Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Sucessful Entrepreneur? Take The Quiz

Dec 22 2013, 6:12am CST | by

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Sucessful Entrepreneur? Take The Quiz
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Every entrepreneur is different. It couldn’t be any other way.

Similarly, the companies they create are as unique as they are. That, too, is a given.

And while, as we have seen, there is a common logic that the best entrepreneurs follow in building their companies, we have never really talked about the traits or characteristics that help make someone a successful entrepreneur in the first place.

Some of those traits are obvious..

Being smart is always a good thing.  And drive and determination are definitely required, given the inevitable obstacles you will face.

But those are the price of entry. They don’t seem to separate entrepreneurs from everyone else.

After studying entrepreneurs for more than 30 years, I have decided that a writer–and not a businessperson–may have identified the necessary traits, although the writer in question–William Falkner–did it inadverently.

The following is from an interview The Paris Review did with the Nobel Laureate

Question: “How much of your writing is based on personal experience?”

Faulkner: “I can’t say. I never counted up. Because “how much” is not important. A writer needs three things, experience,  observation, and imagination—any two of which, at times any one of  which—can supply the lack of the others.”

I think those same three traits–observation, experience and imagination–are required to be a successful entrepreneur. But unlike in creating a novel, I think all three are absolutely required at all times.

However, I don’t think they should be weighted equally.

While I believe observation and imagination are always necessary, experience is a two-edged sword.

Sure, it can be helpful. But, ironically, too much experience can be a liability.

Once you gain a lot of experience, you can get set in your ways and decide you know what will work and what won’t.

I am making this up, but I am willing to bet that the people at Blockbuster knew–based on their experience–that no one would ever rent movies via mail and so they dismissed NetFlix, when it was first beginning, out of hand./>/>

Conversely, a lack of experience be an advantage. Because you don’t know how things are supposed to be done, you can forge your own path.

So, in my way of looking at things, observation and experience get full marks. Experience is worth half of either one.

And that brings to the quiz itself.

If You Are Scoring At Home

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your powers of observation.  Are you always looking at things and finding patterns and saying “hmm, I wonder why they did X like that.”

If you do that every minute of every day, in every situation everywhere, give yourself a 10.  If you constantly walk around in a fog, give yourself a 1.  If you fall somewhere in between, write down the appropriate number.

Take the same approach with imagination.

Are you one of those people who always looks at one thing and see something else (or multiple something elses)? If you are, give yourself a 10.

If what you see is always what you see and clouds in odd shapes are just clouds in odd shapes, write down a 1.

If you fall somewhere in between, give yourself the appropriate score.

As for experience, if you are a complete newbie to the field you are considering award yourself a 2.5.  A complete and utter pro 5.  Again, if you are in the middle, grade appropriately.

Now, add up the scores.

I would LOVE to hear from successful entrepreneurs what they think the minimum score is. (Please click the “comment button” to tell me.)

But until I do, let me tell you where I come out..

Because I believe everyone is going to have to become an entrepreneur or at the very least master entrepreneurial thought and action in coming years, and because I believe becoming an entrepreneur is less scary than you think, my position is if you scored 16 or higher you should seriously consider that idea you have been toying with (at least on a part-time basis.)

And the higher the score, the more confident you have the right to feel in starting.

Start small. But start.

And do let me know what you scored, and what you think.

###

Paul B. Brown is co-author of Just Start  published by Harvard Business Review Press.

Please note this blog appears every Sunday and Wednesday.

Click on the “Following” button to get every new blog post as soon as its goes live.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

One infant dies in Pakistan hospital
Islamabad, Nov 23 (IANS) One more infant died due to lack of oxygen in an incubator and negligence of the hospital administration in Pakistan, bringing the number of such deaths to 19 in the past five days.
 
 
American whiskey faces challenge in whisky-gulping India
Washington, Nov 23 (IANS) For the most part Indians love things American, but when it comes to their tipple, the world's largest whisky drinkers usually go for Scotch or their very own home-made brands.
 
 
Tiny shrimps hold clue to alien life
Washington, Nov 23 (IANS) A tiny shrimp residing at one of the world's deepest undersea hydrothermal vents holds clues about what life could be like on other planets, NASA scientists report.
 
 
What causes discomfort among users of contact lenses
Melbourne, Nov 23 (IANS) If you are not comfortable wearing contact lenses, it could be due to degradation of the lipid layer in the eyes' natural tear film, says a study.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Bayern Munich increase Bundesliga advantage
Berlin, Nov 23 (IANS) Bayern Munich extended their lead atop the Bundesliga standings with a 4-0 win over Hoffenheim as Schalke upset runner-up Wolfsburg 3-2 and Frankfurt shocked Monchengladbach with a comeback win....
Read more on Sport Balla
 
A8 Chip of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Can Handle 4K Videos
The outstanding features of the A8 chip are continuing to be revealed, as the processor is found to have the capability of playing 4K videos on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.According to Mac Rumors, the fact has...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
One infant dies in Pakistan hospital
Islamabad, Nov 23 (IANS) One more infant died due to lack of oxygen in an incubator and negligence of the hospital administration in Pakistan, bringing the number of such deaths to 19 in the past five days. The death...
Read more on Business Balla
 
American whiskey faces challenge in whisky-gulping India
Washington, Nov 23 (IANS) For the most part Indians love things American, but when it comes to their tipple, the world's largest whisky drinkers usually go for Scotch or their very own home-made brands. Indians...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Tiny shrimps hold clue to alien life
Washington, Nov 23 (IANS) A tiny shrimp residing at one of the world's deepest undersea hydrothermal vents holds clues about what life could be like on other planets, NASA scientists report. These tiny shrimps in the...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Katy Perry hits back at Australian media
Los Angeles, Nov 23 (IANS) Singer Katy Perry has called the paparazzi in Australia "perverted" and "disgusting" for following her along the beach and for asking her to pose during her visit to the country for her...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Tiger Woods gets new swing coach
Miami, Nov 23 (IANS) Former World No.1 golfer Tiger Woods said that he has named Chris Como as new swing coach. Como is the fourth swing coach for Woods since the American turned professional in 1996, reports Xinhua...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
All's not well between Kourtney Kardashian, Scott Disick
Los Angeles, Nov 23 (IANS) Pregnant reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian has hinted at a relationship strife with partner Scott Disick by posting a cryptic message-based image on a social media platform. The 35-year-...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
$1 Samsung Galaxy S5 Best Buy Black Friday Deal is on Sale Now
Best Buy has released a new set of deals on Sunday 11/23 including a deal advertised in the Best Buy Black Friday 2014 Ad. The $1 Samsung Galaxy S5 Black Friday deal is now on sale at bestbuy.com.The regular price of...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
What causes discomfort among users of contact lenses
Melbourne, Nov 23 (IANS) If you are not comfortable wearing contact lenses, it could be due to degradation of the lipid layer in the eyes' natural tear film, says a study. Patients with discomfort showed degradation...
Read more on Business Balla