We live in an age where nearly 75 million young people around the world are unemployed. In some countries, more than 50 percent of young people are without work.
Unlike my father’s generation, which was almost guaranteed a pension, a company job and social security, we don’t have all of those guarantees. But entrepreneurship gives people options, and can change their lives.
What does “entrepreneurship” mean? The common answer is “starting a company,” but entrepreneurship is so much more than starting a company. It’s more of a life philosophy or, better yet, it’s more your outlook on life.
Let’s see if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
1. Do you have passion?
If you don’t have a passion for what you’re doing, you’ll never succeed. There will be times when you don’t make any money and you have no customers. Passion will help you persist through these times and enable you to become the entrepreneur you’re meant to be.
2. Are you persistent?
An entrepreneur doesn’t take “no” for an answer … ever. They may concede but they will never give up. They will figure out a way to fit a square block into a round hole.
3. Do you show initiative?
Entrepreneurs are self-starters. I pull into work at 7:00 every morning and I often don’t leave until late. I get my pressing work done before anyone else shows up. Self-starting isn’t just getting up early. It’s working your tail off day and night on things that are important.
4. Are you willing to take a stand?
If they want to be successful, entrepreneurs must be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time. You have to be willing to take chances on things you believe in.
5. Can you be flexible?
You will truly know that you’re an entrepreneur if your business life is a little unpredictable. Entrepreneurs have to pivot consistently; this is what will dramatically improve the odds for success.
6. Do you have strong people skills?
To succeed in business, you have to be willing and able to communicate. I will put a caveat on this, though: There are many entrepreneurs who aren’t so good with people. To compensate, they team up with someone who is VERY good with people.
7. Do you like to have fun?
After working such long hours, it’s important for entrepreneurs to let loose once in a while.
8. Are you a rule breaker?
Entrepreneurs are known for going against the status quo.
9. Is the glass always half full?
Entrepreneurs tend to be relentlessly optimistic. It’s good to have a bit of self-delusion that you can personally change and affect reality.
10. Are you improving?
Successful entrepreneurs have a relentless commitment to self-improvement in all mental, spiritual, emotional and physical aspects. Ask yourself: “Did I go to bed smarter than when I woke up?”
Even if you didn’t say “yes” to all 10 questions, the most important point is to act. Ninety-nine percent of people complain about problems; the other 1 percent does something about them. That 1 percent is driven by autonomy, mastery and purpose. They are the entrepreneurs.
NB1: This post was adapted from a presentation by Rhett Power, an entrepreneur and leadership expert. To learn more about Rhett, visit his website at RhettPower.com.
NB2: The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the YALI Network or the U.S. government. YALI Voices is a series of podcasts, videos and blog posts contributed by members of the YALI Network.
Photo creds: Yali blog