Being an entrepreneur is a tricky task. It isn’t an eight hour shift a day, but instead it's a mindset that you wake up with, and bring home when you leave the workplace. An entrepreneur needs to be the jack of all trades, juggle multiple things at one time, and be different people in different places. Other than that, they need to be strategic risk takers. Today’s business world changes at an incredibly fast pace, and business leaders have no choice but to adapt with change or be swept away in the dust.
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Being an entrepreneur can be an exasperating job since the problems don’t stop when you leave your workplace. Entrepreneurs cannot leave a workplace and forget about strategy or problems that need to be solved. It’s not easy for the entrepreneur to detach themselves from their work with so much at stake.
There are similar qualities that entrepreneurs possess that are backed up with science and research. If you feel that you have what it takes, read on and test yourself to find out whether or not you have these similar super powers.
Effective planning is the gold standard for entrepreneurs. This involves managing time well and strategizing the best time to do certain business moves. Setting aside time every week just to plan is very beneficial for entrepreneurs and their businesses. The planning, of course, would involve contingency plans if things don’t work out. Don’t fret if planning and organization aren’t your strengths, put systems in place and get ahold of a simple daily planner. Some planning is better than no planning at all.
Planning is vital and it does not stop at drafting a business plan; it is a continuous process that must be maintained. A business is like a child, you have to nurture every aspect of it, and develop good habits. But just like all children, there are always going to be bad habits, which must be stopped or corrected over time. Eventually your baby will be able to function independently just like an adult. But just like a full functioning adult, you have to have proper habits in order to improve. Plans are like healthy diets, everyone knows they should be eating right, but merely a few are really able to sustain the diet long enough to see results.
According to Dr Pychyl, a procrastination research expert, people feel a sense of accomplishment when they write a to-do list without even really having accomplished anything. Although to-lists are the first thing many people do when planning to get things done, without a prioritized to-do list, it can impair your decision-making throughout that day.
Communication and Persuasion
Persuasion is a powerful tool that anyone can use. It comes hand in hand with communication. When you already have the skill of communication, which establishes the fact that you can be understood by anyone, entrepreneurs can step it up a notch by learning how to persuade.
Everyone stereotypes a good businessperson as a smooth talker. Being able to talk well is what makes a businessperson successful. Interestingly so, a study found that dealing effectively with objections can be more influential than standard methods of persuasion. Naturally, as entrepreneurs all get rejected one way or another, insisting on their requests can go a long way.
The study involved insisting on a request in different manners:
- “Why not?” - This method follows a decline with a simple question.
- Door-in-the-face (DITF) model. Now it’s not as harsh as you might think, but it involved asking for an absurd request first that would most likely be declined flat out, and then following up with a smaller request that appeared generally reasonable.
- Low-ball technique - The exact reverse of the DITF model.
- Placebo Information - Giving out useless information with your request.
Out of all the techniques tested, the “Why not?” and the Placebo information technique fared best out of all, followed by the DITF. So the next time your request gets rejected, remember that you still have a shot at changing their minds. All it takes is a little nudge.
The Art of Getting Things Done
If you tend to procrastinate, then entrepreneurship is not for you. An entrepreneur rarely has free time when launching a business and they can have an erratic schedule. Someone who has the habit of procrastinating is likely to push projects for a later time. Entrepreneurs keep in mind that money does not wait, and potential clients are not the most patient people. If your proposed business has a lot of competitors, you can be sure that your competitors will get ahead of you because of this habit.
Studies have shown that the more you procrastinate, the less willpower you will have for left over tasks. A study on willpower and procrastination found that there may be a limited supply of willpower that one person has to accomplish given tasks. The more you push tasks down on your list of things to do that day or week, the more insipid you will be later in the day. Researchers predicted this may be because that later on in the day, you get more tired and stressed. It appears that, according to this study, willpower can get worn out in the same way that our muscles can wear out. This also means that, like our muscles, we can train our willpower.
Don’t feel too bad if you are a regular procrastinator, because just as the study implies, training your willpower is doable. It’s just like going to gym.
Self-Motivation and Initiative
Being your own boss, you will have nobody to tell you when to wake up in the morning or will pressure you to finish a deadline. Successful people do so by themselves and enjoy it. Self-motivated folk are inclined to enjoy challenges, and will try to beat their own accomplishments. The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday. This will save you the heartache and depression of comparing yourself to others. Don’t do that, you are not them.
Initiative comes from no one but you. Having initiative does not mean coming up with an ingenious plan that will surpass all others, it means that you know how to solve market needs. Any nifty rocket science idea is pointless if there is no one to sell it to. If there isn’t enough demand for it, it will not do any good.
A psychological study followed Wesleyan graduates 14 years after graduation indicated that former students that indicated a high need for achievement were found in entrepreneurial occupations as opposed to those indicating a low need for achievement.
An entrepreneur has to be so many faces at the same time. Their job description is changing constantly and considerably as different needs and challenges arise in the business. The list of super powers that entrepreneurs have doesn’t end here. Entrepreneurship may be overwhelming at times, but in the end (when done right) could land the entrepreneur in a more comfortable wealthy lifestyle sometime down the road.