Whether or not you enter an industry with which you are familiar, you need to confirm that you are suited to owning a business. Just because you want to become a business owner does not mean it is a good idea. Plenty of small businesses fail because the owner does not have the skills required for owning a business. Just having the technical skills to perform your trade or service is not enough. You need to consider all your strengths and weaknesses before starting.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a list of characteristics that successful entrepreneurs possess:

  • Persistence
  • Desire for immediate feedback
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Strong drive to achieve
  • High energy level
  • Goal-oriented behavior
  • Independence
  • Demanding attitude
  • Self-confidence
  • Calculated risk-taking tendency
  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Vision
  • Commitment
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Tolerance for ambiguity
  • Reliability
  • Personal initiative
  • Ability to consolidate resources
  • Strong management and organizational skills
  • Competitive spirit
  • Change agent
  • Tolerance for failure
  • Desire to work hard

Good business owners do not possess all of the above traits, but you will need all of them at some time in your career. You will quickly learn which of these traits you do not possess so you can surround yourself with people who do. To build a successful business you will need a team. Your teammates will complement your weaknesses and you will compliment theirs, so the team can have all the above attributes. Make sure you pick a business you enjoy. You will be working long hours and sacrificing time away from family and friends. Be careful to choose a business that utilizes your natural talents. Don’t start building houses if you can’t work with your hands. If you have an analytical mind, take advantage of it.