Is Entrepreneurship For Everyone? 5 Signs That You Are Cut Out To Be An Entrepreneur
What is there not to love about being your own boss and doing what you are best at?
Ever sold your own things as a kid? Perhaps you sold Pokemon cards or drew portraits for people with pencil and paper. We all might have an entrepreneurial dream at some point in our lives – what is there not to love about being your own boss and doing what you are best at?
Perhaps the appeal of having autonomy has led to the massive appetite for entrepreneurship in Singapore – up to 74% of Singaporean millennials are working towards being their own bosses or being self-employed in the next decade, compared to the global average of 50%. Youth are also taking advantage of their age to venture, with 32% of millennials starting their businesses in school. (Singapore Business Review, 2020).
However, starting a business is not as easy as we think. According to Harvard Business Review (2018), about 75% of ventures fail within ten years. If you are thinking of starting your own business, do not be disheartened yet. Here are five signs you are cut out for the path of entrepreneurship!
1. Tenacity in the Face of Failure
Failure is a part of the entrepreneurial journey. 30% of Singaporean startups fail within three years (Singapore Business Review, 2020). In Singapore, entrepreneurs who have failed face harsh criticism and stigma (TODAYOnline, 2019). However, courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to persist in spite of it. Studies have shown that fear can either inhibit or motivate (Harvard Business Review, 2018). The most successful entrepreneurs turn their failures into motivation to do better.
The Soup Spoon, a locally founded food and beverage company, closed their second outlet during the SARS pandemic, causing a loss of $10,000. Undeterred, they adapted by downsizing their kitchen and catering to make ends meet, and conducted market research to open a new outlet at Raffles Place. In 2008, the sales turnover hit $7.29 million and they are now the biggest soup chain in Singapore (Vulcan Post, 2020). If you learn from your mistakes and have the tenacity to act in the face of failure, you might be cut out for entrepreneurship.
2. Believing in What You Do
To begin your entrepreneurial journey, you need to believe in the value of your product or service. For instance, if you are working in the financial services industry, are you confident that the service you provide adds value to your clients? How does your service stand out from your competitors, and what is your unique selling point?
When entrepreneurs have a strong belief in what they are working towards, they are more likely to succeed. A study by the Academy of Management Review found that passion is an important factor of entrepreneurs’ creativity, persistence and venture performance (Harvard Business Review, 2020). Hence, believing in what you do is critical for success!
3. Willing to Take Calculated Risks
Entrepreneurs may have several constraints, be it financial, manpower or the lack of brand awareness. This makes it riskier for entrepreneurs to take on certain investments or big projects. However, these risks can also be opportunities for the venture to move forward. Entrepreneurs need to take calculated risks by considering the risk-return tradeoff (Forbes, 2020), a commonly used concept in investing. They must also understand their risk appetite or their tolerance for risk. For instance, one could consider the worst possible consequence and whether they are able to accept it.
Starting a business requires a medium to high-risk tolerance and understanding your risk appetite will help with your mental and emotional management, preventing you from losing motivation in the face of failure.
4. Able to Lead and Motivate a Team
While you may enjoy autonomy in starting your own business, it is extremely difficult to do it on your own. You may specialise in a specific skill but lack business experience. As such, having a team can help entrepreneurs to manage the workload.
A successful entrepreneur must be able to lead and motivate the team. Learn to prioritise and delegate tasks to the team. Furthermore, it is important to keep the team motivated as the work in a startup can be endless, and the pay may not be high. One way to keep the team motivated is to have a culture of respect, and to listen to their feedback to make them feel valued. It is also important to have a clear roadmap and to commend them for the progress they have made.
5. Willing to Hustle
Perhaps the idea of a 9 to 5 office job turns you off. The irony is that entrepreneurs can spend most of their waking hours working! Given the high overhead costs of a business, you must be willing to work harder than others to sustain the business. To some, entrepreneurship means having an “unrelenting focus and action towards a goal that is critical to business success” (CEO Blog Nation, 2020).
When you have a clear goal and are passionate about what you do, you may love what you do rather than feel obligated to do it.
While entrepreneurship is not an easy journey, it is rewarding. As Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” Dare to dream and take opportunities today!
Do these traits resonate with you? If so, the Adapt Traineeship Program by Win Advisors might just be for you! The Adapt Traineeship Program is a platform to nurture entrepreneurial spirit and provide support for those looking to upgrade themselves. If you are an undergraduate, young professional or even mid-career professional looking for new career opportunities, do keep a lookout for our program here, happening in December. We hope to see you there!