What kind of people should not be entrepreneurs?

I saw a question on Quora the other day asking what kind of people should not be entrepreneurs and it inspired this post based on my experience over the years:

The kind of people who are too damn serious. Who don’t handle stress well and who don’t see the fun in the entire journey of both the ups and downs and overall challenge of it. Seriousness will hurt you. Stay playful in every scenario and somehow, see the fun in every stage.

The kind of people that are only in it for money. They either screw others or screw themselves ultimately. Money is a factor for sure but not the sole factor. Some will argue this point but again, those people will screw themselves or others. You have to be driven to do something, fix something, improve a frustration or make something better. You have to be driven by some kind of purpose bigger than money alone.

The kind of people that won’t stick through every condition to finish what they started no matter what. Otherwise you end up jumping ship early and often. The people who succeed in life can weather the storm. They can persevere and they rarely consider jumping ship.

The kind of people that feel external factors or conditions have power over them rather than assuming a fully causative and responsible view of themselves. If you select other conditions outside your control as the reason things happen then you’ll be toast sooner than later. Regardless of reason or logic, you have to take extreme ownership for all outcomes and good or bad, know that you are the source of all outcomes.

The kind of people who follow rules and think that things are supposed to be a certain way because entrepreneurship will utterly flip them on their ass. Being an entrepreneur is not math problem. It’s not an exact way and there aren’t exact rules to follow. You have to be prepared for anything and be able to think on your feet and solve problem after problem that are often unexpected.

The kind of people who can’t solve problems well and can’t cope with personal life conditions that come up while building. The whole time you’re trying to build a company, your life is happening and things will come up that distract you from your mission both in the business and outside of it. You have to handle all of these without dropping balls.

My view is that there’s actually a very small sample of people that are actually cut out to be entrepreneurs and those who are, probably knew it by the time they were 9 or so.

So if you’re much older than that and wondering if you are — you probably aren’t. Doesn’t mean you can’t but you’re probably not natively an entrepreneur which means you need to work much harder and be willing to have your realities flipped.

— Robert

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