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Do you have the passion to be an entrepreneur?

by Julie Mierau

When I speak with students and potential business owners about starting a business or being self-employed, I often get asked what qualities are most important for a would-be entrepreneur. Arguments can be made for any number of attributes, but here’s my take on what it takes.

First and foremost, you must have a passion for what you’re about to do – for both the business you’ll be in and for being in business. Your passion will help you surmount the obstacles of opening your doors. Your passion will drive your will to succeed. Your passion will sustain you when times are tough – and it will redouble when times are great.

Once you open your doors, integrity is the second most important attribute for an entrepreneur. You have to be scrupulously honest with yourself about why you are in business, with your backers about why you are a trustworthy risk, with your customers about your products and services.

You must have crackerjack skills in your area of expertise, be comfortable in an atmosphere of ambiguity and know when to persevere and when to say “enough.” Through it all, let your passion be your guide.

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