Has anyone ever said this to you? My lovely dad said this to me once, and at the time, I thought he was right.
Yes, I thought, having a ‘real’ job with a regular salary, and ‘real’ days off, is exactly what I need right now. I’ve had enough of worrying about where the next client is coming from, how I’m going to pay staff, chasing invoices, sorting out accounts, and building my reputation. I want to go to work from 9-5, and come home and switch off until the next day. In short, I wanted an easy life.
But when I began looking for ‘real’ jobs, I was over-qualified. By this time I’d been self-employed for more than a decade but things hadn’t quite turned out how I’d planned with work or in my personal life. And the jobs I was qualified for, just felt too scary, (my confidence had also taken a hefty knock by this time too).
Deep down, I knew that being an entrepreneur was the only way forward for me and my family. I knew I’d never really settle if I worked for someone else, and, anyway, I’d always LOVED running my own business. So, after explaining my dilemma to my dad again, he understood, and (slightly) reluctantly gave me £200 to get some business cards printed. Thanks, Dad!
Having owned a number of different businesses for over 18 years now, I know what it takes to set up and build a successful business. It’s exciting but challenging. It’s rewarding but tiring. It requires tenacity and grit. But it’s also something, if you’re a real entrepreneur, you can’t resist.
Here are 6 signs which show you’re an entrepreneur at heart, and why you should embrace them.
1: Entrepreneurs love what they do
Entrepreneurs usually start their business because they absolutely love doing something (for me it’s web design and creativity) and feel driven to use their passion, expertise and know-how to create a business for themselves. Who wouldn’t want to spend their days doing something they love?
2: Entrepreneurs have a regular carousel of ideas floating around in their head
You can tell you’re filled with entrepreneurial spirit when THE MOST AMAZING IDEA pops into your head, and you can’t speak to anyone, or do anything, until you’ve made a note of it (just in case you forget it – I mean it’s busy in that entrepreneurial brain, isn’t it?). This fizzy brain-popping stuff can really take you places, so embrace every single idea you have!
3: Entrepreneurs are pulled towards flexible working
This was a biggie for me, especially once I’d had my two girls. I didn’t want to be travelling up and down the country (which I’d previously had to do in my National Sales Manager role in the hotel industry). Working for myself meant I could get up at 5am and work for a couple of hours, then take the girls to school, and work for another few hours until I collected them. Yes, it sometimes means working evenings or weekends, but it also means I can go to the Christmas Nativity, or take a day off when I need a rest, or go to the gym before I begin work. My business, my schedule.
4: Entrepreneurs have BIG dreams
Having passion will fire you up in the early days, but it’s your big dreams that will keep you going when your nerves are tested, and your patience is wobbling. Nobody sets themselves up in business just to make a bit of pin money, do they? A true entrepreneur sets the bar high. They have a vision and big dreams and want to make their business a success. They are beyond average, and that’s what sets them apart from the amateurs.
5: Entrepreneurs have an abundance of self-belief
It can take a while to build real self-belief. I mean, no one starts up in business and thinks it’s going to be a breeze, do they? It’s a huge learning curve. But once you’ve secured that first client and they’ve paid you, and recommended a colleague, and your reputation is rising, and your website’s looking fabulous, and your social media follower numbers are growing, and your confidence increases, your self-belief will skyrocket.
6: Entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to take risks
You do have to be made of strong stuff sometimes but taking risks to grow your business is an exciting part of being an entrepreneur. The more risks you take, the more confident you become, and risks become infectious. It’s all part of the adventure and learning experience, wouldn’t you agree?
What do you think it takes to be an entrepreneur? I’d love to hear.