Think you're ready to start a business? Let's say you've got a great idea, a solid business plan and even a decent amount of startup money. If you have these things, you might be able to successfully launch your business. But are you really cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Dan Steenerson, a business speaker, consultant and author, doesn't want anyone to be disillusioned by the allure of being your own boss: Starting a business isn't easy, and it certainly isn't glamorous, he warned would-be entrepreneurs. While there's no formula for the perfect entrepreneur, the commitment and dedication it takes to be a business owner does require a few key personality traits, and they aren't ones that everyone naturally has.
Steenerson identified 10 warning signs that a person isn't meant to start and run a business. If any of these "red flags" apply to you, you might want to reconsider your entrepreneurial goals and stick to your day job. [Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught?]
You can't stand the heat
Before you jump into self-employment, make sure you're very comfortable being uncomfortable. Every day, you'll need to try something new for the first time. You have to be ready to put yourself out there and do things you’ve never done before — all with less financial security.
You have professional ADD
If you get bored and frustrated easily, or you're the type of person who likes to go in a new direction every 60 days, business ownership may not be for you. Being an entrepreneur requires unwavering laser focus to achieve your business goals.
You get stage fright
As a business owner, you are the primary spokesperson for your company. You need to be ready and willing to take center stage and spread the word whenever possible. If you're uncomfortable in the spotlight or you don’t like public speaking, you'd better master these competencies before you launch.
You hate roller coasters
As a business owner, you never know what’s around the corner. It could be a really steep hill or gut-wrenching free fall. There will be countless ups and downs, and you need to be prepared to hang on and enjoy the ride.
You think complexity is cool
Complexity may be cool, but it's hard to create, market and sell. The simplest solutions are the most successful, and as a business owner, you need the ability to distill concepts to their simplest forms so they can be easily communicated.
You can't explain the steps of shoe-tying
Tying a shoe is a complicated. So is running a business. You have to be able to delegate tasks and to direct others, meaning you need the ability to break big ideas into easy, actionable steps for implementation.
You don't believe in marketing
Marketing makes the business world go round. If you don't embrace it, you'll never succeed. You need to be ready to dedicate effort and money to the task of marketing your company, and give it time to work using a variety of mediums. There's no silver bullet.
You're easily winded
Once you get past the adrenaline rush of starting your own business, you'll encounter a portion of the journey called the "middle mile." This is where you face challenge and drudgery. Your feet will hurt and your breathing will be labored. Despite these inconveniences, you must be able to place one foot in front of the other and press on.
You're a problem passer
In business, there are problems that must be decisively resolved by the owner. Sometimes customers and employees will be unhappy with your decisions and that's OK. Successful entrepreneurs never postpone difficult choices.
You're on the quest for quick cash
Profit shouldn't be the reason you are in business. You are in business to solve problems and to serve others. If you find a way to deliver a better solution or service than your competitors, you will make plenty of money, but it doesn't happen overnight.