Are you an entrepreneur?

By Robyn Tippins

Over the past twenty years, I’ve run several businesses and I’ve found that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. And, even the strongest business owners have seasons when they should not be running the show.

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Here are a few ways to tell if you are ready to be your own boss.


When you are the boss, there is no one to tell you what to do, which can be both a positive and a negative. While it’s wonderful to pilot your own destiny, it can also be terrifying. You have to decide, each day, what tasks get your attention. It involves constantly asking yourself to prioritize your day, focusing on activities that move you forward towards your goals.

I run a content marketing agency, and I use Asana to manage my projects and tasks, and to delegate work to my staff. Basecamp, TeamworkPM and others are equally useful. You just have to give rigorous attention to planning and prioritization.

At Peace

There are some times in your life that being a business owner is not the right path.

In my own life, there were seasons that I decided employment was a better choice, and I don’t regret that decision. If your life is already out of control, adding the strain of managing a business is unwise.

A friend of mine is in the middle of selling her business because she had a stroke.

Another friend of mine has decided to take a season off for medical reasons. And I know 3 people who are getting out of their businesses because one is pregnant, one is divorcing and one has cancer. Running a business is at times heartbreaking, infuriating, terrifying and exciting – none of these are conducive to healing.


An entrepreneur has to do a variety of tasks, some glamorous and some not. If you are too good to perform the gritty work, this life is not for you. In the course of a day, I may bill for work that exceeds $200/hr and then go from that strategy based task, on to an execution task that bills at $20/hr. As you grow, you can hire for some of this, but in growth mode, the boss does that work.

You’ll also work long hours some days, and that can’t be a problem. I just made plans for a late evening meeting tonight (boo!) because we have clients with offices in Australia and Canada, so time zones were working against us. Three times this week I’ve worked past 7pm, either redesigning a website or writing a last minute press release. The hours can be long, but at least I have the flexibility to work them where I choose.


Not every business has to change the world, but your vision should be exciting enough to change your world. Whether you are building a lifestyle business or a business that will crush the giants, your vision will make or break it. Use this vision to inspire the troops, create your goals and make the hard decisions.

You have to look at the bad and weigh them against the positives. This lifestyle can be great. You are granted incredible flexibility and, if you try very hard, you can achieve a wonderful work/life balance. Your business can impact your local economy through both tax revenue and job creation. Beyond that, there is the potential to not only pay your own salary, but to build significant profits as you grow.

Are you an entrepreneur? Share your business and your elevator pitch in the comments below.

Author’s Bio:Robyn Tippins is Co-Founder and CEO of Mariposa Interactive. She has been managing online communities for 17 years, and her book, Community 101, is a primer on online community management. You can follow Robyn on Twitter via @duzins.


  1. says

    Not everyone is cut from the same cloth.

    Recently I was having a conversation with a friend about some of her strengths. I said she should start a business as she was really good at what she does.

    “Oh, no!” Was her reply. “I am a great worker bee. Tell me what to do, and I will do it. But don’t put me in charge. ”

    It’s good she recognizes that in herself. But it proves the point that entrepreneurship is not for everyone.

  2. says

    Hello Roby,

    The question therefore is; if all of us were cast in the mode of being entrepreneurs, how would have the world been like?
    Having the vision and the willingness to succeed are what matters the most as an entrepreneur.

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