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Do You Have What It Takes to Make It as an Entrepreneur?

This story appears in the March 2014 issue of Start Up.

"Entrepreneurs, generally, are more about doing than talking about doing, and if that's not in your nature, I think you're going to struggle as an entrepreneur," says Benjamin Yoskovitz, a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based angel investor and vice president of product for software-development platform GoInstant.

Marc Royce
Sounding it out: Jason Lucash of OrigAudio.

Jason Lucash, co-founder and CEO of Costa Mesa, Calif.-based OrigAudio, sums up the entrepreneurial psyche this way: "The entrepreneur is terrified of being the person who sees that someone else came up with the same idea five years from now."

Here, Lucash and Yoskovitz ask the questions you'll need to determine whether you've got what it takes to leave the corporate setting behind.

Do your business partners take action or are they all talk?

There are herds of people around you who will gladly help you dream up a great idea, but finding a partner who really wants to move the idea from napkin to real world is gold, says Yoskovitz, who finds it helpful to accompany prospects on short business trips.

"You learn a lot about each other on the road," he says. The frenzied pace while traveling fairly mimics the hectic life of a startup, so he'll use the trip to hash out ideas one-on-one and watch how the potential partner handles logistics and manages time.

Are you ready to go it alone?

Since most corporate types are used to sharing the work--and potential for failure--with their co-workers, the shift to going it alone can be overwhelming. As an entrepreneur without a boss breathing over your shoulder, you'll have to be your own motivator.

Is "good enough" good for you?

Lucash and his partner, Mike Szymczak, willingly admit that they push products out the door before they've achieved perfection. "We do that to get feedback from the market and then make the changes later," Lucash says. To wit: The duo has released three generations of OrigAudio's top selling Rock-It speaker in just two years, each version better than the last--and sales keep spiraling upward.

Can you do what you hate in order to forge ahead?

"You need to be capable of accomplishing all the small tasks to make your big idea a reality," Yoskovitz says. "And you have to realize that a lot of that work is stuff that you probably don't love doing, such as payroll, marketing, even finding office space. Get over it and do it."

Jenna Schnuer

Written By

Jenna Schnuer writes (mostly) about business and travel and is a contributing editor for Entrepreneur.