A 10-Point Checklist to Confirm You Can Be an Entrepreneur

Starting and running your own business isn't for everybody. Run through these qualities to see if you're cut out for it.

learn more about Jonathan Long

By Jonathan Long

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As entrepreneurs, we are in complete control of our destiny. We steer our own ship, and have two possible outcomes: Sailing into a glorious sunset or crashing and watching the ship sink. This scenario appeals to true entrepreneurs and scares the crap out of those that just aren't cut out for it.

This 10-point checklist will help you confirm that you are an entrepreneur.

1. You are overflowing with confidence. Don't get this confused with being cocky, because there is a huge difference. Becoming an entrepreneur comes with a lot of risks, but successful entrepreneurs have confidence in their idea as well as their ability to reach their goals. An entrepreneur goes into every situation with an abundance of confidence.

Related: 4 Questions to Ask Before Taking the Entrepreneurial Plunge

2. You are competitive at everything. Entrepreneurs are extremely competitive when it comes to everything. An entrepreneur has the same competitive spirit whether they are working on their business or racing the individual on the treadmill next to them at the gym. There is a burning desire inside to be the best and win at everything.

3. You have a hard time turning work mode off. Being an entrepreneur takes an enormous amount of time and energy. There is never a time that you have nothing to do. While many people turn work mode off at 5 p.m., entrepreneurs are constantly game planning and envisioning what needs to get done and how they will accomplish it.

4. You are extremely focused. Starting a business involves many ups and downs that not everyone can handle. It can take several years for a business to flourish and get to a point that allows you to step back and catch your breath. Staying 100 percent focused on the end goal regardless of what obstacles get in the way is mandatory.

5. You are independent and self-motivated. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur simply because they lack direction. Some people need to be told what to do and while that is fine, it just doesn't fly when it comes to creating a business. Entrepreneurs welcome challenges and set out to accomplish their mission independently, knowing that they will be successful.

6. You are a natural-born leader. Entrepreneurs are leaders that earn respect by providing a positive example for their team to follow. Leaders have strong communication skills and the ability to get an entire organization to work towards the same vision.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. -- Henry Ford

Related: 7 Key Attributes to Look for in a Balanced Entrepreneur

7. You love to create new things. Remember when Snapchat turned down a $3 billion purchase offer from Facebook? You probably heard someone say, "If that was me, I would have sold it and never worked another day in my life." That just isn't the mentality that entrepreneurs possess.

The Snapchat founders were not finished building and no amount of money was going to prevent them from finishing what they started. Creating a successful brand and spawning additional projects fuel the entrepreneurial fire.

8. You are willing to fail. Entrepreneurs have to be willing to fail in order to succeed, as there is no reward without risk. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs failed on their path to success, but instead of giving up they learned from their mistakes and made it.

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. -- Winston Churchill

9. You are a creative thinker. Taking an idea or vision and turning it into a real business takes a creative mind. Often times thinking up the idea is the easiest part -- it is the follow through and obstacles that will get in your way that require the real creative thinking.

10. You are an advocate for your brand 24/7. There is nobody more passionate or knowledgeable about a company than its creator. Entrepreneurs will naturally talk about and be excited about what they do around the clock. Entrepreneurship is contagious, and once you get the bug there is no turning back.

Entrepreneurs are not all cut from the same mold, but possessing the above qualities signal that you're ready to achieve greatness. What other traits and qualities do you believe are important for entrepreneurial success? Let us know in the comments section below.

Related: The Hard Truth of Entrepreneurship: You Will Suffer

Jonathan Long

Founder, Uber Brands

Jonathan Long is the founder of Uber Brands, a brand-development agency focusing on ecommerce.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.


Invest in Yourself: 10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

When striving for success, it is easy to forget about your mental and physical health. But without health, you cannot fully succeed. Follow these ten lifestyle strategies for success in your personal and professional life.


Working Remote? These Are the Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Video Conferencing

As more and more businesses go remote, these are ways to be more effective and efficient on conference calls.