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Sir Richard Branson. A man every entrepreneur or wannapreneur idolizes, or at least knows him. Yes! What an entrepreneur he is. At heart. A 20-year old guy with a mail ordering system started in 1970s, and he’s known for starting many product lines under the Virgin Group. Today, there over 200 different companies under the Virgin Group which are panned across a wide range of products and services. Some were successful like Virgin Atlantic and some were unsuccessful like Virgin Cola and Virgin Bride. So most people wonder that why does he keep introducing new products instead of taking care of the existing ones? The real answer is that he has all five traits of a successful Entrepreneur.

Well… The entrepreneurial bug and the opportunist mind that he has, are the keys.

You must be wondering that what kind of bug is that? What does it do to people that make them, well, so entrepreneurial? Or whom does this bug bite? And how do these guys look after getting bitten by this bug?

Well… Let’s dig deeper and explore these amazing creatures called entrepreneurs.

How to bake an entrepreneur

Yeah! You heard that right.

Becoming an entrepreneur is like baking that perfect black forest cake. You need the right time and right period of baking to have the perfect taste tingle your taste buds.

Becoming an entrepreneur is like that- you need the right traits (in your bones or acquired through efforts) and the right time honing them.

To begin with, here are a few of them-

  • Do you have the knack for high risks?
  • Is achieving things is something that you often overdo?
  • Can you go that extra mile at the edge to bring your dreams to reality?
  • A self-starter?
  • Can you make good decisions, or make decisions good?
  • Can you invest your time, effort and money, knowing all potential risks?

Well… You get a hang of what I’m saying.

There are many tests available online to get the feel of your entrepreneurial side. US Small Business Administration providing one of them (www.sba.gov).

Keep in mind that these tests are based empirically. Thus, total reliability on them can get you, you know, the wrong ideas. And as William Bygrave has rightly said,

Today, after more research, we know that there is no neat set of behavioral attributes that allow us to separate entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs.

Those with the mindset of “I have an idea. Let’s do something.”, clubbed with the above traits (and more) are the fuel to let your entrepreneurial engines rev, and go ZOOM… ZOOOOOMMMM…

Let’s get back to business. So what are the characteristics to identify the hidden entrepreneur in you.

Here’s a story to start with.

Once upon a time in the 90s, a good old Harvard professor, Walter Kuemmerle, got bugged by the question. What are the traits of an entrepreneur? So he packed his bags, ate his food and decided to go on an unexpected journey (No… He’s not Bilbo Baggins… Duh!) – To hunt down the characteristics of an entrepreneur. He traveled across 20 countries across all industries and began his observations of 50+ startups. Some were a success and some failed.

One fine day, running the distillery that was continuously being fed by different characteristics observed across these startups. He found 5 flasks were filled with different beautiful colored liquids. Later he tested them and found out that these were the 5 characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. Then he prepared a special piece of solution that acted as a test for the entrepreneurial bug using these liquids. He was filled with joy, made merry and lived happily ever after. ?

The story ends, but let’s explore those characteristics more closely-

1. Comfortable stretching the rules

Have that knack for playing with the rules, bending them as and when needed, be it the required capital, or the right people to work with. No rules are too big for them when it comes to them following their passion.

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