Have you ever had a bad day in your business, gone to the mirror and asked yourself: “What the heck am I doing this for?”
I know I have. There have been many, many, many moments in the past five years, that I’ve questioned whether I was cut out for this or not. I’ve even turned in resumes and gone on interviews. But the universe has other plans for me.
After reading the article below, I realize that I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life and that I am cut out for this. Yes, I have my challenges … but who doesn’t?
10 Signs You’re Not Cut Out To Be An Entrepreneur
By Daniel C. Steenerson
Thinking about starting your own business? Beware! Below are 10 signs that you just may not be cut out to be an entrepreneur.
#10 You can’t stand the heat.
Before you jump into self-employment, make sure you’re very comfortable being uncomfortable. Every day you’ll need to try something new for the first time. You have to be ready to put yourself out there and do things you’ve never done before — all with less financial security.
Carma’s note: Sometimes that heat made me want to crawl under the nearest rock. But, if I really looked deep inside, I realized it was this heat that kept me jazzed and energized and waking up each and every morning. It’s not so much the heat that is the problem, but how you perceive it. Perception is everything. Entrepreneurs have a unique way of perceiving the world that is very different from someone with and employee mindset.
#9 You have professional ADD.
If you get bored and frustrated easily, or you’re the type of person who likes to go in a new direction every 60 days, business ownership may not be for you. Being an entrepreneur requires unwavering laser focus. Achieving business goals takes time and persistence.
Carma’s note: As a person with actual ADD, I have to add a caveat. Yes, having ADD can make you suffer from bright shiny object syndrome … but you don’t have to let it derail you. People with ADD are also capable of being laser-focused. There are many successful entrepreneurs with ADD … Sr. Richard Branson comes to mind.
#8 You get stage fright.
As a business owner, you are the primary spokesperson for your company. You need to be ready and willing to take center stage and spread the word whenever possible. If you’re uncomfortable in the spotlight or you don’t like public speaking, you better master these competencies before you launch.
Carma’s note: I can’t argue this one. Public speaking — one of my passions in life — is one of the BEST ways to grow your business. Shrinking violets will have a harder time being successful as an entrepreneur. That said, there are a few “shy” success stories. If this is one you suffer from, take a look at your strengths in the rest of the list. That may tip the scales in your favor.
#7 You hate roller coasters.
As a business owner, you never know what’s around the corner — it could be a really steep hill or gut-wrenching free fall. There will be countless ups and downs and you need to be prepared to hang on and enjoy the ride.
Carma’s note: I can’t say that I like the roller coaster ride, but I can’t say I hate it either. If you can withstand the downs and enjoy the ups, I think you’ll be OK.
#6 You think complexity is cool.
Complexity may be cool, but it’s hard to create, market, and sell. The truth is the simplest solutions are the most successful. As a business owner, you need the ability to distill concepts to their simplest forms so they can be easily communicated and implemented.
Carma’s note: If you can communicate a complex idea in simple language, you should be OK. That said, whenever you can K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple).
#5 You can’t explain the steps of shoe-tying.
Tying a shoe is complicated. So is running a business. You have to be able to delegate tasks and to direct others. This means you need the ability to break big ideas into easy, actionable steps for implementation. Big ideas are a dime a dozen. Knowing how to implement them is the game-changer.
Carma’s note: Delegation can be the key to your success, so the skill to be able to break up processes into steps that you can have others help you complete, could be the difference between getting it done and …
#4 You don’t believe in marketing.
Marketing makes the business world go round. If you don’t believe it and embrace it, you’ll never succeed. Be ready to dedicate effort and a decent budget to the task of marketing your company. And give your marketing time to work using a variety of mediums. There’s no silver bullet.
Carma’s note: This is one of the biggest sticking points I see with so many creative entrepreneurs. They want to write, or paint, or sculpt, or bake, or do whatever creative outlet they are drawn to. However, without marketing, you don’t have a business. You just have a nice creative hobby.
#3 You’re easily winded.
Once you get past the adrenaline rush of starting your own business, you’ll encounter a portion of the journey called the “middle mile.” Frankly, the middle mile is where you face challenges and drudgery. Your feet will hurt and your breathing will be labored. Despite these inconveniences, you must place one foot in front of the other and press on.
Carma’s note: In his book The Traveler’s Gift, Andy Andrews describes the seventh decision for success, “I will persist without exception.” He talks about how the athlete “does not enjoy the pain of training; an athlete enjoys the results of having trained.” This is the middle mile … keep your eyes on the prize you seek and keep on keeping on.
#2 You’re a problem passer.
In business, there are problems that must be decisively resolved by the owner. Sometimes customers and employees will be unhappy with your decisions and that’s OK. Successful entrepreneurs never postpone difficult choices.
Carma’s note: If you can’t make a decision if you can’t let the buck stop with you, go back to being an employee. Decision-making ability and being able to stand by your decision is a critical entrepreneurial skill.
#1 You’re on the quest for quick cash.
Profit is the result of a productive business. It is not WHY you are in business. You are in business to solve problems and to serve others. If you find a way to deliver a better solution or service than your competitors, you will make plenty of money. But it doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to make quick cash, business ownership may not be the right gig for you.
Carma’s note: Let me repeat something Dan wrote there: You are in business to solve problems and to serve others. If you don’t agree with that, you will have a very hard and difficult path. What goes around comes around and when you are of service, good things come your way.
As the above pitfalls exemplify, starting a business isn’t easy, and it certainly isn’t glamorous. But, it can be extraordinarily worthwhile and satisfying. If any of the 10 warning signs above DON’T give you pause, you just may be a good entrepreneurial candidate.
About the Author
Daniel C. Steenerson imparts his success wisdom, principles and philosophies through his proprietary “Science of Visioneering” approach to help companies, entrepreneurs, executives and other professionals realize business greatness. He may be reached online at www.DanSteenerson.com — an online community where business owners, executives and other career achievement-minded professionals go for no-nonsense, “tell-it-like-it-is” success advice.