Daniel Isenberg, founding executive director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Projects, is an expert in entrepreneurship.
“Real entrepreneurs are growth obsessed: they cringe when you call them ‘small.’ In fact, I don’t think you can call something entrepreneurship unless it is driven by big vision, big aspiration and a burning desire and ability to grow,” Isenberg says.
Isenberg published this quick test to determine whether or not you have what it takes to be a true “scale up entrepreneur.” Mark down whether you agree or disagree with each of the following statements. If you agree with 16 or more, “The sky’s the limit,” says Isenberg.
- Something inside compels me to make something that will impact the marketplace.
- I am great at selling things to people that they may not know they want, nor think they have the money to buy.
- I have people on my team who are better than me in several areas of knowledge or practice.
- My venture already has the procedures, policies, and processes in place to be ten times the size we are today.
- When I don’t know what my next step is, I have experienced people I can turn to for ideas.
- There is money out there to fuel a venture that is growing fast; I just have to find it when I am ready.
- When I achieve my objectives I keep raising the bar higher and higher.
- I am one of the best sales people I know.
- Think big; thinking small is a crime.
- I know entrepreneurs just like me who have grown big, fast.
- The sales process is just starting when the customer first says no.
- If my venture stands in one place too long, it runs the risk of perishing. We have to keep moving forward.
- I know how to find great people to hire.
- Nothing gives me a bigger rush than closing a big sale.
- It is more important to know of a big problem that customers have and then look for a solution, than it is to have a solution that is looking for important problems to solve.
- I used to think our great technology would take us to leadership in our market — now I realize it is our team, our organization, our marketing and our ambition to sell.
- Even though I am a startup, I think more like a market leader than a small business.
- (Extra credit) If Isenberg were smart, he would make millions from this test and retire.
Editor’s note: This test was originally posted in Harvard Business Review Online, May 24, 2013.