Why Identifying Your “Entrepreneurial Skills” Is A Waste Of Time

If you’re like a lot of new (or would-be) solopreneurs, you may have stumbled across a quiz or two asking, “Do you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur?”

Most of the questions would have likely focused on whether you are able to finish what you start, take risks, work alone for long stretches of time, work 24/7, live on less while you’re in the start-up phase, sell yourself, handle rejection, etc.

The problem with quizzes like these, and the information they give you about yourself, is that they assume that the way you’ve always behaved is the way you’ll behave in the future.

I want you to take that in again, because it’s HUGE:

Grilling yourself about whether you “have what it takes” to be an entrepreneur is based on the (faulty) idea that the future is going to show up exactly like the past.

The truth is, the way you’ve acted in the past does NOT have to determine how you’ll act in the future.

The way you acted in the past simply reflects the knowledge, skills, and resources (both mental and physical) that you had at that time.

If our future deeds always mimicked those of our past, we’d never make any progress. Simple as that.

Let me give you an example.

When I was 18 years old, I worked for a short time as a telemarketer. It was my job to set up appointments for a sales representative to meet with people in their homes and talk to them about weatherproof siding.

Would I have been able to independently start and manage a new telemarketing campaign around that business?

Would I have wanted to take big risks, put everything on the line, and work 24/7 on that business?

Would I have made those calls for very little money, based on a vision I had for bringing top-quality weatherproof siding to every home in my local area?

H to the e to the double-el freakin' NO!

I mean, "Not at all."

I wasn’t terribly interested in siding.

I wasn’t, in fact, interested in siding at ALL.

What I was interested in was collecting a paycheck. I wasn’t pursuing any purpose beyond keeping a roof over my head.

Fast forward to today.

Over time, I’ve realized that my calling in life is to provide teaching, guidance, and support to others (primarily women) who have the desire to lead world-class businesses (and lives).

I pretty much eat, sleep, and breathe what I’m doing right now, so NOT working on (or in) my business feels more unnatural to me than working on it.

The vision I have for my business and my life is so compelling that the actually “doing” of the business is second nature to me.

I’m the same person who halfheartedly cold-called those sales prospects more than 20 years ago, right?

So if my past behaviors dictated my future, I suppose I’d still be dialing for dollars dispassionately.

But the “me” that I am today has a totally different set of resources, skills, knowledge, and experience – and a completely different mindset.

And here’s the biggest difference:

I’ve created a vision that really juices me, and built a business around that.

If you search your heart for what really makes you tick – a big vision that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and keeps you up at night – I guarantee you’ll have what it takes to start and run a successful business.

So set aside the endless “Am I good enough to be an entrepreneur?”-type questions, and ask yourself just one:

What is my PASSION in life?

And feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.

I’d love to hear what really gets you moving and shaking.

Helen Hunter Mackenzie