SBA Learning Center

Is Entrepreneurship For You?

Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Your hard work can provide several personal benefits such as being your own boss, setting your own schedule, and earning money doing something you enjoy. But, it can also be a costly mistake if you're not prepared. Despite the appeal of being your own boss, the reality is that not everyone is cut out to be a successful business owner.

One of the most important things the SBA can do is to have an individual understand that entrepreneurship is not right for them. That isn't anything to be ashamed of. It is actually an honest and mature decision that may save someone from losing a significant amount of money or put their families security at risk. Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires thorough planning, creativity, and hard work.

Here are a few key qualities and skills most commonly associated with successful entrepreneurs. Consider how you stack up and ask yourself if you're willing to learn and grow where you may be uncomfortable.

  • Risk Taker: The only thing that is certain in business is that nothing is certain. If you're looking for predictable or worry-free days, you may find yourself terrified of the entrepreneurial roller coaster. Are you comfortable with being uncomfortable? Can you handle taking calculated risks and managing the constant ups and downs of owning a business? Then keep going!
  • Independent: Being your own boss also means you're making a lot of tough decisions on your own. Most entrepreneurs like the fact that their results are a product of their own decisions... good or bad. If you trust your instincts and don't rely too heavily on others to make decisions, then you have one of the key qualities of an entrepreneur.
  • Sales: You may have the greatest idea in the world, but if you cannot sell customers and employees, you may find entrepreneurship to be difficult. Successful business owners are able to sell themselves and that starts with confidence and becoming an expert in their product or service. Remember, an idea is worthless until someone pays for it.
  • Creative: There may be dozens of different ways to solve a single problem or reach a particular goal. Entrepreneurs must be able to think creatively in order to innovate and keep ahead of the competition. If you are able to create, or take advantage of, new opportunities, business ownership may be right for you.
  • Stamina: Most startups fail because they just give up, rarely because they run out of money or time. Focus on learning and improvements to grow your business. Great businesses are not built overnight but through several months and years of dedicated work. A "never give up" attitude is a common characteristic of successful entrepreneurs.
  • Lifestyle: If you are currently an employee working for another company, then starting your own business will be a lifestyle change. Don't make the mistake of assuming it is a way to get rich quick, or an escape from all problems. Starting a business is hard work, requires a lot of determination and learning, and only pays off in the long term. Take an honest look at yourself before leaping.

Still think you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur and start a new business? Great! Take the next step to making your dreams a reality. Get your SBA Small Business Guide to get started today. It's time to Stop Thinking and Start Doing!