Entrepreneurship 101: Can I Be an Entrepreneur?

Lesson 1: Can I Be an Entrepreneur?

Can I be an entrepreneur?

What exactly is an entrepreneur? You might have a picture in your head of what one looks like, but they are hard to define. That’s because every entrepreneur is unique.

They do have two major things in common though: their actions and aims. They see an opportunity to start a company. They decide to pursue this idea, and in doing so they are taking a risk. They want to change the world in some way, whether it’s big or small. 

If you are wondering if you could be an entrepreneur, here are some personality traits that successful ones share: 

  • Passionate: Are there certain interests that you’re passionate about? Maybe you have been thinking about turning your hobby into a career, or you want to make a difference in your community. 
  • Motivated: Perhaps you've always been a self-starter who is motivated to try something new. You might have leadership qualities that others are drawn to, or feel confident that you could guide a team effectively.
  • Independent: Many entrepreneurs crave more freedom in their lives. They might be tired of working a 9-to-5 desk job, or they’re looking to make their own schedule.
  • Creative: Do you enjoy problem-solving and coming up with new solutions? Or you might be a bit of a daydreamer who’s always thinking about what the future holds.

Maybe you aren't sure if you’re a creative person. But actually, everyone has the ability to be creative in some way. 

Thinking outside the box

When it comes to entrepreneurship, being creative means “thinking outside of the box” on a daily basis.

You might have heard this phrase before. If a person thinks outside the box, they don’t just accept things as they are. They can see alternative ways of living in the world that others do not. They recognize that the world is filled with possibilities. 

So how do you start thinking outside of the box? What does it mean to think like an entrepreneur? Here are some tips for tapping into your entrepreneurial side: 

  • Expand your knowledge. Try reading about different topics, or pick up a magazine or newspaper that you wouldn’t normally read. Listen to a new podcast; this can stimulate multiple parts of your brain and spark innovative ideas. 
  • Break out of your comfort zone. If you’re curious about a hobby or activity you haven't tried before, give it a shot! You can find people who share your interests on Meetup.com or other social networking sites. Skilled entrepreneurs are often good at making connections.
  • Look for opportunities. You might notice that there’s a demand for a product or service, either in your local community or the world at large. Look at this demand from new angles, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. This could potentially lead to an exciting business opportunity.

Defining your vision of success

As you tap into your entrepreneurial side, start thinking about defining your vision of success. Success means different things to different people. What does it look like to you? Maybe your dream is to be wealthy one day, or you care about having quality family time. It’s possible to want both, too!

This last point is crucial. As speaker and writer Les Brown once said: “Your goals are the roadmaps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life.” Take some time to jot down a list of what you want to achieve.

Entrepreneurship could possibly be the key to accomplishing both your personal and professional goals. Whether you have a side hustle you want to turn into a full-time career, a store you’ve always dreamed of opening, or an idea that could revolutionize technology, you need to believe that your ideas have value—and that you can make them become a reality.

If you want to learn specifically about startups, feel free to check out our two mini-lessons, Small Business or Startup? and Startups 101. Otherwise you can continue on to "That First Spark."