So you want to be an entrepreneur
It’s an age-old question: Are entrepreneurs born or made? Over the years, we’ve worked with thousands of small business owners and we’ve come to our own conclusion about this – but more about that later...
To work through the question, we’ll need to look at what an entrepreneur is, the key attributes of entrepreneurs, and the actual process of entrepreneurship.
Let’s start with a definition: Oxford English Dictionary describes an entrepreneur as “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.”
With this in mind, here’s what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are:
“Everyone can tell you the risk. An entrepreneur can see the reward.” Robert Kiyosaki
- Hard working
“Entrepreneurs — the only people that are willing to work 80 hours a week, to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else.” Lori Greiner
“I am convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” Steve Jobs
“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it and exploits it as an opportunity.” Peter Drucker
“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” Unknown
- A little bit mad (but know what they want)
“Entrepreneur: A crazy person who risks their own money for freedom, rather than exchanging their freedom for money.” Unknown
Next, the process of entrepreneurship – and it is a process. You start with a market opportunity; you develop the business concept to respond to that opportunity; you obtain the resources required; you apply those resources; and you then manage the business. Entrepreneurs sometimes have to repeat this process many times before getting it right.
It doesn't stop there. Along the way you will encounter threats and opportunities that need to be countered or seized, and these will invariably alter the course of the business. Often you will find the business turns out to be something quite different than what you envisaged in the first place.
The key to entrepreneurial success is simple. It is the ability to satisfy the needs and wants of your customers better than anyone else. So how do successful entrepreneurs do it?1. It starts with a vision. Successful entrepreneurs have a clear picture of their end goal. Whether or not it looks the same when they get there is irrelevant. There will always be changes along the way. 2. Next, they always listen to feedback and continually tweak their concept and business activities to satisfy the needs of their customers. This is ongoing because customers' needs and expectations keep changing, as do the environment and your competitors. 3. Finally, they work hard, really hard. And when (not if) they get knocked down, they get back up and try again.
So, the answer to our question – are entrepreneurs born or made? Our answer is both.
Anyone can be an entrepreneur. Some are born with a natural instinct to take risks and live by their own rules, while others learn to do this – either by experiencing what they don’t want (as an employee) or by practising what they do want (being in business for themselves).
Check out some of the great business opportunities that you maybe able to buy and refigure into your ideal business!
However, while anyone can be an entrepreneur, only those with the drive to succeed and the work ethic to match will become successful entrepreneurs.
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