Entrepreneurial potential can be defined as the potential for someone who is innovative and has an internal locus of control to be successful, according to the Journal of Business Venturing. The entrepreneurial spirit is what defines the risk-takers and innovators that shape society and change the world.

The Richard Bransons and Elon Musks of the world take huge risks, and occasionally they pay off in a big way. The riskiest part of entrepreneurship is the great unknown that lies at the front end of creating and developing a startup.

Entrepreneurial business people

Preparing for the unexpected is one of the core behaviors of successful entrepreneurs. Inc. states that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, even if they demonstrate the core competencies associated with that type of individual.

There are ways to guide yourself into the tracks of entrepreneurship to see if you’re a good fit. There’s no real way to inoculate yourself against risk, but there are things you can do that, in themselves, are low-risk methods of seeing for yourself what you’re getting into and deciding whether being an entrepreneur is for you.

These tests can show you what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, courtesy of Cindy’s New Mexico LLC. Formation Service:

1. Develop a Crowdfunding Campaign

The most important rule of investing, as The Balance states, is never putting money into a business that you can’t afford to lose. When setting out on the path to developing your own startup, you have the potential to lose it all.

Spending some excess funds you have on a friend’s crowdfunding campaign and helping them develop it will give you a taste for how alternative funding sources work. Following similar crowdfunding campaigns for projects that are similar to your own can provide you with insight into how those entrepreneurs overcame the financial hurdles associated with their own projects.

Helping to grow a crowdfunding campaign will also afford you a front-row seat to see how to develop one, without the risk of losing everything if it fails.

2. Leverage the Experiences of your Peers

Entrepreneurship is, at its heart, an interest. Like other interests, some gatherings and groups cater to individuals who have that interest.

For some fields where there is a clear-cut professional body, the entrepreneurial network is ready-made, and you can leverage other professionals with similar qualifications. However, if you’re forging a new path, or are a unique innovator, there’s no series of individuals that are doing what your business intends to do. In these cases, finding a group of like-minded individuals that are about the entrepreneurial spirit will allow you to tap into their knowledge and learn from their failures. Thrive Global mentions that support groups form an essential part of the entrepreneurial journey by listening to the advice from others who were successful before you.

Business networking event

3. Visit Industry Events and Investor Meetings

There’s a lot of romanticism about how entrepreneurs come up with ideas. A lot of people think that innovators have these flashes of genius. Hollywood has played into this trope by making movies where genius innovators brood for a while and then have brilliant ideas out of the blue. The reality is far less dramatic.

As Forbes mentions, the world’s best entrepreneurs are based less on coming up with great ideas and more about serving a need the market has. However, to help the market, you have to understand the market.

Attending investor meetings and industry events will give you insight into what the industry needs and allows you to figure out if your business idea fits that need. It might even help you to change your business idea into something the industry needs as opposed to something you think it wants.

4. Hire On with an Early-Stage Startup

There’s no better way of appreciating how a startup is than working in one yourself. You’ll be able to see for yourself how life is at a small business struggling to make it with an innovative idea. If you’ve only ever worked at large corporate firms, the culture shock can be immense. It’s far better to deal with it as an employee than as someone who runs the show.

Understanding how a startup operates, the shoestring budgets, and carving out a niche can be the difference between seeing your own startup succeed or packing it in before it does so because you underestimated the struggle.

Startup success tips

Testing the Waters

There’s no guaranteed way to succeed in the world of startups. However, it’s not all about luck either. It’s about stacking the odds in your favor and being prepared to face a lot of hardship. Understanding the risks and challenges you’re going into steels you for having to navigate your way around them. In this sense, there’s no better teacher than experience.

These tests will allow you to witness firsthand what goes into being an entrepreneur and will enable you to figure out if you have the mindset, the appetite for risk, and the ability to make a go of things. These steps also ensure you figure that out before you risk your own money, reputation, and status to try growing a startup.