The Real Truth of Becoming an Entrepreneur with Gino Wickman

Do you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur? My guest on this week’s episode, Gino Wickman, is here to help you figure that out. He’s the author of the book “Entrepreneurial Leap: Do You Have What It Takes to Become an Entrepreneur?” In it, he makes his point clear: becoming an entrepreneur is rewarding, but it isn’t easy work. And it definitely isn’t for everyone. 

Through his writing, coaching, and creation of the EOS platform, which provides practical tools for self-starters and their businesses, he’s made it his life’s work to study entrepreneurs and help them find success. If you’re on the fence about what’s next in your career and are considering going the self-employment route, you don’t want to miss this episode. Listen in to hear Gino break down all of the parts that make up a successful self-leader so that you can figure out if becoming an entrepreneur is indeed right for you.

Confirm That Becoming an Entrepreneur Is Your Calling

One thing that Gino argues that strikes me as interesting, if not a bit controversial, is the idea that entrepreneurship traits come from nature, not nurture. “The reality of it is, in all of my experience, I find that you are born with these traits. They truly are traits. They’re not learned skills,” he says. His motivation behind putting this out there front and center is not meant to be discouraging, but to give honest, tough love to those considering becoming an entrepreneur. “I’m trying to talk people out of it as much as I’m trying to help them realize that this is for them because I’m trying to save people ten years of hell,” he adds.

Here are his six essential traits of an entrepreneur, which you can take his free assessment to see if you truly possess:

  • Visionary
  • Passionate
  • Problem-solver
  • Driven
  • Risk-taker
  • Responsible

Take a Glimpse Into the Daily Life of an Entrepreneur

Once you confirm that becoming an entrepreneur is something of which you’re innately capable, Gino says that the next step on the journey is seeing what the day-to-day life of an entrepreneur is like. In his book, he shares stories of those who become successful and the “heaven and hell” scenarios of both great and nightmarish experiences. “In the dream scenario, that’s when you walk into your business and you are surrounded by people that are as passionate about your customer and the product,” he explains. “In the nightmare scenario, that’s when you have people that are completely disengaged, barely doing their job, and you’re having to unfortunately do most of their work.”

Gino thankfully adds that the nightmare scenario is entirely avoidable. Another tool that he’s created, called MyBiz Match, aims to help people figure out the right type of business they should be getting into in the first place. “I believe that every entrepreneur is not cut out to build every business. And so as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to figure out what you’re drawn to, what you’re built for.” There’s freedom in self-awareness, and it’s extremely useful to know ahead of time what you’re cut out for so that your life as an entrepreneur can be the dream rather than the nightmare.

Pay Attention to the Some of the Guideposts Along Your Path

The next step on the way to becoming an entrepreneur is to plot your course and work towards the long-term success of your venture. Gino shares some guidelines to follow along the way to avoid common mistakes and maximize your potential:

  • Going to college (or not). “College isn’t for everyone. And at the end of the day, you decide if college is right for you as an entrepreneur.”
  • Discovering your passion. “Passion is the number one reason an entrepreneur succeeds.”
  • Finding a mentor. Learning directly from someone else will “greatly increase your odds of success.”
  • Thinking ahead ten years. Instead of only focusing on now, “when you [look ahead], time literally slows down. You make better decisions. There’s a peace that comes over you.”

The part in his discussion that particularly interests me is the value of finding a mentor. It’s an aspect of our professional lives that is often so undervalued. Finding one is an absolute game-changer and ultimately serves as a hack to both learning and personal growth. 

Be sure to check out Gino’s book for so much more useful information on what it takes to bet on yourself, find your footing and achieve success when becoming an entrepreneur! 

[bctt tweet=”‘Think about what it is that you want to build and find someone that built that. To learn from all of their mistakes is going to be a speed pass for you to become successful.’ ~ Gino Wickman. Hear more about entrepreneurship on Punk Rock HR!” via=”no”]

People in This Episode


  1. Becoming an entrepreneur is not easy and is certainly not for the faint of heart. But if you are willing to put in the time and effort, things will definitely look up for you as you move forward on your entrepreneurial journey.

  2. Very insightful episode and one that should hopefully help future entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. I think that it’s most important to focus on building an education first, whether it’s at a local college or any other institution, so that a foundation can be learned and built from.

  3. To become a successful entrepreneur one must pay attention to the juniors, respect their views and decisions. Agreed with all the points you have mentioned. I would like that one should also seek the help of digital and technical platforms to launch a business. Including modern solutions like utilizing social media platforms, digital business cards, etc are some of the new and creative ways of marketing.

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