Do you have skills to create a startup? DesignCrowd Co-founder Adam Arbolino shares characteristics of entrepreneurs who have what it takes


Great ideas are a dime a dozen. Everyone has them. And everyone has the potential to turn those ideas into a product, service or business, especially with the digital tools available today. Just look at the number of projects on Kickstarter.

While it’s one thing to start a business or launch an idea, it’s another to become a scene-changing entrepreneur. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to see if you’ve got what it takes.

Also Read: Do you have what it takes to start up?

1. Will you accept failure?
The hardest thing to do is to take that first leap of faith into the unknown and know there is a risk that you might fail. In fact, it’s more than a risk, it’s almost a certainty. This is the number one reason that holds people back from being successful beyond their dreams.

It might not sound encouraging, but this is the key difference between a business owner and an entrepreneur. Business owners manage and operate. Entrepreneurs take risks to create growth. They’re constantly evaluating the marketplace and developing strategies to take the business to the next level, whether that involves looking for investors or bringing in equity partners. They’re also willing to take risks even when they know there’s the possibility of failure.

“Smart entrepreneurs develop an intuitive ability to sniff out and mitigate startup business risk,” writes Jim Price in Business Insider, “But you know you’re going to fall down, and feel comfortable with that fact and that you’re going to learn from your failures and adjust as you go.”

I’ve been asked, “How do you accept failure?”. My answer is that sometime you have to choose the path that you will regret it if you didn’t take it, even if you know you may fail.  With this mindset, you can fall a hundred times and still get back up to fight another day.

2. How’s your drive?
A passion for an idea and a drive to succeed is in the DNA of almost every entrepreneur I’ve met. When the passion for an idea runs through your veins, time starts to fly. Hours feel like minutes. When you love what you do and you are driven to make it work at all costs, you ‘time travel’.

Entrepreneurship is not a nine to five thing. Instead, it comes from deep passion to innovate and an intense motivation to dream, learn, do and continue moving upwards. Rayyan Islam recently wrote that entrepreneurs approach their work and tasks like an Olympic athlete. They think big. They want to win gold.

3. Can you lead, and be tough while doing so?
Just as entrepreneurs are never satisfied with the status quo, they’ll never fall in with the pack, either. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to lead – consistently, confidently and even aggressively. You’ve got to make tough decisions and have the confidence to rebound – and lead others to do so – when obstacles, challenges and setbacks crop up.

This also entails being a tough player. Entrepreneurs are characteristically resilient, thick-skinned, persistent and incredibly self-believing. They value the opinions of others, but they don’t let enemies, critics and naysayers drag them down. Instead, an entrepreneur has to be able to cut through all that and still retain focus and drive.

Also Read: Are you the best person to lead your startup?

4. Will you live on the emerging edge?
This is where the entrepreneurial world lives. Joe Robinson articulated this brilliantly when he said, “Entrepreneurs have a curiosity that identifies overlooked niches and puts them at the forefront of innovation and emerging fields. They imagine another world and have the ability to communicate that vision effectively to investors, customers and staff.”

Vision is important, but you must also be ‘envisioning’ on the cutting-edge of your industry and beyond. Think about recent market-changing apps such as Vine or Instagram or even Richard Branson’s future plans for space hotels. Sounds unrealistic, but it’s part of his vision and it’s what makes an entrepreneur.

All these traits and behaviours culminate in an innate drive to succeed in the business world, to bring more value to an industry and potentially change the way people think, see, work or believe. If that’s your end goal, then congratulations – you’re on the right path to becoming a world changer, and the entrepreneurial challenge is already at your fingertips.

Adam Arbolino is the Co-founder and CTO of DesignCrowd. The views expressed here are of the author, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them

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