10 Signs You're Cut Out for the Startup Life
Let me guess: you’re sitting at your desk right now, daydreaming about starting your own business. You’re perfectly aware that it can be an intimidating process requiring heaps of hard work but long strings of am-I-meant-to-be-an-entrepreneur and should-I-do-it have been lingering with you day in, day out. You sometimes ask, “Am I just unhappy with my current job?” Or maybe you think, “Nah, maybe I just need a drastic change in my life.”
Am I getting warm? Yes? No? Regardless of the exact scenario, here are some of the strongest signs you’re meant to be an entrepreneur—to go out there and bring your idea to the world!
You’re constantly thinking.
You find it hard to sit still for too long because your mind never turns off—it’s both a blessing and a curse, really. You’re always thinking of new ideas, and you have this incessant need to create or be productive. You’re at your happiest when you’re working on ideas or projects you love, and with that being said, you’re more than willing to work long hours see your ideas come to fruition.
You like to ask questions.
When you were little, you often drove your parents crazy with questions like "Why did dinosaurs go extinct?" or "Why do I need to eat vegetables?"—and that's actually your entrepreneurial spirit right there! What sets business folks apart from the bunch is their ability to find new solutions to everyday problems, and by asking questions, you're able to look at all the possibilities.
You always see potential.
Where most people see disaster, you see potential and opportunity. Oh, that guy over there thinks it won’t work? You find at least half a dozen reasons why it will. In the face of fears, you stay optimistic. You focus on your vision, you think about the improvements you want to make, and continue getting things done. Business, after all, isn’t designed to be an easy path. Hard work, for you, is the definition of success.
You're ready to take risks.
Owning a business is risky stuff. You get it, though, and you’re ready to grab those risks by the balls. How come? Because you’re not a dreamer; you're a doer—the former has ideas but it's the latter that puts in the blood, sweat, and tears needed to know it's all going to be worth it. You're at a point where you see risks as this exciting sign that you're living life to the fullest, and you understand that taking risks is a necessary step in actively pursuing success.
What is Leadership?
You're a natural leader.
Remember group projects in school? You were so good at matching everyone’s strongest skills with the tasks at hand, and up until this day, you get a certain rush when putting together dream teams. You have a brilliant vision, yes, but what makes it even more brilliant is your ability to convince others to take risks to support that vision. You exhibit leadership skills and you're comfortable taking the reins.
You possess incredible work ethic.
You work very hard—and not just that: you have this undying willingness to work very, very hard. You know your days will be way longer than eight hours, and somehow, that excites you. Your week will start on Monday (as per usual) but you will probably pass 40 hours by Thursday, and you won’t slow down. And it’s so easy for you because you plan your days, you manage your time wisely, and you deliver.
In fact, you’re so passionate, you tell practically everyone about your vision and what motivates you to see it through. This drive is what pushes you to get up every morning and try harder—and this is important because you will encounter a series of bumps down the road: you’ll lose big customers; good employees will eventually leave your company; and you’ll work long hours and may not make a dollar—and passion is what will keep you going.
You relate well to people.
You've seen how people work well with people they like. And so whether it's your dream team or your customers, you're able to understand people, you know how to add value to their lives, and you work really hard to build and maintain those relationships.
You have a knack for solving problems.
Those pipes under your kitchen sink? Those came apart once, yes? You didn’t exactly have the best tools but you fixed it, and you even made it better than you found it. See, in business, there’s almost never enough resources to do everything an entrepreneur would like to do. The most successful ones, however, are expert problem solvers equipped with the ability to work with what they have and still achieve a large impact.
You, too, can start a business from your laptop. There's:
You don’t believe in failure.
You really don't because, for you, saying you’ve failed is like saying you’ve tried, and people who try never really fail because they simply pick themselves up, try again, and keep going.
What's in it for me?
The startup life isn't for everyone, sure, but if you're ready to work hard, then it can be an amazing thing. For one, you get to be your own boss—no more brilliant ideas going to waste because your boss didn't like them. Also, you have the opportunity to create something valuable for the society and transform lives. And by transforming lives, I just don't mean creating solid products and services, I mean: creating jobs for your community.
Just as important, though: owning a business is a journey of self-exploration—in the sense that you get to know yourself better after working on something you love and are truly passionate about. You have a vision and the drive to pull it off. Why not do it?
So what now?
I've given you a list of why I think you're cut out for the startup life and why you'll make a great entrepreneur, but are you ready? Now, onto the how:
- Do a personal evaluation. Remind yourself why you want to start a business. It is for the money? Creative freedom? Or some other reason? Asking such questions isn't supposed to dissuade you; they're there to get you thinking and flexing those creative muscles.
- Analyse the industry you want to be in. Once you've decided on a business that suits your lifestyle and goals, re-evaluate your idea, determine your potential clients, and know your competitors. To do this, you can perform Google searches, go out and have a wee chat with people already working in the industry, read books by key folks from the industry, or browse through relevant news sites and industry magazines.
- Evaluate your market. Learn as much as you can about your prospective market. From there, kick things up a notch by taking a good look at potential competitors. If you have some, take it as a good sign! That only means your market already exists!
- From here, make things legal. If you're from where I'm from, you may want to re-read the nifty infographic above about starting a business in Australia.
Now it's your turn:
Think you're meant to be an entrepreneur? Do these signs describe you? Share traits/ qualities/ characteristics you see in business folks around you in the comments below!