Entrepreneur is a French word literally translated as someone who “enters into an undertaking” into business for themselves.
- They must take legitimate risks to advance their organization.
- A small business requires the same amount of consistent, steady maintenance as a baby.
Outside of parenting, a small business is the largest personal sacrifice a person can ever make.
- The sacrifice will require at least four years of obsessive devotion, with the possibility of decades of retirement afterward.
Almost everyone is capable of being an entrepreneur, but not everyone has the personality that they’d enjoy it:
- Since they’ll likely have to do a little of all the business skills, they must have a high enough Openness to Experience to learn domains like taxes, researching regulations, and negotiating with a supplier.
- They must be Conscientious enough to make sacrifices, productively get work done before it must be done, and pay bills on time, but not so much that they’re a perfectionist.
- While it varies on the industry, they must be Extraverted enough to steadily, consistently connect with dozens to hundreds of strangers.
- They must be low-enough Agreeableness to both negotiate better prices and resist the conflicts they create from disregarding social fashions, especially against large-scale systems who will suppress their rise to power.
- Their Neuroticism must be high enough to make creative connections, but not enough that it interferes with their ability to get work done.
- It’s practically a requirement to adopt an abnormally high tolerance for social risks.
- They’ll need to constantly seek out guidance from mentors and associates.
- Typically, they’ll have a natural ability to see strengths where most people see weaknesses.
Most of them are inherently curious.
- They tend to ask probing and profound questions, even seemingly stupid ones, about absolutely everything.
- Typically, they’re trying to find creative ways to break existing norms.
However, unlike philosophers or educators, they’re also extremely practical.
- That practical approach means they’re typically antagonistic toward bureaucracy and large systems.
- They’re fixated more on currently available resources than building large-scale systems.
- Many of them will have a strange enjoyment out of finding ways to overcome, minimize or calculate risks.
Finally, they generally must be humble enough to accept what they don’t know.
- If they’re older, they’ll need to follow the trends that younger people adopt, meaning they’ll have to change their ways.
- If they’re younger, they’ll need to take the experience and wisdom of older generations.
- They’ll have to touch many specialized domains, so they’ll need to learn when they must simply trust professionals.
They’ll have to learn a wide variety of disciplines where they had had zero experience.
- While they can delegate some things (e.g., lawyer or accountant), the beginning stages of their business will require them to understand at least a general working concept of most parts of their organization.
Determination – more than anything else, they must be focused.
- They will face against a plethora of opposition, ranging from existential (e.g., friends who don’t think they’ll succeed) to practical (e.g., much larger companies start trying to compete with them).
- That determination, over time, will express as a type of relentlessness toward what they want.
Flexibility – against determination, they must be able to adapt.
- Relentlessness alone isn’t useful, and they’ll get shut down quickly if they don’t pivot to where the opportunities are sitting.
- Success porn like “don’t give up on your dreams” is foolish, since they’ll have to modify their dreams at a moment’s notice.
Imagination – they must be able to think creatively.
- Intelligence counts because it defines how easily they can think of new ideas.
- In many circles, their cleverness will be seen as mild insanity.
Deviance – they need to have a rebellious streak.
Friendship – it’s a huge advantage if they know how to get along with others.
- Their ability to coexist and work together becomes much more significant once they have partners.
- Irrespective of their social skills, an entrepreneur will be preoccupied with how they can fulfill others’ needs.
- Many of them are also natural leaders, even if nobody follows them.
Independence – they’ll have to do almost everything themselves, at least at first.
- Paying others for what you can do yourself will impede your ability to make a profit.
- Building a business from the ground up requires a lot of toil, and is a dramatic exercise in self-improvement from all angles.
Some motivations can’t sustain an entrepreneur’s drive:
- If someone severely resents working for an employer, they’ll resent working with clients and will often alienate potential opportunities.
- The desire to simply become rich is ill-placed in entrepreneurship, since most entrepreneurs are paid less than employees who do mostly the same job.
- Wanting to please someone else won’t work, since starting a business is not an easy decision.
In general, self-employment is not as high-paying as an employee equivalent.
- When you work as an employee, you’re typically in a much more specialized role, meaning people are generally more inclined to pay you more for that work.
- You also don’t have to think about unrelated domains to your work (e.g., accounting, management, sales).
An entrepreneur must be driven by a self-determined purpose to achieve.
- They typically have plenty of confidence in their skills.
- They have to find meaning in their work, even when it’s completely unrelated to making money.
Entrepreneurs typically succeed when they want to build a community.
- To accomplish the wide variety of tasks they’ll need to do, they will need to foster community with other people.
- The prevalence of social interaction means they’ll have to find at least some meaning from working with others.
The disposition of an entrepreneur means they tend to have a few lifestyle elements in common:
- Loves sports, especially team or extreme sports.
- Loves traveling to original, exotic places.
- Typically self-taught, but often not much college education.
- Often obsessively focused on whatever task they’re performing.
- Spends their free time learning, absorbing information, or mastering a fun skill.
For several reasons, entrepreneurs are typically young.
- They have fewer commitments, and therefore less to risk to the unknown.
- They’re typically not bitter about most of society’s large systems.
- Their mind is more prone to entertaining silly things which may become a good business idea.
- They’ll have more enthusiasm toward a new idea from a general lack of awareness over future risks.
They typically won’t be inclined toward creature comforts and luxuries.
- They won’t be fixated on money as much as what more money can do for them.
- In the formative phases of a small organization, even small expenses can ruin its financial health.
Many disciplines parallel an entrepreneur’s, and most of them typically visit at least some of them:
- Creative performance fields like musicians and actors.
- Professional writers, especially fiction writers.
- Media professionals and public speakers.
- Leaders in nonprofit organizations or churches.
- Homeschooling parents.
Next: A Business Idea