Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 20th 2015 Contents SEPTEMBER 20 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN
ENTREPRENOMICS | 13SBG
Do you sometimes wonder if
you have what it takes to be
an entrepreneur? Do you have
the mindset or the qualities
that successful entrepreneurs
Well, wonder no more, I have a test that
should point the way forward for you.
But just a disclaimer, it is more for fun and
less scientific than I would have liked. But it
is a Sunday, so relax and take the quiz and
check your answers and laugh it off if it s not
what you expected.
Answer the 11 questions below and score
each one (one point each) and check the answers
to see how you do.
Question 1: Were you a top student in school?
Answer 1: No. Entrepreneurs as a rule are
not top achievers in school. What do Bill Gates
(Microsoft), Mark Zuckerburg (Facebook) and
Michael Dell (Dell Computers) have in common?
They are all dropouts. Bill Gates was Harvard s
most famous drop out. But before you drop
out of school, let me just warn you that you
still need a good education, but if you spend
too much time in the school, that might be
better spent out in the field researching and
testing your business ideas and model. In any
case, those threesome were not academic fail-
ures as they still had a good education.
Question 2: Did you initiate enterprises at an
early age, such as cake sales, selling BBQ tick-
ets?Answer 2: Yes. Research has shown that
young people who are exposed to entrepre-
neurship at an early age, go on with starting
their own businesses. Michael Dell as a high
school student started selling magazine sub-
scriptions and targeted people who tend not
to move (American tend to move around as
their careers did). He sold in one year
US$18,000, which was more than his school
Question 3: Do you like to research an idea
before moving forward with it?
Answer 3: Yes. Dell did well selling magazines
because he was not just a salesman, but a mar-
ket researcher. He noticed that people who
had a more permanent presence bought more
magazines and he was able to target them using
marriage and mortgage records.
Question 4: Did you prefer to be a loner as
Answer 4: Yes. Studies of entrepreneurs
show that, as youngsters, they often preferred
to be alone. Henry Ford would spend countless
nights alone working on his car so he could
develop an automobile for the middle class.
Time to focus and resolve the uncertainties in
Question 5: Did you like to climb tall trees in
search of the ripe fruits?
Answer 5: Yes. Caution may involve an
unwillingness to take risks, a handicap for those
embarking on previously uncharted territory.
Question 6: Were you daring or adventurous?
Answer 6: Yes. Studies of entrepreneurs
show that they liked taking risks, though not
high risk takers, but moderate or calculated
risk takers. They will venture out, but looking
for ways to reduce the risks. However, they
are not gamblers as lotto players.
Question 7: Do the opinions of others matter
a lot to you?
Answer 7: No. Entrepreneurs often have the
faith to pursue different paths despite the opin-
ions of others. Elon Musk was trying to build
a car that does not run on gas as he believed
that the world has to move away from fossil
fuels and the global warming associated with
it. Many did not share his view.
Today, Telsa makes electric cars and is the
first new automobile company in the US in
100 years. The price of his Telsas has come
down steadily and sometime soon it will
become more affordable. The dinosaurs of the
industry (GM, Ford, etc) have noticed and
launched their own versions.
Question 8: When you complete a project suc-
cessfully, do you immediately start another?
Answer 8: Yes. Successful entrepreneurs
generally enjoy their type of work so much,
that they move from one project to another.
They are high on energy and they have tons
of ideas they need to explore, so the pipeline
is always filled with projects. The late Wilbur
"Willies" Balgobin, premium ice cream founder,
started a computer school after his ice cream
Question 9: Are you willing to commit your
savings to start a business?
Answer 9. Yes. Successful entrepreneurs are
willing to use their savings to finance a project.
Since commercial banks seldom lend startups,
entrepreneurs have to use their own resources
and sometimes rope in their friends and fam-
ilies. It shows courage and confidence in their
Question 10: If your business were to fail,
would you immediately work on another?
Answer 10: Yes. Entrepreneurs tend to be
restless and have enough energy and ideas to
continue on. They seldom look at failure and
cry over it, but see it has a learning process,
they have resilience. They understand that the
process of starting a venture is not linear or
a series of stages going forward. The road for-
ward is filled with potholes as any road and
as we drivers know not all roads will take you
there. Sometimes we need to reboot our beloved
idea and do a reality check and try another
Question 11: Or would you immediately start
looking for a job, after failure?
Answer 11: No. Entrepreneurs are seldom
deterred by failure. They view failure as part
of the natural process of starting a business.
They will now focus on idea #2 and start work-
ing on it.
with Sajjad Hamid
Are you an entrepreneur?
Score 9-11 correct:
you have everything going
for you. You have the key
qualities of an entrepre-
neur and the mindset to
launch a new enterprise
or grow an existing one.
Score 6-8 correct:
your background, skills,
& talents give you an
excellent chance for suc-
cess in your own business.
However, you are missing
some of the qualities but
with research, experimen-
tation and learning you
can close the gap.
Score 4-5: you have a
head start of ability or
experience in running
your own business but
must learn the necessary
skills to make it happen.
Score 0-3: Your tal-
ents probably lie else-
where. Sorry, but you
might not have the entre-
preneurial mindset as you
might not be well posi-
tioned to deal with risks
and uncertainty or have
all the different aspects
of being a successful
Sajjad Hamid is a
SME consultant. He can
be reached at entrepre-
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