What do Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, and Mark Zuckerberg have in common?
No, they’re not all super-human masterminds who somehow stumbled upon lives of fame and fortune. They’re all highly successful entrepreneurs who had the confidence and skill set to turn their ideas into reality. Each had a clear vision for their career and the right personal qualities to meet the challenges they faced on their road to success.
You may be thinking, “Hey, I have a lot in common with Elon, Oprah, and Mark.” Perhaps you want to work in business or even run a business. But have you ever considered becoming an entrepreneur? Maybe at this very moment, you’re wondering, “What’s the difference between managing a business and being an entrepreneur?” The difference is fundamental – when you are an entrepreneur you make the decisions, take the risk, implement your ideas, and own the results. Are you comfortable with that? Some people are, but others would prefer the direction and support provided by a corporation.
Need some help clarifying your career goals?
Let’s start by examining the backgrounds of some proven successful entrepreneurs. A longitudinal study at Stanford University (led by Professor William Damon) found that successful entrepreneurs are usually smart and have high self-esteem and high self-confidence. They occasionally got into trouble as teens because they were too pushy or would bend rules. (So those random trips to the principal’s office in high school weren’t such a bad thing!) They also typically started in a salaried position, achieved success, and then moved out on to their own.
In terms of skills, a study from Gallup.com shows that successful entrepreneurs, compared to their peers, are better at:
- Clearly articulating the competitive advantage of their company to their clients
- Making decisions with their customers in mind (e.g., pricing, products, or service offerings)
- Planning for growth and aligning employee responsibilities with company goals
- Aligning employees’ strengths with their roles, thus maximizing employee engagement and increasing individual performance
- Making decisions based on an observed or anticipated impact on profitability
As you can see, accomplished entrepreneurs possess certain skills and tendencies that drive their success. Does it sound like we’ve been describing you?
At Hajoca, we created a quick checklist that can help you further assess your interests in being an entrepreneur.
Some of the qualities were identified from research (Gallup.com) and others come from our extended experience in developing entrepreneurs (we’ve been around since 1858). We invite you to take a few minutes to see how you compare to entrepreneurs!
– Judy Chartrand, PhD
Director Assessment and Development | Emco/Hajoca Corporation