LIFE

You Don't Need To Be A Genius Or An Extrovert To Be An Entrepreneur

But you need to keep your 'voices' under control.

10/03/2017 7:26 AM AEDT | Updated 12/03/2017 6:11 PM AEDT
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You don't have to be a maths genius but you need to learn more about the things you feel you are weaker at.

We all know entrepreneurs come in a variety of shapes and sizes but, for many of us, there's an unspoken assumption that they are all geniuses. Some entrepreneurs are certainly maths geniuses, creative intellects, or they went to the 'right schools', or they're extroverts with magnetic personalities that seem to draw quality staff as, arm in arm, they continue that speedy and formidable climb up the golden ladder of their choice.

But what if you were told that the opposite is true - that not every entrepreneur is an extrovert? Not every entrepreneur listed on the AFR list of 100 most influential people is a deadset genius?

Collective Hub CEO Lisa Messenger told The Huffington Post Australia the very word entrepreneur has always fascinated her.

"When I started my first business in 2001, the word entrepreneur was not used as much back then. But today it is one of the most over used words around. Everyone is either saying they're an entrepreneur or that they want to be one," Messenger said.

"Part of being a true entrepreneur is owning it and just starting your business. Anyone can become an entrepreneur, but you've got to have the tenacity and the balls to just jump in and get started."

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The word entrepreneur means a variety of things to us all but, for many of us, we mistakenly believe they are all extroverts or maths geniuses.

"It's not true that to be an entrepreneur you have to be an extrovert. That's a little misnomer because I actually have some of the qualities of an extrovert, but I'm actually an introvert; contrary to popular belief!"

"Being an introvert can be an asset for entrepreneurs. For example, I spend a lot of time re-energising myself by being alone and in my own space, and living a simple life. People see the extrovert but, in fact, I'm equally happy in my aloneness."

Messenger said being an introvert and taking some of the qualities of an extrovert do not come easily.

"It wasn't long ago that the thought of getting up on stage and speaking to a large amount of people would have terrified me. It definitely doesn't come naturally to me. Before I started Collective Hub, I would have died rather than get on stage. But now I find a way to do it my way."

"My advice is don't live your life according to other people's expectations. Being an entrepreneur is also about living life on your own terms and being unafraid."

Collective Hub
Lisa Messenger said being an introvert can be an advantage for an entrepreneur.

Award winning business owner and author Melissa Browne told HuffPost Australia people hear the word 'entrepreneur' and immediately think of Richard Branson.

"Others will just assume that you have to be gregarious or a front of house business person. But, that's not the case at all. When I meet entrepreneurs, what I see is a mixed bag; from those people who are incredibly extroverted to the introverts who are great at numbers or just good with one on one relationships," Browne said.

"It takes a huge variety of skills that you might not have thought about. I think the successful entrepreneurs are the ones that can keep that voice under control - we all have that voice that tells us loudly or quietly what we can or can't do. So, learning to master the control of that voice will really free you."

Melissa Browne
Melissa Browne believes most entrepreneurs have mastered the ability to control the voices in their head.

So, you don't have to be a maths genius? Or tick a variety of other academic boxes?

"No, you don't need to be good at maths, you don't need to tick any boxes, but you do need to be willing to learn more about the things you feel you have a weakness in. For example, I'm an accountant, and I'm an introvert and I didn't do maths in Year 11 but that didn't stop me from achieving my success."

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