Having recently come into a trust fund (they aren’t an urban legend), I suddenly had the feeling that ‘I was ready to conquer the world.’ Over a cup of coffee with a friend, I explored the prospects of starting an artisanal bakery/patisserie/young hipster-equivalent-hangout in the city, quite like the one we were sitting in.
The arrangement would involve him doing the ‘actual work’ given his masterchef-esque skills in the culinary department and me bankrolling the project.
Later that evening the absurdity of the idea, or at least my volunteered involvement in it, hit me.
Plan dropped, I began to think. So, what makes a good entrepreneur, or who is one? Is it an idea, an attitude?
While I may not be academically or experientially qualified to answer this question, I wonder if working towards finding an answer may in itself entail entrepreneurship!
On the one hand, with no template available, which can help one know how to be a good entrepreneur, the fear of failure only gets compounded. On the other, though, with no pre-set formula to constantly worry about one is free to play the game as they like. The relief, though, is only temporary.
So what makes a good entrepreneur?
A philosophical and hinging-on-narcissistic way to look at this is that an entrepreneur is someone who likes to be independent and do things in his own time, including getting rich. It’s not like they don’t want to get rich, it’s just that they care more about the satisfaction they derive from their work than the monies.
Apart from these, there are no formal entry barriers to being an entrepreneur. You needn’t have a college degree, or have gone to school at all; you needn’t be in your young, frivolous 20s to be a great risk taker or bouncer backer.
Nor do you need years of experience under your belt, and wait till your 50s to be an entrepreneur.
All you need is a gem of an idea, and the determination to see it through.
Unfortunately, the capacity for self-deception is enormous.
Taking a leaf from Colin Barrow’s work, the test below is a rudimentary one. To know if you really need to start thinking about whether entrepreneurship is right for you, these should be posed to you, by yourself and by those who know you well.
Answer honestly or succumb to the perils of illusionary superiority.
Are you someone who:
• Possesses an innovative skill set
• Is result-driven
• Is a task taker and completer
• Is self-motivated
• Is a risk-taker
• Is disciplined
• Is confident
• Can bounce back
Rate yourself on each of the above on a scale of 1-10.
If you score more than 60, well done! I can’t wait to buy what you’re selling.
If you scored less than half, maybe you should revisit the dream to gauge if it’s really for you.
I scored a 30!
At present, the dream is on hold; instead I sit here in the same coffee shop where it all started writing this.