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Do You Have What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur?

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Gorett at her laptop

About half of my clientele are entrepreneurs. As a career and life coach, I believe career is anything you do for a living not just a 9 to 5. Ideally, it’s something you are skilled at and enjoy. I love working with different types of professionals and guiding them on whatever path they’re on or helping them choose a different path if it’s more suited to them.

Some of my clients who started at a 9 to 5 decided to take the leap and become entrepreneurs. Before I became a coach 8 years ago, I was seeing clients on the side for about 7 months before I jumped in the entrepreneur-ship. :)

Currently, I have a client who’s on the fence about becoming an entrepreneur or starting a side hustle, so I thought I’d write this blog post to help. Hopefully, it helps you out too if you’re thinking about this path as well.

Many years ago, I came across this entrepreneurial aptitude test (author unknown) and, now being self-employed, feel the questions are apt to consider. Here it is:

Rate yourself in these categories on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest). If you average a high number, the entrepreneurial path may be right for you. Conversely, if you get a low number you may want to rethink your plans.

  1. Are you adaptable? Can you handle the inevitable ups and downs?

  2. Are you competitive? Are you eager to work hard to be the best?

  3. Are you a good problem-solver?

  4. Are you organized?

  5. Are you a risk-taker? Are you willing to give it your all and fail?

  6. Are you confident you can succeed in your mission?

  7. Are you disciplined - can you stay the course?

  8. Do you have the drive to accomplish your goal, no matter how difficult?

  9. Are you resilient? Will minor bumps in the road throw you off course or dilute your enthusiasm?

  10. Are you an honest, straightforward person?

  11. Are you persuasive? Can you get other people to follow your lead?

  12. Are you able to delegate responsibility?

  13. Are you a good manager of people?

  14. Do you have a vision? Are you capable of staying focused and realizing long-term goals?

Some of the questions are more relevant as you grow in your business, however, I feel it covers the basis of what it takes to be an effective entrepreneur and leader.

Now some people have entrepreneurial qualities or tendencies but are not entrepreneurs. They tend to fall in the intrapreneur category. What’s the difference?

Although intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs have a lot in common. For example, taking initiative, leading, creating, and problem-solving. The main difference is that entrepreneurship is fully autonomous whereas intrapreneurship happens within, or hired to be a part of, a company or an organization.

As an entrepreneur, you make all the decisions whereas as an intrapreneur you usually get your ideas approved. This also includes responsibilities. Even if delegated, entrepreneurs are responsible for all successes and failures. The intrapreneur, on the other hand, can share responsibilities and buffer a loss. The risk is less with an intrapreneur.

Also, entrepreneurs usually take care of more than one business area at a time whereas intrapreneurs are typically specialized, e.g., in marketing. Intrapreneurs tend to have a lot more resources at their disposal to start, being a part of an organization, versus entrepreneurs (there are exceptions of course).

Going back to autonomy, entrepreneurs can hire or fire whomever they like whereas intrapreneurs, to some degree, must deal with the internal politics or the corporate structure. Entrepreneurs generally have a lot more flexibility of work location, days, and hours, less so for an intrapreneur.

You know you’re an entrepreneur if you like to: create and innovate from scratch, if you see a need in the market and want to fill it, if you don’t mind taking big risks and being fully independent and responsible. Conversely, you know you’re an intrapreneur if you like to create and innovate with pre-existing structures, resources, and support. You don’t mind taking risks because in the end you still get a paycheque. Lastly, you know you’re an intrapreneur if security is more important than freedom.

I love being an entrepreneur, but I know it’s not for everybody. What do you think? Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

I would love to know.


Ps. If you're on the fence too and would like some more clarity if entrepreneurship is the right path for you, apply here for a Get Acquainted Call to see if I can help.

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