How-To

Are You An Entrepreneur?

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

Launching a fashion company is hard work. As Cynthia Rowley once said, “the old saying of hard works pays off is true. You really do have to work hard. It gets a little more glamorous over time, but it’s still a lot of hard work.”

Most major designers once started in the same place you are now. They had an idea, were rejected time and time again, finally managed to sell their product, and through perseverance and long hours, finally built their empire. An idea can start from anywhere, as long as you are willing to work hard for it.

Tommy Hilfiger did not possess any special talents or skills that could have propelled him into any sort of success in the fashion industry, nor did he have an adequate academic background. He used his life savings of $150 to buy 20 pairs of Landlubber jeans, brought them to New York and opened a small clothing shop called The People’s Place. The rest is history. Ralph Lauren first began in the business at the age of 26 by making wide ties that he wanted to sell to Bloomingdale’s. But Bloomingdale’s didn’t want them because they were too wide: “The store wanted to call them Sutton East and change their look. I turned Bloomingdale’s down and got very sick when I left the office. I knew I was right about what I believed in. I didn’t have anything to lose. I turned and walked out the door. I wanted to sell them and had a lot of respect for the store. Six months later, Bloomingdale’s came back. And every Thursday night I visited the ties with my family. We visited the rack.”

If you have Cynthia Rowley’s work ethic and Ralph Lauren’s perseverance, then you have the entrepreneurial spirit. Ask yourself the following questions to make sure you understand all the components of being an entrepreneur:

  • Do you worry about what others think of you?

  • Are you more interested in press coverage of yourself or your product?

  • Do you read books?

  • Do you find it easy to let others to do something for you?

  • Has someone else in your family started their own business?

  • Do you usually organize your tasks before getting started?

  • Do you enjoy doing something to prove that you can do it?

  • Have you ever been fired from a job?

  • Do you find yourself constantly thinking up new ideas?

  • Do you like to take care of details?

  • Were you the first-born child?

  • Do you get bored easily?

  • Are you sometimes arrogant about your accomplishments?

  • Can you concentrate for extended periods of time on one subject?

  • Do you need pep talks from others to keep going?

  • Do you find unexpected energy sources as you tackle things you like?

  • Does personal satisfaction mean more to you than having money to spend on yourself?

  • Do you enjoy socializing regularly?

  • Do you blame others when something goes wrong?

  • Are you willing to work long hours to accomplish a goal?

  • Are you willing to work for a minimum of two years with minimum pay?

  • Do you usually wake up happy?

  • Do you enjoy being able to make decisions on the job?

  • Can you accept failure without admitting defeat?

  • Do you have a savings account and other personal investments?

  • Do you have dependents to support?

  • Do you believe that entrepreneurs take huge risks?

  • Do you strive to use past mistakes as a learning process?

  • Are you more people oriented than goal oriented?

  • Do you enjoy finding an answer to a frustrating problem?

  • Do you sleep as little as possible?

  • Do you enjoy bookkeeping? Customer Service? Sales?