What makes an entrepreneur? Is it the desire to be their own boss, or is there something else that drives them to take that leap of faith into the unknown? Entrepreneurs are different from other people in many ways. They tend to be more risk-oriented, have a high tolerance for ambiguity, and are less likely to be discouraged by failure. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of these characteristics and how they affect entrepreneurial success.
The word “entrepreneur” was coined in the early 19th century. It comes from a French verb, “entreprendre,” which means “to undertake.” An entrepreneur is someone who takes on risks in order to create something new. They’re willing to do this because they believe that their idea will make money, though some entrepreneurs are driven by intrinsic motivation as much as extrinsic rewards. The challenge of starting a business from scratch is at least as interesting as the prospect of money or praise.
Some say that entrepreneurship is a personality trait rather than an occupation and that entrepreneurs are born, not made. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t learn to become one. The basic accounting and business skills you’ll need to create a simple cash budget and maintain other necessary records don’t require an MBA. You might be surprised how much you can find free online.
The desire to be an entrepreneur is often described as a compulsion.
It’s not just about the money. It’s also the status and prestige that comes with running your own business. But there are other reasons people start a business: they want to be their own boss; they feel stifled in their current job and want more flexibility, or they simply enjoy taking risks.
The reality is that most entrepreneurs will fail: of those who launch new ventures only around 40% survive after four years-and less than half of them will make any profit at all during this period.
So what qualities should you have if you do decide to abandon traditional employment for self-employment? And how can you tell if you are cut out for it?
Motivation: The first is motivation. You have to be prepared to work incredibly hard – in many cases harder – than in a traditional employment role, because running your own business means taking on all of the responsibility yourself. In addition to motivation, self-discipline and determination come in handy to keep plodding along when things get swampy.
Is your skin thick? It better be. No one will praise your efforts when everything is going well, but when things go wrong it’s most definitely your fault. It helps if you have excellent interpersonal skills and are able to motivate, inspire, and lead a team of employees or freelancers.
Flexibility: You should also be flexible and able to change direction as circumstances demand. Some entrepreneur experts call this ability to pivot once you determine part of your plan isn’t working.
Risk: You can’t talk about entrepreneurs without talking about risk. It’s inherent to the process. A FinanceStrategists.com discussion on volatility and risk – which applies to both investing and starting a business – describes risk as “the probability of permanent loss.”
Unsurprisingly, not everyone is comfortable with the same amount of risk or the idea of permanent loss.
While entrepreneurs may be considered risk-takers who thrive on chaos, some actually fear failure and will do almost anything to avoid it. They may only undertake risks that they know have a high chance of success and retreat quickly when they sense things are falling apart.
But just because you might feel the fire sooner than someone else doesn’t mean you can’t become a success.
Ambiguity: Are you comfortable with ambiguity? The world of entrepreneurship is ambiguous by nature because no one really knows what will happen next.
Entrepreneurs make decisions without knowing for sure if they are going to work out as planned and like Jim Morrison taught us – the future is uncertain. That means you have to learn how to deal with uncertainty rather than fear it or allow yourself to become paralyzed by it.
If you’re not an entrepreneur and desperately want to be, there are specific things that you can do to achieve that goal. First, think about the kind of business you want to start. Be realistic but not afraid of failure. The project will probably fail at some level at some point. That doesn’t mean you’re done. It’s okay to get discouraged but don’t quit before you’ve given yourself a legitimate opportunity to succeed.
Here’s a secret. The best way to become an entrepreneur is by – wait for it – becoming one. Bet you didn’t know it was so simple. Get out there, try something new, and see what happens. The more you do it, the better you’ll become. While education is important, at some point you should learn less about how other people did it and give it a whirl yourself.
The thought of starting a business is intimidating. Depending on your internal construction, the possibility of rewards may be worth it.
According to Entrepreneur.com, there are solid advantages to entrepreneurial endeavors. This includes having control over what you do, when you do it, and (generally) how much money you make. You get to set your own hours for work and play, which means that if one area of life needs more attention, you can adjust the time dedicated to the other.
With entrepreneurship comes a level of prestige among peers. Not to mention the intangible benefits like complete autonomy and independence from others’ opinions on what’s best for you.
If you’re interested in starting your own business, but are not sure if it is the right move, then this may end up having been a good blog post to read. We tried to offer insight into why some people are drawn to entrepreneurship and what qualities help make them successful.
The thing to keep in mind is that determining your potential success in starting a business isn’t a formula that dictates exactly how much of any particular characteristic you need. We’re talking about a spectrum here. Entrepreneurial endeavors are an art and a science. Steve Jobs wasn’t a carbon copy of Bill Gates, yet both left a pretty good footprint in the computer industry.
If you have a burning desire to break out of the mold, don’t let fear that you don’t have what it takes hold you back. Maybe you’ll succeed and maybe you won’t, but do you want to exit this life at some point having never tried?