As I was reading The Element by Ken Robinson he brought up an interesting question about intelligence. He said we are asking the wrong question – instead of asking “How intelligent are you?” – He states we should be asking “How are you intelligent?” He claims that everyone is intelligent in their own unique way and I wholeheartedly agree! Having been an entrepreneur for several years and in working with many entrepreneurs on their businesses, I also agree that everyone is entrepreneurial in their own unique way. In that regard, we can use that same questioning in discovering in what ways an individual is entrepreneurial. I’ve heard the question, “Can Entrepreneurship be taught?” and of course I do believe it can be taught and I also believe that individuals are already entrepreneurial in some respects and that they need to be made aware of the attributes they have so that they can develop them further.
Here are seven characteristics to look at to see “how are you entrepreneurial”: 1) Passion – everyone has a passion for something, something that they love to do or want to spend time on. Since creating and running business is extremely hard work, passion is extremely important for an entrepreneur to have. So spend some time reflecting on what you love to do and find your passion. 2) Persistence – Not everyone is persistent in everything they do but remember when you were a kid and you wanted something from your parents – you were persistent – right?! Kids will persist with their parents until they get what they want. So somewhere and in someplace you were persistent you just need to think about when that was and why you were so persistent. Running a business has lots of highs and lows and if you aren’t passionate and persistent – it will most likely fail. 3) Diligence – Have you ever worked on something over time until you achieved it (remember how good that felt)– that is diligence. Running a business is hard work and if you don’t work on moving it forward by setting goals and working to achieve them you won’t get very far. 4) Resiliency – have you ever failed at something, learned from it and then improved upon it? If you have, then you have resiliency – this is probably one of the most important entrepreneurial traits because there are bound to be failures and you need to learn from them and keep on going if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur. 5) Self-confidence – do you believe you can do anything you put your mind to? Sure you might have to study to learn something so you can achieve it but if you have that kind of confidence then you will be able to move forward when others criticize you or your product is not selling well. 6) Flexibility – Are you able to make changes if something is not going your way? Entrepreneurs need to be flexible and make changes or look for another solution if something is not working. 7) Opportunist – in that I mean someone who looks for opportunities and goes for it. Some would choose risk-taker as #7 but as I grew up in entrepreneurial family and my parents were not huge risk-takers and I myself am not a huge risk-taker; I don’t see this as important. Seeing a problem and turning it into an opportunity is much more important. Look around for problems that need solving and start thinking about how you would solve them and how you could help others with the solution. This is the start of a successful entrepreneur and I believe wholeheartedly that the more you do this, the more you can see opportunities in abundance.
Again it’s not a matter of how entrepreneurial you are but, how are you entrepreneurial! Just take some time and think about these 7 traits and start developing them if you want to become an entrepreneur.