Since the introduction of social media and reality television shows, a window into the world of entrepreneurship has been opened, allowing the everyday dreamer to view a world that hasn't always been accessible. However, the image of entrepreneurship that we see isn't a full representation of the role. From an outsider's perspective, an entrepreneur's life seems very glamorous. It certainly doesn't hurt that successful entrepreneurs are celebrated and adored the same as famous Hollywood actors. Who wouldn't want a job where you call the shots and live a life of luxury?
What many don't understand is the amount of work it takes to get to that level. It doesn't happen overnight. In fact, anyone who has been an entrepreneur for more than two hours knows it's actually quite daunting. Before jumping headfirst into this "glamorous" lifestyle, take a look at these five entrepreneurial attributes to decide if it's really the right fit for you.
1. Get comfortable with money.
This means talking about it, asking for it and, at times, not having any. As an entrepreneur, you're responsible for a business that is generating revenue and profits. In order to be successful, you must get paid for the products or services you provide. This means that at some point in time, you will have to ask for overdue payments, justify your worth, spend money to create growth and ask for a client's business. If this makes you uncomfortable, entrepreneurship might not be the best path.
2. Don't be shy.
As an entrepreneur, shameless self-promotion is just a part of the gig. You have to market yourself, personally and professionally. If you don't enjoy talking about your assets, wisdom, knowledge or your business and its value, nobody else is going to.
If you'll notice, the best entrepreneurs are great storytellers. They speak about their personal struggles, how their business began and the problems it solved. There's no shortage of stories about businesses starting out in someone's garage and rising to be billion-dollar corporations.
Of course, there are many entrepreneurs with successful businesses who recoil at the thought of talking about themselves. They are, no doubt, hard-working individuals, but to reach a certain level of authority and recognition, you have to be willing to take your story and capitalize on it.
3. Light your own fire.
If you're not a daily self-starter, you will likely struggle as an entrepreneur. Many people take the structure of a regular 9-5 job for granted. It's an environment that has been created for you, with expectations, a schedule and someone you have to answer to.
When making the transition to working for yourself, it's entirely too easy to take advantage of the freedom it allows. You have to be accountable for every minute of your day, especially when it comes to initiating the tasks it takes to make you successful. No one's going to do the work for you. If you sit there and waste time, your business will eventually wither on the vine and die.
If you're the kind of person who likes to take initiative and grow and do things every single day and knock off that to-do list, then get ready to hit it out of the park as an entrepreneur.
4. Say goodbye to 9-5.
You might say goodbye to an eight-hour workday, but you'll probably be saying hello to 10- or 12-hour days. Entrepreneurship requires doing whatever it takes to be successful and that could mean working 60 to 80 hours a week. It involves getting up before everybody else and staying later. Be prepared to put in the time and grit it takes to run and start a successful business. If shortening your workday is one of the main reasons for working for yourself, you may want to rethink that motivation.
5. Make them want to know more.
You must be able to quantify the value you can provide, as an individual and as a business. This is sales and marketing 101. So many people start a business because they've been inspired by challenges they've met in the corporate world and have identified a better way to do things or created a new mousetrap. People like this have the experience, know the industry and are bursting at the seams to bring their ideas to market. A little preparation will ensure that passion doesn't fall flat when presented to an audience. Be able to quickly and concisely explain why your way is faster, better, simpler, more efficient or cheaper than the way everybody else has been doing it. Leave them wanting to know more. That's the sign of a great pitch.
Entrepreneurs bring an immense value to this world. They embrace change and strive for constant improvement. They push their competitors to be better. We look to entrepreneurs for solutions and inspiration. There's a lot of pressure on them to be successful and many of them make it look easy. And while entrepreneurship can be a struggle, it's also very rewarding. There may be things you learn from this article that make you uncomfortable, but that's part of life. We're always learning and making ourselves better. Just be self-aware and know the areas you'll have to work on if you decide to take the leap into a new business journey.
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