How Do You Know If You’re An Entrepreneur-In-The-Making?

You’ve dreamed of starting your own business. Dreams don’t go very far, though. Being an entrepreneur is hard, really hard. If you don’t have the ability to roll with the inevitable punches, you will get knocked out. Do not become an entrepreneur because it’s cool. That won’t work. The failure rate is high. More than half of start-ups fail in the first five years. That’s worse odds than a coin toss.

Become an entrepreneur because it’s your calling.

Based on business startups that have reached incredible heights, my new book, Entrepreneurial Leap, breaks down the six essential traits that every new entrepreneur needs in order to succeed. You either have the six essential traits, or you don’t.

What Is An “Essential Trait”?

Let’s break down the definition of “Essential Traits”.

A “trait” is defined as a “genetically determined characteristic.” That means a trait is in your DNA. It’s your natural wiring. We are not talking about skills here. Skills can be learned; traits can’t. You are either born with certain traits or you are not.

“Essential” is defined as “absolutely necessary, extremely important.” These are essential traits. You have to have them if you’re going to become a true entrepreneur!

I know this concept is going to break a few hearts. I take no pleasure in that, but when I help someone realize that they are not an entrepreneur, I’m doing them a service. I’m not only saving them years of pain. I’m moving them one step closer to figuring out their true calling.

Do these traits ring true for you? Let’s dive into the six essential traits.

The First Essential Trait: Visionary

This trait is measured by your ability to connect the dots, see the big picture, and the future. Visionary is defined as being imaginative, creative, inventive, ingenious, enterprising, and innovative. You are a dreamer. You have a sixth sense for resolving the problem you are focused on. Simply put, you have ideas.

Are you a visionary?

The Second Essential Trait: Passionate

Passionate entrepreneurs are energized by solving a problem in their industry, filling a void, by fixing, helping, making a difference, building, or creating something. Passion is an essential trait, because it gets an entrepreneur through tough times. You cannot survive failure without passion. Most people give up when faced with their first setback, because they are just not passionate enough about their idea, business, product, service, or customers.

Are you passionate?

The Third Essential Trait: Problem-Solver

Being a problem-solver is as much about new ideas, innovation, and creating things as it is about dealing with barriers, obstacles, and setbacks. A problem-solver is an optimist by nature. You see solutions to everything, whether it is a product or service you create to fill a need you saw, or a setback you experience when your product fails and you reinvent it. Your mind always sees solutions.

Are you a problem-solver?

The Fourth Essential Trait: Driven

Driven people have a strong sense of urgency. This trait is essential to success. Whether you’re trying to prove something to a family member, trying to avoid the life you had growing up, or trying not to be a failure, these are some of the roots of an entrepreneur’s drive. Driven people are tenacious, competitive, self-motivated, goal-oriented, growth-oriented and never give up.

Are you driven?

The Fifth Essential Trait: Risk-Taker

A risk-taker is someone willing to take a leap and willing to fail. A risk-taker is a rule breaker, change maker, disruptor. The status quo is not good enough. Entrepreneurs take risks: calculated risks. They are willing to fail, try again, and adapt. When it comes time to take a leap, they understand the risk/reward equation and prefer to take a big risk for a big reward.

Looking at your past history, have you taken risks?

The Sixth Essential Trait: Responsible (Blame No One)

Entrepreneurs take total responsibility for the outcome. They don’t make excuses. They don’t complain. If you possess this trait, you accept the burden for becoming completely financially accountable. You don’t believe in entitlement. You never look for a handout. You are self-sufficient and self-reliant. Above all, you blame no one else for things that go wrong.

Are you responsible?


Let’s review the six essential traits that make up an entrepreneur’s genetic coding:

1. Visionary

2. Passionate

3. Problem Solver

4. Driven

5. Risk-Taker

6. Responsible (Blame no one)

Now it is time for you to be very honest with yourself. You either answered yes to all six, or you didn’t. You either are an entrepreneur-in-the-making, or you aren’t.

Sometimes just knowing you have what it takes starts the process of turning dreams into reality.

Take a few minutes right now to take the free Entrepreneur-In-The-Making Assessment to confirm whether or not you possess the characteristics of an entrepreneur.

Interested in Learning More?

Download a Free Chapter from Entrepreneurial Leap: Do You Have What It Takes To Become An Entrepreneur? or purchase the book on Amazon.

And if you're convinced you're an entrepreneur-in-the-making, be sure to check out our popular workshop "Transform Dreams to Startup," which takes place twice a month in Detroit!

Guest Post: Dreamer to Startup, by Gino Wickman