One of the most important questions I ask during interviews is: What do you see yourself doing in 5 to 10 years from now? The answer shows what vision the candidate has for their life and their career. Almost everyone replies they want to be an entrepreneur. After having interviewed hundreds of people during the last few months, it made me think: Does everyone actually have the skills to be an entrepreneur?
I have come across three signs that indicate that entrepreneurship most probably will not be your destination:
1. Execute orders instead of creating them
If you’re the type of person who feels comfortable with executing orders, in others words following the direction of your boss, then entrepreneurship most probably will not suit you. Don’t get me wrong: Following orders is something everyone needs to do. Even if you’re a CEO of a company there is a level of “following orders” involved, think of the influence of investors, the board or an influential chairman of the company. But often there is a sense of wanting to make the wave instead of going with the flow.
2. 9:00–17:00 (or 9-to-5) mentality
If you have peace with a nine-to-five mentality, entrepreneurship definitely is not your calling. Once you start your own business, there is not really a work-life balance since you’re always on duty. Entrepreneurship equals hard work and putting in the hours, which does not stop at 5 PM. Similar to what Malcolm Gladwell describes in his book Outliers, with the 10,000 hours rule, which describes that any human being needs to put in at least 10,000 hours of practice to achieve greatness in any discipline. In other words entrepreneurs work their ass off.
3. The world is a perfect place
If you see the world as a perfect place without any problems that you can or want to solve, entrepreneurship is most likely not your thing. One of the biggest innovators and entrepreneurs I admire is Elon Musk, founder of Paypal, SpaceX, and Solarcity. He sees problems and thinks of how he can fix it. His life is dedicated to making the world a better place, whether it is creating an online payment method, making space travel available for commercial use or creating new ways of alternative energy. If you’re fine with how the world is, please don’t even think about entrepreneurship. The drive to change the world and solve problems is at the core of any entrepreneur.
With that being said I come to the conclusion that entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but I am a strong believer that leadership is for everyone. Even more since leadership has nothing to do with a title but more with a mindset:
“Leadership is the ability to help other people get closer to a goal or to be a catalyst of positive progress.”
The fact of the matter is, we all have the potential to act like leaders. I have met cab drivers, bartenders, painters or even doctors that lead without having a “manager or CEO” title. It’s clear that everyone can be a leader. It’s just that some of us haven’t decided what we want to lead at yet and others haven’t realised the full scope of the power we posses.
To your success,
Andrew Senduk is an Amsterdam entrepreneur currently living in Jakarta with his lovely wife and two sons. He juggles family life and entrepreneurship, tries to eat Paleo, loves TRX workouts and is big fan of P90X. You can follow his LinkedIn Profile or check www.andrewsenduk.com if you want to know more. He currently is the Group Chief Revenue Officer of Orami.
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