03 OCT

Am I an entrepreneur? Challenge #1

I don’t know about you, but I always imagine an entrepreneur being able to jump off the proverbial ledge and bravely leap into the unknown. No challenge too big, no cash-flow too evasive and success only at arms reach. This imaginary character is she/he real? Maybe. But for most people I speak to, the thought of becoming an entrepreneur can be scary and rightly so. Everything is unknown and failure is there constantly chomping at the heels ready to swallow an unsuspecting entrepreneur into ruin. This is what my students face when they decided to start their own business and become an entrepreneur.

The good news is that if you feel like this, then you really aren’t alone, being an entrepreneur is so many emotions and feelings rolled up to one. Therefore, spending some time exploring the characteristics of entrepreneur and seeing where you personally fall into the spectrum of entrepreneurial traits can help create some sense of normalcy for you.

This brings us to challenge #1 in our 5 week challenge to start your business

Week 1:  Am I an entrepreneur?

If you are a person who wants to organize and operate a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so (definition: Google), than you my friend could be an entrepreneur.

Lamm wrote on Entrepreneur Inc. a piece that really challenged this definition – Stop Calling Everyone an Entrepreneur –They Aren’t . It stated that not every person deserves to be called to entrepreneur, he argued that people who were not disrupters by choice, and making millions after launch should not be labelled entrepreneurs they should be called small business. I get it, you want to create a scale of mega mover and shakers verse the tiny local guy. In my mind if you are risking millions or thousands it is all relative to your starting point and connections – who is to say one is better than the other? They are both equally valid in my mind and each deserve the title – ENTREPRENEUR.


What type of Entrepreneur am I?

An article by Zepeda and Brandal highlighted this dichotomy by labelling the movers and shakers as unicorns and companies interested in modest growth and building something long term as zebras . They point out that a lot of companies and their entrepreneurs are trying to become unicorns or at least, they think they should be (the companies that move, shake and make millions within moments of becoming alive). But what these clever ladies point out is that Zebra’s (the companies who have nice steady growth) have got a whole whack of amazing traits, like they tend to have values such as human rights, supporting the environment and good old empathy. And they suggest that we don’t all have to be unicorns. So, if channeling mythical and or real animals seems like a good way to differentiate your entrepreneurship than go for it. Realize, that there could be a whole wack of other awesome animals, minerals and vegetables that could channel your sense of entrepreneurship power.


Traits of an Entrepreneur

Irrespective of your power animal (mineral or vegetable), all amazing entrepreneurial women and men (that I have worked with or meet) have these four traits in common:

  1. A Need to Start Something – the Universe Nags Them
    They have a burning need inside themselves to start their own business, they want to be their own boss and manifest their idea whether it be a local juice bar making people feel sugared up and happy, to the next million dollar social application ready to rock and disrupt our universe. The conclusion here is that the universe is nagging them to get something done!
  2. They Deal with Stress and are Able to Manifest
    They drink uncomfortable for breakfast and eat uncertainty about when the next pay-check is coming in. They deal with and handle the stress of growing a business. Some people I know are just ballsy and trust that the universe will provide for them or they believe that they have the power to manifest their next opportunity. Personally, I think this is the best place to be.
  3. Failure Drives Them and They Have an Uncanny Ability to Focus on Abundance
    They are scared to death by failure and this failure proposals them to succeed at any cost. They keep moving forward. For entrepreneurs, irrespective of how successful they are, failure is their BFF (best friend forever). Personally, I think fear is normal for everyone, it is how you treat it that sets you apart from the rest. I have observed in these entrepreneurs that focusing on abundance is this best way to dull the gripping sense of fear. The way I see it, is if  there are so many beautiful and endless possibilities who has the time to be fearful?
  4. Obsession and The Ability to Pause to Gain Wisdom & Prospective
    Entrepreneurs are obsessed with the skill that is the premise of their business idea/s. They dream eat and sleep the content and context of their business. One thing that a lot of entrepreneurs don’t always mention is the exact opposite of this state, which is the pause. The “pause” is not working or doing anything related to your business. The pause gives you time to integrate what you have learned and been thinking about and this is when your best ideas come to light. Using the ‘pause’ is also a great time to spend with family and loved ones to propel your ideas forward.

If these traits excite you, than the point of this jibber jabber, is go for it!

The homework for challenge one..

Take the questionnaire  from BDC for 10 minutes and find out how you compare to other Entrepreneurs and when you are ready look to take my next challenge “Your Business Idea”.  In my next challenge, we will look at exploring your business idea!

When you take the questionnaire look out for the note at the end after you take the test.  I love the disclaimer/Note from the BDC website because it is very true….

“This questionnaire was prepared on the basis of research and observations of the characteristics of Canadian entrepreneurs in all industry sectors. On average, entrepreneurs tend to obtain overall results that are higher than those of the general population, and this for all characteristics. Granted, the mere fact of obtaining – or failing to obtain – results in line with those of entrepreneurs is not enough to indicate your potential as an entrepreneur. Many other factors come into play, including your personal circumstances, your milieu, your experience, timing, etc. What these results will do, however, is allow you to compare your answers to those of a group of entrepreneurs, and to note where they are the same and where they are different.”

Important take away from challenge #1

The truth of the mater is, that there other factors at play and timing can be everything. These test don’t tell you to quit your job they should be used to encourage you to naval gaze, day dream and spend a few hours a week on your business idea to make sure you can create a viable business model.

You can also check out the video version of Challenge 1 “Are you an entrepreneur?”.  Also stay tuned for challenge #2 “Your Business Idea!” and Subscribe to my Youtube channel!

BTW I would love to know what power animal you would pick to represent your entrepreneurship and how you went on the test – leave me your comments!



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