In our Entrepreneurial life we always have goals and I will talk about those again but if we are to be successful in business there are a number of points or milestones that are significant in our Formation as business people

When I work with a mentee I like to know as much as I can about the journey they have been on to bring them to today. That usually means me asking why questions. Why did you make this choice or that at this point. Why was that the right choice at that time? Why are you choosing to be self employed anyway? Would you not do like your parents always wanted and get yourself a permanent and pensionable job?  Why NOT?

What were the significant decisions that led you down the road that eventually (last month’s title) brought you to the decision?

Usually it boils down to one of just three key influences:

  1. It was role modelled to the person – nurture – indicating that entrepreneurs are made not born
  2. The number of ideas every day ever since they were a child led to the inescapable reality that the only real option was self employment – Nature – indicating that entrepreneurs are born not made
  3. And increasingly in the past 10 years the solid awareness that while there is indeed work out there quite often there are not jobs but gigs available. And this creates what I call the reluctant entrepreneur

I’ve recognised that along the journey there is almost always a key influencer. The role model, the teacher who encourages a teenager, the financially supportive relative, the mentor, the encouraging older person.

These amazing mentors together contribute to the formation of the entrepreneur.

15% of the CAO applications in 2018 sought a business degree and according to an Enterprise Ireland survey 57% of people planning to start a business have a degree while only 20% have a leaving cert or similar (apprenticeship or level 5 QQI). Does that mean an entrepreneur needs a degree to succeed?

So what forms an entrepreneur? (This is the bit  where I prove my ‘opinionated’ title).

In my opinion the entrepreneur in influenced by so many different factors in varying degrees and is often tipped over into business by one of them. But there is no single magic ingredient. I have however noticed that all the entrepreneurs I have met share three characteristics in varying degrees;  so in no particular order

  1. A positive attitude to risk
  2. An endless supply of emotional resilience
  3. A view of the world that varies from the norm in some way

So when the notion of starting a business comes to mind and you look in the mirror the first and ask yourself:  What is my attitude to life, risk and how do I respond to adversity. Then decide on what influences have come to bear to bring you to the verge of this decision.

If you are happy with your truthful responses to these questions Just four last questions.

  1. Does my idea have the legs to financially support me (if yes it’s a business, if not it’s a hobby)
  2. Do I have the requisite skills (if not can I buy them in at a rate that works)
  3. What alternatives to this idea have I considered
  4. Do I have the support of my loved ones

If you are satisfied with your responses to all of this then you might just be an entrepreneur.

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