Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 25th 2015 Contents Many people tell me a
bit about their idea for
a business, and ask me
success, but there s a
lot more to it than
that. Entrepreneurship is one of the most
difficult, challenging career paths a person
can choose, and it s very hard to predict who
is going to do well. If you are thinking about
launching a business, here s a quiz to help
you think about whether you re ready for
the adventure ahead:
1. Do you tell everyone that you re an
Entrepreneurs rarely have the time to
announce to the world that they are entre-
preneurs. They re too busy and focused on
their work to worry about how they are per-
2. Are you working on your business
full time, or is that your goal?
Entrepreneurship is not a part-time role
or a fill-in between salaried jobs. You re either
in it with the goal of making your business
JUNE 2015 • WEEK FOUR www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COMMENTARY | BG13
a success or it won t survive in the long term. If job
security and regular working hours are important to
you, then this is not the role for you!
3. What is motivating you to launch your busi-
ness? You re not an entrepreneur if you re launching
your business strictly for the money. It s true that we
all need to earn a living, and if you stay focused and
put in the sweat equity you might make a lot of money
someday, but cash cannot be your primary motiva-
4. What are your goals for your business?
Entrepreneurs don t generally start out with visions
of building huge corporations. I had no plans to create
a global company any more than Steve Jobs envisioned
that Apple would become four times more valuable
than General Electric: I set out to make music, and
Steve wanted to build computers. That was about the
sum total of it.
5. Is fear of failure stopping you from trying
out your ideas? Entrepreneurs are not afraid of failure,
but instead learn from it and move on. Some of the
greatest disruptors the business world has ever seen
have gone bankrupt in pursuit of their dreams - Henry
Ford and Walt Disney to name two.
6. Do you worry about what people think of
you? As an adjunct to #5, entrepreneurship calls for
a thick skin and a high capacity for tolerating discomfort.
If you have trouble with risk or criticism then you
shouldn t get into the business. And ducking blame
is not an option: In your business s early days, the
buck has nowhere stop except with you, so you need
to be able to handle it.
7. Do you welcome the spotlight? You have to
put yourself forward. If you re not prepared to step
up and play the front man for your company from
time to time, you might be better off working for
somebody else. Don t worry: If a shy, dyslexic high
school dropout like me could get over his terror of
public speaking, then anyone can.
8. Do your employees have to do everything
your way? If you re a "my way or the highway" type
of manager, then you are never going to be an entre-
preneur - the abilities to delegate and collaborate are
9. Do you believe in yourself and your ideas?
Disruptive thinkers seldom come up with ideas that
are instantly grasped by everyone around them. They
must have unshakable courage in their own of con-
victions, and then some. Entrepreneurs have to trust
their instincts and refuse to roll over when their bold
new idea is attacked as being nonviable, often for very
sensible reasons. Believers in conventional wisdom
should not apply.
In 1983, when Virgin Records was our main business
and I was working on starting up a trans-Atlantic
airline, had I paid heed to my partners outraged asser-
tions that I was "utterly insane," then Virgin Atlantic
Airways would never have existed. That doesn t mean
they were wrong!
Whatever the industry, it takes a truckload of entre-
preneurial spirit, hunger, desire, courage and some
David-like insanity to pick up a slingshot and compete
with entrenched industry Goliaths. Which brings me
10. Are you a little bit insane? If you re not,
maybe you re not cut out for the life of an entrepreneur.
There are many rewarding and far less treacherous
ways to earn a living, but few are half as much fun.
Do you have what it takes
to become an entrepreneur?
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