When I first braved myself to embark on the entrepreneurship journey, I was soon facing a daunting question: Do I have the qualities to be an entrepreneur?
I am purely an outdoor educator. There were numerous instances when people told me that this passion of mine will not bring me far. But here I am, until today, staying stubborn passionate with this hobby of mine.
So I did take a step back to analyse if I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. And I found 5 key qualities. Here they are:
1. Decision Making
Being in the outdoors requires me to make decisions. This is especially so when I have a group of participants. There are countless decisions to make before, during and after a programme.
For example, have I sorted out all the contingency plans? Have I brought sufficient food and equipment?
As an entrepreneur, I have to make countless decisions. No one is there to tell you what to do.
2. Risk Taking
I have to be used to take risks in the outdoors. If I do not risk falling, I will not know how high I can climb. If I do not risk making a wrong decision at a junction, I will not know if that is even the correct path to take.
I have started out a few businesses. Some worked while some failed. But still, I will not have known all these if I had not tried.
3. Safety Mindedness
However, people often misunderstand that being a risk taker means that we do not bother about safety. In the outdoors, the safety factor has actually been considered multiple times.
A climbing rope, for example, could withstand about 12 times more than an average climber’s weight. Safety procedures are everywhere. Where there is none, we are taught to make conservative judgement calls.
The very reason why I do not focus only on one single business is based on the wise saying: Do not place ALL your eggs in one basket. There has to be a safety net.
This is a classic nature of an outdoor adventurer. We are used to toughing it out. We know that words don’t count without actions. And the effort required is normally superhuman. We are trained to go the distance.
No one ever said being an entrepreneur is easy. It took me 6 months before I made my first dollar. Thankfully I have been trained to persevere.
Facing problems is a staple diet of an outdoor adventurer. No one day or one activity is the same. Hence, we have to always think outside the box. Speak about being a maverick. I myself am amazed at what I or my participants do to solve problems.
I started out with minimal capital. Hence, I needed to be creative in planning my effort, energy and money. Be creative in using the many Softwares work for me instead of the other way round.
These 5 qualities inherent in an outdoor adventurer definitely fits the bill of being an entrepreneur. Well, if you lucky, you could turn the passion into your profession. If not, you sure would have picked up enough tools to run a business!