4 Signs You Do Not Have What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur



Entrepreneurship is sexy (at least it is portrayed that way in the media) and has many benefits. But for the wrong person, the “American Dream” can quickly become a nightmare.
Here are a few of the big, neon, flashing signs that say that you probably should not be an entrepreneur — at least today.
1. You are an elf.
Elves take direction from Santa as a visionary. While elves make great employees, they make horrible entrepreneurs.
I had one particular friend that desperately wanted to start a business. I was baffled because in her previous jobs she had always complained when there was a lack of direction. When she was told what to do, this woman was a superstar. However, if you did not tell her what to do, then she did virtually nothing. She did not have the innate drive to “pick up the ball and run with it” unless someone specifically told her to do so.
Basically, you cannot run a business when you are waiting for directions. There is no goddess of entrepreneurism that will appear in a vision and give you guidance and suggested next steps. Not only is it up to you as an entrepreneur to set the direction, strategy and work process for yourself, but also you need to do that for every person in your organization.
If you are an elf, not only will this task be daunting, it will be nearly impossible. Instead, consider taking your entrepreneurial spirit and putting it toward your work in someone else’s organization.
2. You live for perfection.
The enemy of progress is perfection, especially for entrepreneurs. Perfectionists are never able to substantially grow their business, because they do everything better than everyone else (at least in their minds) and are never able to delegate effectively enough to gain scale.
They also have a hard time getting products and services to market because instead of pursuing minimum viable products/services (i.e., a product/service good enough to please the customer), they want everything to be, well, perfect.
Perfectionists also fear failure. Being willing and able to fail correctly (that is, quickly, cheaply and never the same way twice) is part of the critical risk-taking and pivoting process that allows entrepreneurs to excel.
3. Money is not your friend.
People’s habits and relationship with money tell a lot about whether they will be a good entrepreneur. If you are too conservative with your finances, you will not be able to make the investments and make the educated risks required to grow your business. I like to call this “el cheapo” syndrome and know many who suffer from it.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, being careless with money is also an entrepreneur-killer. If you do not know the difference between “spending” and “investing” (or don’t do the latter well), you are likely going to carry that habit into business with you and end up lighting a bunch of money on fire with nothing to show.
Finally, not having enough money can be a huge issue. This one is more of a timing issue, so you can overcome it. But, if you do not have enough money to open your business, fund it for 3 years while it gets legs underneath it and live on — and you do not have or cannot find sources to help you get that capital — you are going to make poor choices. The choice to pay rent or invest in your business is never a good choice to have to make.
4. You are delusional (at least about entrepreneurship).
If you are more enamored with the fantasy of entrepreneurship than with actually running a small business, you could be one of those many entrepreneurs who find themselves working longer hours for the same or less pay — with more stress than they did when they had a job.
Or maybe you find that you wanted to be your own boss, but really the needs of everyone else — from your customers, to your employees, to your landlord and/or vendors — have to come before yours, and you are not the boss you expected.
Starting a business is fun, but running it and doing the basic business “blocking and tackling” every single day is what makes it successful (not the “great idea”). Much in the way that planning a wedding is fun, but it’s not a good precursor to a successful marriage — working on it every day is what makes it work.
Take time to educate yourself. I once sent a financial services executive who wanted to open a restaurant, but knew nothing of the industry, to work in one. That lasted all of 2 weeks before she decided that the industry left a bad taste in her mouth, so to speak.
Businesses succeed when an entrepreneur finds a problem that needs to be solved, they are the “right” person to solve it and it’s the right time for them to do so. Any missing component may make you one of those majority failure statistics.




Reprinted by permission.

Image credit: CC by Cubmundo

About the author: Carol Roth

Carol Roth is a billion-dollar dealmaker, entrepreneur, bestselling author and leading small business advocate.

Carol is a “recovering” investment banker, entrepreneur, investor, speaker, small business advocate and author of The New York Times bestselling book, “The Entrepreneur Equation.” She contributes op-eds and columns to a variety of outlets, including a weekly column onEntrepreneur.com and is a judge on Mark Burnett’s reality technology competition show, America’s Greatest Makers.

Carol Roth began her career at investment banking firm Montgomery Securities (subsequently Banc of America Securities), where sherapidly rose internally to become one of the youngest officers of thecompany by age 25. She also owned her own broker-dealer, Intercap Merchant Partners, which is now a holding company for her varied business and investment activities.

Carol has worked with hundreds of companies, ranging from solopreneurs to Fortune 500 businesses, on all aspects of business and financial strategy. As a dealmaker, she has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in transactions. Her transaction experience includes initial public offerings (IPOs), private equity & debt placements, M&A, LBOs, licensing, marketing services, and start-up & general strategic advisory work. She has also completed licenses and joint ventures between her clients and a variety of high profile entities including Paramount, Fox, Hasbro and even pop singer Katy Perry.

Carol’s company currently focuses on monetization and other efforts in the customer loyalty/enthusiast space, creating 7-figure brand loyalty programs. The company also makes a variety of investments and launches products, including currently developing a software product. Carol personally acts as a brand spokesperson, ambassador and advisor for a number of companies and brands that are seeking to reach a broader audience, with a focus on those looking to reach small business owners and entrepreneurs.

As a speaker, emcee and event moderator, Carol has worked with avariety of high profile events and companies, including Richard Branson and Virgin Atlantic, Microsoft, The Chicago Cubs, The NewYork Times Small Business Summit, MBBI, and many others.

Carol is an internationally renowned small business advocate and was named a Top 100 Small Business Influencer for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014,& 2015 by Small Biz Trends. She is a former public company director, previously serving on the Board of Directors of Travelzoo (NASD:TZOO).

Carol holds a B.S. Degree from the Wharton School of Business, Magna Cum Laude. She is a huge professional sports fan (especially NFL football) and also has an action figure made in her own likeness.

You are seconds away from signing up for the hottest list in New York Tech!

Join the millions and keep up with the stories shaping entrepreneurship. Sign up today.