Well gap year preparations are in full swing around here which is really exciting to say the least! This week was spent working on our bathroom reno project which has officially moved from demolition mode to reconstruction mode and a serious decluttering also occurred. Next weekend is the community wide garage sale so we will take advantage of the free advertising and try to sell some stuff of our own. The goal being to get the house on the market ASAP.
Now that we are on our way to being homeless, I have really being thinking about how we are going to earn a living, especially at first while we build our Internet presence. Every Friday night my husband and I head for our backyard hot tub and have what we like to call Hot Tub Therapy. This consists of discussing anything and everything that is on our minds and making short term plans and long term goals. It’s my favorite time of the week.
This week’s topic was how to divide up the work of our new lifestyle business and he made a comment which was a bit strange to me. He basically wanted me to list all the tasks that were necessary for our business so he could pick which ones he would focus on. I am totally focused on categories of work such as administration, marketing, niche categories, banking and he is looking for daily tasks lists. I realized at that moment that we have very different perspectives of what this business means to us. He thinks like an employee and I think like the boss. This doesn’t truly surprise me I suppose, it’s not the first time I have been called bossy! It got me thinking though about what qualities are needed to have an entrepreneurial perspective and if it can be learned or if it just comes naturally.
I have always had a business owner perspective. I come from a family of business owners and serial entrepreneurs. My dad has seven siblings and every single one of them have been self employed for the majority of their lives. I owned my first business at age 21 and it seemed like the natural thing to do. I worked in the family business for many years and while I was technically an employee, I still felt an ownership of my areas of responsibility. Even now while I am clearly nothing more than an employee, I don’t feel the same need for ‘permission to act’ that is evident with other people. I run my division like I own it, within certain parameters of course but I am totally willing to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.
So, I did a little digging into the qualities required of entrepreneurs and here’s what I came up with:
1. Desire to succeed.
2. Resilience and persistence
3. Risk tolerant
4. Organized and able to plan
5. Persuasive and able to gather support
6. Self starter
7. Open minded
12. Life long learner
13. Good communicator
These characteristics are a compilation of multiple articles and websites, mashed up into my own words. When I look at this list the thing that strikes me is that these are all the same qualities that a great employee would have too, so what’s the dividing line? In my opinion the really critical factor is risk tolerance. Once a person can cross the line of being dependent on someone else’s success to earn their living and are able to trust themselves to be successful enough to earn a living then an entrepreneur is born. It’s all a matter of taking ownership of that risk. As for me, I am ready to own it and as for my hubby..well he’s putting all his faith in me too!
Agree? Disagree? What do you think the one single factor is that moves someone from employee to employer? I would love to hear from you.