Of course we would all like to fancy ourselves as entrepreneurs. After all, they are four times more likely to be millionaires compared to those that work for organisations and this includes graduates. Though it actually is possible to take courses in University that claim to teach students just how to do it, I sadly don’t prescribe to such wisdom. If you want to be an entrepreneur certain qualities are required and these qualities cannot be thought. This is evident in the endless procession of entrepreneurs who are ridiculously successful but never even went to university. Here are the five qualities that I reckon are required. Sadly you either have them or you don’t.
It is difficult to teach what this word even means in this context let alone how to actually possess it. Successful entrepreneurs however have the stuff by the bucket loads. They spot a hole in the market or they just have some idea for a revolutionary new product or service. It is this spark, this idea, that all of their discipline and hard work is based upon. Without this spark, you can work as hard as you like. Especially in current financial climate when bad ideas just fall by the wayside in a sea of debt collectors and negative reviews.
Though hard work is pointless without the spark, the spark doesn’t burn your horrible studio apartment to the ground without a hell of a lot of hard work, discipline and at times obsession. You need to be willing to work your fingers to the bone but not only that put up with naysayer’s suggesting that your idea will never make it off the ground. You need to make tough decisions and basically you need to have the balls to make them. Vision without tenacity just makes you the guy that tells his mates down in the pub all about the great idea he has and that you’ll tell them about it if they buy you a pint.
The fact that educational qualifications aren’t required doesn’t mean you don’t need to be razor sharp. The successful entrepreneurs who never went to university probably would have gotten straight A’s had they attended. To turn a brilliant idea into a successful product requires a lot of research and knowledge about the market to which the product is being born into. You need to understand what makes people buy and you need to know what the right choice is when you faced with constant decisions that could make or break your product during the early stages.
A Gambler (but not the compulsive type)
Bringing a new product to market requires investment; said investment doesn’t go back into your pocket if you are wrong. You also do not get the time which can sometimes be years that you have put into the product back. It is possible to go bankrupt; it is possible to go mad. Bringing a brand new product or service to the market is a massive gamble. Successful entrepreneurs are not only willing to take this gamble but they also know which products to gamble on. Both of these qualities are required. If you are happy to invest you’re cash in anything eventually you will go broke but if you are not willing to get behind something that you think is a winner you will never get rich.
Though it’s arguable that this is not a characteristic that is truly required, how many successful entrepreneurs had an element of luck on their side? Of course they combined said luck with skill. They combined being in the right place at the right time with having all of the above characteristics and when they saw their chance they weren’t afraid to pounce like tigers on it, but they did have a little bit of luck also.