Is everyone cut out for entrepreneurship?

With entrepreneurship growing in popularity, anyone could be tempted to start a business. But being an entrepreneur is hard and comes with many challenges, which begs the question: is everyone cut out for entrepreneurship?

Research suggests not. In fact, one study from New York University found that the proportion of high school students saying that they would like to start a business declined over the course of a summer entrepreneurship programme.

But is that really a bad thing? Perhaps not. At the start of the BizCamp programme, 91 per cent of the participants indicated that they would like to own a business. Then they learnt how much time it would take and a lot of them realised that they were too busy. And then they learnt about the risk. “I’d rather work for a company versus become an entrepreneur and try to start from the bottom because it takes a lot of hard work and it’s also work that might not pay off, and I’m not that big of a risk taker,” one student told researchers.

After completing the programme, the proportion of students saying that they would like to start a business was down to 85 per cent. While this might be seen as a cause for alarm, any reality check is a good thing. It’s more important that entrepreneurs are going into business with realistic expectations as that will lead to a healthier business.

Changing what young people know and expect about launching a start-up before they start can prevent them from making avoidable mistakes.

How to survive as an entrepreneur against the odds

But how can you tell if you’re cut out for entrepreneurship? Here are three signs entrepreneurship might not be for you…

1. You don’t see things that need improving in the world

Without thinking about glasses being half full or half empty, think about how you view the world. Are you constantly coming up with things that need improving? Perspective is a good marker of your entrepreneurial tendencies. Entrepreneurs see things that need changing and fixing, a world that is not yet perfect.

“Serial entrepreneurs find new problems to fix,” according to USA Today’s report. Do you look at the world and see things that need changing? If not, entrepreneurship probably isn’t for you.

2. You’re looking for an easy life

Being an entrepreneur is hard and if you want to succeed in self-employment you need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, according to business coach Daniel Steenerson.

“Every day you’ll need to try something new for the first time,” he says. “Growth happens at the edge of the comfort zone. If you’re willing to go there, you may not be cut out for being an entrepreneur.”

How to spot the children most likely to become entrepreneurs

3. You prefer following orders

There are leaders in life and there are followers. Which are you?

As businessman, investor and philanthropist Farrah Gray wrote, “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”

It may be that you’re content taking orders and working to build someone else’s dream. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Many people will be happy with this life and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you want to be a leader and have your own dreams, work to make them a reality.

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