Are You Cut For Entrepreneurship?

These are some of the qualities that determine if one is made for entrepreneurship or not

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Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey is an adventure in itself or rather a rollercoaster ride. Not everyone who takes up entrepreneurship attains success. Nobody knows whether entrepreneurial characteristics are inborn or can be acquired, however, surely there are some qualities and traits that most successful entrepreneurs have in common. For instance, passion, self-confidence, decision-making ability, and other personal, mental and social traits.

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Before one takes the giant leap of entrepreneurship, here is a checklist of some personality traits that one should possess to attain success. 

Entrepreneurship Not For The Faint-Hearted

“Being an entrepreneur is an exciting and responsible decision to make. We are responsible for driving growth, managing people and their careers, handling crises, and teams expect us to always be the rallying point. I believe that to be a successful entrepreneur, one should be capable of understanding the business depth and capable of translating that to their teams,” said  Amit Gupta, co-founder and CEO, Yulu Bike.  

Today's entrepreneurs are driven by innovation, determination, passion, but it’s time we recognized and valued ‘empathy’. “In the last year and a half, empathetic leaders have built brand value that will remain unshaken. Today's time demands an entrepreneur who drives excellence in the company through the pulse of their teams,” Gupta added. 

The usual debate around entrepreneurship is whether one can learn the qualities that can pave the way for success or not. “Entrepreneurship is real and driven by passion towards an idea to benefit a large number of people positively. No course can make you one but can make you better to deal with tough situations,” said Abhishek Agarwal, managing partner, Rockstud Capital.

Besides determination and passion, an entrepreneur also needs to have the appetite to take risks. This is the most important quality and this often cannot be learned. “A natural Sehwag-like approach is a crucial quality that every entrepreneur needs to have to ensure there is innovation adrenalin that flows in constantly. Limiting one’s mind and thoughts and the fear of the unknown will prevent the thought process,” said Suresh Rangarajan, founder and CEO of Colive.

Implementing all ideas may not be possible, however, a leader’s mind needs to be free-flowing with ideas. He or she should have the natural instinct for new ideas and innovation and play the game as it pans out at least in the mind, believe many successful startup founders. “An entrepreneur needs to be a dreamer, think big and think really fancy and believe that he or she can change the world and the way it operates. There has to be a burning desire to make a name and leave a mark and also have the ambition to make money. Without these goals to achieve something big, it will be impossible for an entrepreneur to take off!” added Rangarajan. 

The ability to spot and hire talent with complementary skills, leadership qualities and not being afraid of pivoting or course correction based on market feedback and conditions are some of the other traits many highly successful entrepreneurs have from day one.  “Of course, once it all falls in place, the joy and satisfaction that entrepreneurs derive are unparalleled. Hence the adage 'once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur,” said Jatin Desai, managing partner, Inflexor Ventures.

The Smell Test To Know If You Are Cut For Entrepreneurship

The real smell test for someone starting out is to ask yourself what’s important to you. “If peace of mind is important, if work-life balance is important, if being low key is important, if living by the edge is not in you and if taking pressure is not something you can do, then don’t bother. Better to take a 9 to 5 job as entrepreneurship is full of uncertainties and unwanted responsibilities,” said Colive’s Rangarajan

Entrepreneurship is never a bed of roses and is full of challenges that have no text book style answers. But only if one dreams to change the way things function and want to leave a legacy, he or she must try becoming an entrepreneur. 

“If you can live with no salary for initial years, no real weekends for relaxation and manage a team in a frugal way, well then the entrepreneurial journey can be considered,” said  Rockstud Capital’s Agarwal.

Another test to understand yourself is to see if you are someone who is comfortable with uncertainties. ‘Starting up’ could mean excitement but also uncertainty. If you are up for the challenge, if you are committed to hustling through it and if you can learn from your failures, it's a good starting point to become an entrepreneur,” said Yulu Bikes’ Gupta. 

Tough choices, rejections, struggle to raise capital are bound to happen and therefore not a place for faint-hearted or short-term thinkers. “Two years of survival rate and another five years to build an organization. No rule books are applied here in a fast-changing technology-led world,” added Agarwal.

To sum up, entrepreneurs, in general, should be thick-skinned, street-smart, determined, passionate, tenacious, driven and have risk-taking capabilities. If you are someone who has all these, entrepreneurship surely is for you.

S Shanthi

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Shanthi specialises in writing sector-specific trends,  interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. She is also a mom who looks forward to playing a game of cards with her tween daughter every evening after work.