Do you live your life through the windshield or the rearview mirror?
In other words, do you watch for what’s ahead, anticipating the future? Or do you spend your life looking over your shoulder, nostalgically remembering the way things used to be?
How you answer this question will help you see whether you’ve got what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Ever since I can remember, business has been part of my life. My great-grandfather ran a printing and engraving shop. Later, my grandfather ran the shop, and later still my father.
One of my most cherished memories is my father coming home from work steeped in the pungent smell of ink.
In those days, engraving and printing were manual processes. You had to spend years learning the craft, and the work was hands-on. My family’s business supported a pool of skilled employees.
Then computers came on the scene.
I remember the first Mac in the engraving shop. Some of the staff embraced it. Others tip-toed around it as though they hoped it would disappear.
With the Mac processes that previously took three days to complete by hand now took less than three hours.
This was a huge disruption to the whole industry. Businesses who failed to keep up, who refused to change, ended up sinking. Employees who refused to learn new skills became unemployable.
On the flip side, computers opened up a wealth of possibilities. Computers have given birth to a whole new industry – one that I’ve been proud to be part of.
To be an entrepreneur, you need to anticipate what’s ahead. You need to see what’s coming down the road. That’s where the opportunities are.
So quit staring at the rearview mirror and start looking out of your windshield. That’s what makes you entrepreneur material.