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Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Preneur?

Susan L. Reid

Becoming an entrepreneur is not for everyone.

Picture of women entrepreneursBesides the wonderful benefits of working for yourself, setting your own hours, and the ability to choose when and where you work, there are also some challenges. Sure, itís nice not to have to report to your old boss anymore, though your new inner boss could be a lot tougher. What's more, your new inner boss may not have a clue about time management, budgeting, and niche marketing.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word preneur is a derivative of the Old French, entreprendre, and means to take. A preneur is one who organizes, manages, and takes the risks of owning a small business or enterprise. A preneur is someone who has a vision and wants to take that vision out into the world and see it come to fruition. A preneur is someone who wants to make a difference in the world and is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Becoming an entrepreneur and small business owner is not for everyone. For many people, the very thought of not having a steady paycheck is enough to put them off. For others itís the cost of starting a small business, paying for health insurance, social security, and other future needs that becomes too much of an investment and risk. For some it is stress of working in isolation, lack of knowing where to turn for feedback and support, endless distractions, and being, at least for a time, a one-woman-show that sends them running for the door.

Though, for the fortunate few who feel the call of the preneur, this is about as exciting a time as it gets to start up and launch your new business!

Top 10 Characteristics of Preneurs

Picture of business woman at computerFortunately, for those who are considering whether or not to become a preneur, psychologists, sociologists, and historians have been studying the behavior characteristics and traits of successful preneurs for long enough to have come up with a composite list of attributes and characteristics.

Read the list and mentally keep count of how many times you said, ďYes, thatís me!Ē

1. You have a strong desire for autonomy, to be your own boss, and live life on your own terms.

If you find yourself nodding in agreement, then you are someone who likes to be independent and doesnít particularly like to take orders from others. Instead, you are good at relying on your own talents, and donít need anyone to motivate or push you forward.

2. You are an independent self-starter, not needing or wanting others to tell you what to do.

This is a great asset because when you start up a business, it will be up to you to take personal initiative to develop projects, organize your time, and follow through on details. While you may be utilizing a small business start up coach to guide the process, the responsibility of getting things done is in your court. Having a strong drive to achieve, willingness, and capacity to persevere and be persistent are bulldog qualities that will come in handy.

3. You have a powerful drive to make money and accumulate wealth.

Becoming a small business owner is one place where you actually are in complete control of how much money you make and what you do with that money. As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to earn far more than you ever could working for someone else.

4. You are a calculated risk-taker with a higher-than-normal tolerance for failure and consider failure a non-issue.

Taking and being willing to take reasonable, well-thought-out risks is what you will do as a small business owner. The question is: how do you react to failure?

5. You like to be in control and call the shots.

While some would call that controlling, for an entrepreneur, this is what being a small business owner is all about.

6. You are highly self-motivated and are indefatigably fearless when it comes to getting the job done.

Being self-motivated, committed to doing what needs to be done, knowing how to prioritize, goal set, plan and organize are highly desirable qualities to have for an entrepreneur.

7. You had childhood experiences as a budding entrepreneur and/or entrepreneurial parents, grand parents, or relatives.

It's very common for adult entrepreneurs to be those who started lemonade stands or had a paper route when they were children. There's new research showing that the drive to start companies may be genetic, and those who had adult family member who were entrepreneurs are more likely to start up a business than those who did not.

8. You have a high level of energy that is sustainable over a long period of time.

It takes lots of both physical and emotional stamina to get a small business up and running. Being a small business owner is very exciting, though it takes a lot of work. Can you do the distance?

9. You are creative and innovative, a strong decision maker, and able to think quickly on your feet, and set things in motion.

Small business owners need to have strong problem solving skills, and be able to make decisions independently, and often under pressure. Then, once a decision is made, have the motivation and skills to set actions in motion that will carry the decision forward.

10. You are a big-picture thinker capable of seeing how everything relates to each other.

Being a small business owner means that you are both a visionary and a detail person. It means you can conceptualize the whole of a business and its separate parts, all the while seeing how they function and relate to each other. You will be required to come up with new ideas all the time. Is that something that is fun for you?

So, Howíd You Do?

How many "yes, thatís me!'' answers did you have?

  • 1-3: Don't quit your day job.
  • 4-7: Call a coach, start saving start-up money, get the gears in motion!
  • 8-10: Watch out, Donald Trump!

Picture of hands clappingEntrepreneurs are extraordinary people. They value freedom, autonomy, independence, and control. They are creative, driven self-starters, who have plenty of good ideas and are ready to do what needs to be done to make things happen. They have courage and conviction in spades and donít see failure the same way that other people do. To them, what lies within failure is the answer to what they need to do in order to become a success. They know that within every problem is a solution.

Preneurs understand that they ARE the business. They are its originator, its motivating force, its drive, and its energy. They are remarkable in their inner toughness and strength that aids them in rising above self-doubt, apparent failures, and the din of their critics.

Being an entrepreneur is what we are all about, folks.

Copyright © 2007 by Susan L. Reid

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it:

Copyright ©2007 by Susan L. Reid, DMA

Susan L Reid, DMA, Small Business Start Up Coach, Consultant & Accidental Pren-herô is the author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Journey to Business Success. Known for taking the fear out of starting up businesses, Susan provides value, inspiration and direction to entrepreneurial women starting up and launching small businesses. 

To get your copy of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Journey to Business Success, go to WME Books or visit For ideas and start up tips, sign-up for our free e-Zine for entrepreneurial women called LAUNCH YOU! We are blogging at:

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