An Entrepreneur's Checklist

Do you tick any of these boxes? Do you tick all of them? What's interesting about this list is that you can be an entrepreneur if you don't tick all of the boxes, but you can't not be an entrepreneur if you do!

1) You're young

Being young helps! Being young gives you a time advantage in case things don't work out. Any money lost in your 20s can easily be made up in your 30s and 40s. Your 20s are your time to take risk—so use them wisely and regret nothing!

2) You're self-motivated

When you're starting a business, there won't be anyone there to pick up your slack. If you're the kind of person to pass on work to your colleagues in order to make your life easier—don't bother starting a business! You need to be self-motivated to get up every day and work your ass off to achieve your goals. You need to sacrifice things that you love in order to get to where you want to be. If you're the kind of person who wakes up at 6AM to go for a run, then you can automatically tick this box… I envy you.

3) You're single

A start-up is a succubus, and I mean the stealing your soul part, not the sex in your sleep part… If you want the sex in your sleep part then find a partner, don't start a business. You could end up with a succubus either way— so be careful!

4) You're a doer

There are doers and talkers, which one are you? “I'm gonna”—the two sexiest words in the English language to a talker, and the two most ear aching words in the English language to a doer. Yeah, yeah… just tell me when you've done it already!

5) You're always aiming to be better

To me, self-improvement is the meaning of life. Always strive to improve your abilities in all respects, day-by-day, through small steps. I learnt the power of small steps towards improvement quite late in life. If only our kids could somehow gain some perspective on time and its power when put to good use…

6) Risk taking is in your blood

Who ever said being a gambler is a bad thing? If risk taking is in your blood, then make sure that the risks you do take are calculated. Having a high tolerance for losses gives you something that most other people don't have. Many people are smart and capable enough to start their own business, it's just that their risk tolerance doesn't match their ability to take risk—yours does!

7) You live to work

If you had a million dollars, would you retire? How about $10 million? If your answer is, and be honest with yourself, no, to both of these questions, then congratulations! That means money is not your primary goal, it's merely a bonus that derives from your actual pleasure—work! I've heard so many people say “If I had $10 million, I'd be sitting on a beach somewhere,” to that I say, how boring!

8) You hate working for someone else

Who doesn't, right? Although, the idea of starting a business and answering to no-one is often a mirage. For the most part you're still answering to people, i.e. creditors, banks, investors, your wife… From what comedians tell me, the latter holds the most authority—I wouldn't know however (refer to checkbox number 3). The point is, for most people you're simply better off having a boss!

9) Weekends have no feel

If you are completely indifferent to working on a Saturday or a Sunday, then entrepreneurship is going to be a whole lot easier. If you want to go out drinking with your friends over the weekend, then you're at a major disadvantage to the people who don't. Don't be fooled into thinking that everyone wants a weekend, they don't!

10) You have a job to fall back on

An income is always important. You may be ready to risk it all and roll the dice with some brand new cool idea, but make sure you have a plan B. This is a no-brainer for most people, but I thought I'd play dad and make sure that you know! Oh, and plan B isn't a university degree… those things can be a little iffy—make sure you have an actual job lined up!

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