Life as an entrepreneur can be tough. Trust me, I know. I started my entertainment company, Blaqsheek Entertainment, in 2013 while I was still in university. I did my research about the entertainment industry and about equipment hire (what I specialize in) but I did not expect how tough it would be getting business at first. You know the 3Fs?? Family, friends and fools. Those were my first clients.
“Fools in this case are the clients who I call first timers who only went for me at first because I was much cheaper than the competition even though I had no portfolio whatsoever to my name.”
Thankfully, I now have loyal clients who provide a steady flow of income throughout most of the year but it is in those months when I don’t have business, that I have ‘sleepless nights’ thinking about how ‘broke’ I am, that I am tested.
As an entrepreneur, we are the bosses. We can steer our businesses into two different docks: that of success and that of failure. True entrepreneurs have experienced both of these docks either continuously or subsequently but they keep pressing on. Others can be called seasonal entrepreneurs as they seem to only ride the wave when times are good but give up when dark clouds are looming.
I came up with an entrepreneur check list to help you confirm whether you are a true entrepreneur:
- Risk requires confidence
Let’s face it, life itself has risks and so does any business venture. We cannot avoid it but we can face the risks head on by overcoming the obstacle. This requires being confident enough with your idea and reaching your goal.
“Say NO to being cocky”
This also drives the point home that entrepreneurs are willing to fail. There is no reward without risk, what separates many of us as entrepreneurs is the road to success. True entrepreneurs don’t give up but learn from their mistakes and work towards making it.
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. — Winston Churchill”
- Being the best requires you to be competitive
Being competitive does not require you to have a business evil mindset. All you need is to be a step ahead of the competition. Knowing their weaknesses can help you better and/or develop your strengths.
- The vision leads to the dream
An entrepreneur is working 24/7. Not to say they don’t have a social life or they don’t make time for their families/loved ones; it is just that they are always on ON MODE. Entrepreneurs are constantly planning and envisioning all that needs to be done, what is needed for it to be done and how it will be done.
Having a vision requires you to be creative. It is one thing to have an idea or vision and it is completely other thing turning it into a real business. Thinking is easy, the follow through is the hardest as you need to have a creative way of dealing with obstacles that may hinder that vision.
- The ‘end’ game is steered by focus
As an entrepreneur you will face many challenges. It will be a never ending cycle of ups and downs that would freak some of us away. It normally takes a minimum of 3 – 5 years for a business to actually flourish and allow you to take a step back and go on that much needed vacation or just have YOU time.
- It all comes from you
Being an entrepreneur cannot be instilled in you. That just would not stick and that’s why I feel many of us are seasonal entrepreneurs. You were told that X is a good business venture so you went straight for X but it wasn’t where you passion lay.
An entrepreneur is independent and self-motivated. They are open to challenges and accomplish their goals.
Also, there is nobody more passionate or knowledgeable about a business than its creator. As an entrepreneur talking and being excited about your business should come naturally to you.
“Serial entrepreneur = a bug so contagious that once gotten there is no turning back.”
There are many different entrepreneurs out there but the above qualities factor in most of the most successful entrepreneurs globally. This isn’t an exhaustive list so feel free to add on more by commenting below.