needs fixing in the world.”
No wonder many of us are placing bets on how Elon Musk tries to solve problems. In the past, he wasn’t content with how payments are made online so PayPal was born. His discontent over the downturn of space exploration became an inspiration for SpaceX. The world’s over-reliance on conventional sources of energy prompted the birth of SolarCity, Tesla Energy, Hyperloop and Tesla Motors.
Get out there and observe. If you don’t find anything wrong around you, that’s fine. But that might also mean you’re not inclined to start a business or have that instinct to become an entrepreneur.
6. You are not a risk taker
Entering a business to some is like placing bet on the casino where the outcome can be a win or loss so the natural tendency is to keep away unless it’s a proven venture. That is why society applauds things such as risk-free offers, conservative investment funds and play safe decisions.
These are all fine in a society more keen on preservation of assets than gaining ground. But there are also times when we have our backs on the wall and options left are unappealing. But we have to take them as risks are always part of life. If you’re happy with where you are and along with mainstream obsession with safety and security, it’s difficult for you to plunge into new ventures without getting prior assurance of success.
Entrepreneurs are often littered with failures, but they move on. Folks who are used to playing safe and staying put cannot survive such environment; they often think failure is a sign to give up, not a valuable learning experience used as arsenal to move on.
Not everyone is born fit to become entrepreneur. Certain characteristics are necessary to become successful in a field that comes with plenty of challenges. And while characteristics above can be developed, it requires the right environment — people and opportunities — as well as personal conviction to achieve them.