Entrepreneurship, Not for the Faint of Heart

Entrepreneurship, Not for the Faint of Heart

Here are one entrepreneur’s top five characteristics you need to explore within yourself to see if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong she is until she’s in hot water.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Being an entrepreneur is not easy, although I highly recommend it! I know this first-hand, as I once had a software start-up (Social2Step) 10 years ago. For two years, I worked hard on this company, harder than I had ever worked in my life. During that time, I raised decent seed money, launched a social sharing platform and gathered six clients. I had a great ride. However, at the end of the day, I ran out of money, couldn’t raise more and had to give up the dream of being the next female version of Bill Gates. 

Do I regret having spent two years of my life and a lot of my and others’ money to see if I could be the next great software platform? The answer is a resounding NO. The experiences I had, the people I met, the skillsets and life lessons I took from this experience far outweigh the feeling of defeat that I try hard to this day not to dwell on. 

In fact, I am proud of my failure. I take comfort in speaking this out loud. Most great entrepreneurs have an average of six to eight failures before they “strike it rich.” The confidence and courage it takes to step up to the plate and take a swing for the bleachers exists in a very small group of people, I am proud to be in their numbers.

Here are my top five characteristics (there are more but I narrowed down to my own personal top five) you need to explore within yourself to see if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

1. Courage. The courage to fail, but more importantly, the courage to pick yourself up after you fail. You will have many failures on the road to success and you need to anticipate those failures and plan your response. The willingness to fail will become your greatest virtue.

2. You must love a good challenge. But know that every challenge will either kill you or make you stronger. You will be challenged every minute of every day as an entrepreneur. I looked at every challenge as an opportunity to grow. 

3. Resilience/persistence. You will have many small failures on your entrepreneurial journey, but you can’t let them get you down. Give failures two seconds of your thought, then figure out your next play. Keep pivoting. Once you make the commitment, you have to be either all in or get out. And keep repeating to yourself, “failure is not an option.” Until it is. 

4. Confidence. You need to have confidence in yourself to succeed. You especially need to wear that confidence loud and proud when you are in front of potential investors, business partners and clients. If you do not have confidence in yourself, others will sniff that out and walk away.

5. Problem solving/critical thinking skills. You will use this skill set every minute of every day in your entrepreneurial path. This was one of my favorite skills to develop and use. Being college-educated and a former engineer, I was taught to “work the problem” whenever something didn’t go as planned. During my software development days, I enjoyed the challenge of writing code to make things happen. When programs failed, I loved the process of stepping through lines of code to find the problem and fix it. I applied this skillset to my start-up, determining my next move when a previous plan didn’t work the way I had hoped. You have to think on your feet and use all of your critical thinking skills available to you.

I invite each of you to join me at the upcoming Women In Automotive Annual Conference on June 22-24, 2023 at the Renaissance Hotel in Dallas, Texas, where we will have a focus on Mentoring with our WomenPowered Mentoring program. Come meet your next mentor or make that decision to be a mentor. 

For more information: [email protected] / www.womeninautomotive.com.

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