Are You Cut Out to Start (and Run) a Start-Up?

Do you have what it takes to be the next Jack Ma or Mark Zuckerberg?
Sarah Si
Sarah Si
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With long-running reality TV shows like Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank, we’re a society that embraces the successful risk-taker. The idea of becoming an entrepreneur now is almost as cool as becoming the next K-pop star or rock icon. But while anyone can start a business – and setting up shop in Singapore is easy – it doesn’t mean that everyone is cut out to run one successfully.

And with 26% of graduates in the annual Singapore 100 Leading Graduate Employers Survey 2021 conducted by GTI Media Singapore (S100 Survey) indicating their interest in establishing their own companies, it’s important to truly understand that it takes a different kind of mindset and attitude to succeed as an entrepreneur compared to the typical office worker.

Sure, you might have a solid business proposition that you believe will set the world singing your praises, but having that one great idea alone won’t do all the work for you. There are other qualities and skills you’ll need if you want to be the next big thing. Here are some of them.

You know how to sell your ideas

A large part of your success as an entrepreneur depends on your ability to sell your services or your products. After all, Amazon started off as an online bookstore selling books. If Jeff Bezos had failed in selling the books on his e-commerce platform in its early days, it might not have flourished to become the Amazon behemoth it is now.

But because most people think that since they don’t have the personality of a salesperson, they can’t sell. But the truth is that having the ability to sell is like any other skill on the planet – it can be learned.

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You know how to stay motivated

Running a start-up won’t get any easier once traction is gained – instead, challenges will simply evolve. Motivation and tenacity will be needed to keep holding on to what you’re doing, while also adapting strategies to tackle new problems.

So, if you have the gumption needed to believe in your idea, and the motivation and drive to pursue your dream and make it a reality (success notwithstanding), you’ll be able to put in your all to fight for it, through the challenges and adversity.

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You love to work

Working without much of a work-life balance may sound unthinkable for some. But a work-work life is the norm for an entrepreneur, especially in the early years. Aspiring entrepreneurs will need to massively cut down on their social life to invest their efforts and energy into setting up their business.

In other words, entrepreneurship isn’t for the half-hearted or the couch potatoes. If you’re unsure about giving up your gaming time and Netflix (except for the rare downtime), then think twice about starting a start-up.

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You don’t know how to give up

Expect obstacles every step of the way when you’re just starting your business. Don’t compare yourself with start-ups that you think found successful overnight. Chances are, there was plenty of work behind the scenes you don’t know about, or they managed to acquire high investment from the start (i.e. parents’ money).

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Keep going, and strive hard to find solutions. The road to success won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.

At its very core, entrepreneurship requires fearlessness and determination to succeed and realise a vision, and a drive to learn and grow no matter the circumstance. The mantra is to keep putting your foot in front of the other and keep going!