With 8 out of 10 start-ups predicted to fail within their first 5 years of conception, entrepreneurship is definitely a high risk venture with hardly any guarantees of success. To succeed in this somewhat trying terrain littered with the bare bones of the fallen and unheeding, you’ll need to possess a number of skills plus the ideal temperament suited to entrepreneurial success.
With this in mind, I should think there are individuals who are just not cut out to be entrepreneurs due to their lack of these skills or temperaments. Here are some people with some of the worst character flaws that make them unfit to be entrepreneurs.
(1) You Are Anti-social
You might have a great start-up idea that could easily be the best thing since slice bread, more than enough cash to burn and a team of geniuses supporting you from behind the scenes, but if don’t have the right marketing strategy, that great idea of yours could quite easily turn into nightmarish failures.
In truth, nearly all startup ideas start from failure, with zero market share, a lack of brand image and a non-existent brand loyalty. This leaves founders with an enormous amount of leg work to do. They have to drum up business by pitching to new customers for patronage who might already be loyal to other existing brands.
And then there’s a ton of advertising, mostly word of mouth (since their tight budget might not allow for bigger campaigns). In essence, start-up founders have to be real social butterflies, ever willing to meet new people to spread word about their product. As might be expected, an anti-social start-up founder would likely not get out of their shell and do the needed marketing for their otherwise brilliant idea.
They might lose their cheer at just the thought of walking into a roomful of potential customers. And for this reason, their start-up ideas may never get off the ground. And that’s in keeping with the general trend of entrepreneurial flame outs as a recent post-mortem of failed startups reveals, with over 14% of startups failing due to poor marketing.
(2) You Are a Spender
A lack of cash has been put down as the second highest contributory factor in most start-up failures at 29%, and just right behind a lack of market need according to start-up post-mortems.
This underscores the need for a steady cash flow as the lifeblood of any successful entrepreneurial undertaking. It also stresses the need for careful budgeting to keep down start-up costs and cut out all unnecessary expenses.
Whether you are running a bootstrap operation or being bankrolled by an endless procession of VCs, a lack of financial savvy and a combined inability to structure your spending through budgeting could spell disaster for your new business. If you are a big spender, you might have a hard time working to a budget and even where there’s one, you might ignore it and overspend yourself. When a start-up founder has this failing, it can create cash flow problems that would eventually strangle the very life of the business. Needless to say, your new venture could go bust in no time. Spenders are just not fit for running for a business.
(3) You Lack Focus
The toils of running a new business venture is probably right up there with child rearing. There’s hardly any glamor in those early days of the project. Instead, you have to give it your undivided devotion, unbroken focus, time, energy and resources seemingly for the benefit of bloody nothings. (It pays off though, given time.)
But, as you are aware, in this hothouse atmosphere of entrepreneurship, it’s all too easy to obsess over immediate profits and get sidetracked by other needless side projects and lose one’s primary focus, which in this case is building the business. When this happens, businesses can wither on the vine. But entrepreneurs with razor focus fight off this temptation and stick to their original business goals without compromising. As a result their businesses scale the heights thanks to their founder’s patience and sustained efforts.
But if, each time you take an interest in anything, your interest fizzles out, then you might not be cut out for entrepreneurship. You’ll just get sidetracked and your new venture will falter from your lack lack of focus.
(4) You’re Over-Confident
Self-confidence is a hugely important factor for success, not only in one’s personal life or career but also in the world of business. In business, self-confidence is a virtue that could translate to more gains for the willing entrepreneur who takes on the bigger risks due to their strong self-belief.
While the development of a healthy self-confidence is to be encouraged and fostered in the young entrepreneur, over-confidence, however, must be discouraged. As the tragic flaw hubris in a literary character makes them unheeding and leads to their unavoidable downfall, so too, the arrogant startup founder with overblown hopes of making it with their new product and who ignores market trends and customer feedback will meet with a rather humbling end.
An arrogant person cares only of their own reputation and rarely takes the opinions of others into consideration when making important decisions. But in business, a founder’s opinion count’s for nothing. Customers have the day and if you are too arrogant to gather customer feedback, you’ll be turning them against yourself.
(5) Your Are a Soloist
In sports like tennis, the emphasis is on individual play. But when it comes to entrepreneurship the focus is on team play. A team is a group of individuals with divergent but complimentary competencies that combines well to create both synergy and momentum for business success.
According to Mark Victor Hansen, it’s the concept of putting one and one together and getting eleven and not two. You’ll accomplish much faster and in less time when there’s a team behind you as an startup founder than you ever could working alone. When a team is involved, you can share responsibilities and this reduces the risk of burnout which has been given as the 8% cause of startup failures. There’s a strong sense of togetherness and support among team members, this keeps everyone’s motivation levels up as you go through the highs and lows without anyone calling it quits.
But what then happens when you’re a soloist fancying being the only sole director of your new venture over teaming up with others? Definitely you’ll drown in your responsibilities having no one to help and burnout sooner or later. If you are anti-collaboration, starting a business might be your worst possible mistake.
In conclusion, it’s important you have the right mix of skills along with just the right blend of temperaments before launching your next business. Having anyone of the above weaknesses as a potential business owner could hold you back from success. But if you’re honest enough and are willing to work at improving your deficiencies, there’s no reason it should close the door on launching your own business.