SIX CHARACTERISTICS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR
In the world today, there are millions of people who are involved in one form of entrepreneurship or the other. The world evolves everyday and so does everyone it, and also the economy and the way things are being executed. Changes and Innovation have become an important part of the 21st century or rather, the technological era. Though the concept of Entrepreneurship dates back to long years ago, it has become a substantial part of our society.
Entrepreneurship, simply put, is the act of creating a new business which results from individuals wanting to make their own choices, own their own businesses and bring their creative ideas into light. The term can also be referred to as a process of initiating a change. For instance, if an individual decides to start up a new business, (that is, a business birthed out of an innovative idea and something quite different and not available in the market) the individual is directly initiating a change in the market and giving people something else to use.
While the creation of a new business might fully be determined by the development of an innovative idea, it encompasses a series of characteristics which must be possessed by individuals who want to start up or create a new business. These individuals are called Entrepreneurs and they are people who bring up a creative idea for a business, either new or an existing one, set up a business structure, take risks and work hard to ensure profit is achieved.
From the above meaning of an Entrepreneur, two qualities can be determined; the ability to think out of the box and come up with an innovative business idea and the ability to take risks for the sake of the business. These qualities stand as fundamental characteristics for entrepreneurs as it determines the state and progress of a business. In the next paragraphs, I’ll be discussing the qualities that make up an entrepreneur.
SIX CHARACTERISTICS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR
This is what makes an individual an entrepreneur; the ability to come up with creative ideas that ensures the start of a business and initiates a change. Businesses developed by entrepreneurs can be of two main forms; a new one or an existing one. Individuals can either work on a plan that introduces a new product to the market or work on another with an already established market. Either way, a new business is formed and it leads to the concept of Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs must possess innovative skills to be able to develop a business and come up with ideas, when needed, for the progress of the venture. This means that, even after a new business is formed, the creative process doesn’t stop as it will be needed to help for continuity. An entrepreneur who wants his/her business to stand out must always be creative.
While every new venture strives to make profit, there are times when losses might arise and individuals will be in a position to make certain decisions and take some risks that might either prove to make or break a business venture. Decision making is an important aspect of starting up a new business and it is something that will go on for as long as the business stands. The ability of an entrepreneur to take risks is highly important. In a scenario where a business makes a huge loss or is on the brink of collapse, the entrepreneur has big decisions to make, hence risks. At such point, whatever is decided potentially decides the progress of the business depending on the outcome. However, some risks are too big and it is up to individuals to draw a limit to taking risks on certain occasions.
Asides possessing the creative ability to create a new business and the capacity to take risks, an entrepreneur must be money cautious. Money management is very important especially in a business owned by just an individual. Entrepreneurs must know how to spend money wisely and how to use profits properly to ensure the progress of a business. Individuals can come up with a plan or strategy that helps manage the funds gained from the business. A little mismanagement of the money could result in a bad turn for the business venture.
This is probably one of the lessons taught in Business 101 or Entrepreneurship 101 classes. Never venture into what you don’t have passion for. One key thing to identify in many successful entrepreneurs in the world today is the fact that they are dealing in what they have always had passion for or something they have always had in mind since their childhood days. In recent times, people have involved themselves with different business ventures, mostly existing businesses, because of unemployment or fear of poverty but the real truth is passion is a fuel for a successful entrepreneurship venture. Something about passion gives you the motivation and drive to keep doing better and getting the best out of the venture. In some cases, individuals lose interest or get discouraged after a turn of events in the business that might lead to a collapse. In such times, the passion one has for what he/she is doing helps the person thrive and look for solutions. One of the main reasons for failing or unsuccessful businesses in entrepreneurship or for start-ups is lack of passion.
In an entrepreneurship venture, you are solely the Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director, General Manager and in fact, the General Overseer of your business except of course in cases where individuals who create a new business, share or distribute the ownership of the business to one or several other individuals whose presence are critical to the business progression. In short, you are solely in charge of how things are run. Being proactive as an entrepreneur means preparing for the future and planning for events to happen long before they even start to manifest. Entrepreneurs like to think long term and put their focus and determination into achieving the set goals. “If there is a loss, what will I do?” “If the business runs out of money, what happens?” “If a competitor arrives and poses a threat to my business, what are the procedures in place to help stay in the market and stand out?” These are exactly how entrepreneurs think in the early stages of the business. The ability to answer such questions that may likely arise determines how well an entrepreneur can succeed in whatever he/she is doing. A single mistake in planning could affect the business seriously. “Someone who fails to plan, plans to fail”.
This is intentionally put as last on the list because after an individual creates a new idea, take risks, properly manage money, deals with his/her passion, and adequately plans for the future, the next thing is to ultimately wait for the proceeds and outcome from all the hard work put into the business, which in fact, is not easy. There goes no business existing without experiencing loss. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Sometimes, it takes a longer time for a business to establish properly in the market and others take a shorter time. As an entrepreneur, you should always expect the unexpected and when such happens, pick yourself up again and re-strategize. Enduring all that comes with setting up a business is one of the things that make an entrepreneur. Even successful entrepreneurs have faced hard times in the past, but their ability to endure and motivate themselves into getting up and doing better ultimately reaped benefits for them.
While these six characteristics can be considered as highly decisive in becoming an entrepreneur, it doesn’t stop there. Entrepreneurs should always pay attention to detail, make carefully developed decisions, take necessary actions when needed, always think outside the box and most importantly, stay dedicated and put in hard work. Nothing comes easy and so does entrepreneurship. It is all a process and it could take a long time but it will eventually lead to success. Following your own set principles and shaping yourself to the listed qualities will help you become a better entrepreneur which will ultimately lead to the success of your business.
SIX COMMON MYTHS ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP
It's actually funny and also quite interesting how of all the many problems faced by entrepreneurs or individuals who are about to venture into business, myths also plays a role in the decision making process. These myths always have ways of interfering with decisions and the choices entrepreneurs make. Most times, it makes things discouraging and other times, it fosters bad decisions that ultimately lead to reduced productivity or failure of the business.
Certain misconceptions and assumptions made by people is what causes the belief in myths. These assumptions go as far as restraining individuals from doing certain things because of the negativity surrounding what they've heard. For instance, I might have a neighbor who is an entrepreneur and also goes to work very early and returns home very late. Because he/she works like this doesn't mean when I start mine, I'll be like them.
Okay, not all of these myths are entirely negative. There are instances where individuals are made to believe certain things about entrepreneurship like how easy it can be and how success is totally attainable within a very short period of time. They almost literally force individuals into starting a business. Debunking all these myths and misconceptions will help future entrepreneurs know the basics and also the requirements for attaining success. I've compiled a list of some of the most common myths about entrepreneurship and why they are wrong.
This of course tops the list of popular myths. It is of common belief that entrepreneurs simply have no life, they only really care about their business and spend most of the time they have with the business, hence no time for a making friends, keeping in touch with family and also doing fun things. Also, many people believe if an individual becomes entrepreneur, he/she is definitely dedicating their lives to their business and the only real thing that makes them happy is their business.
True? Hell No. There's totally something called time management. Everyone deserves a fun time and everyone gets a fun time. Yes, the business is important and they strive hard to attain success, but it's not just the business for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs usually have a family and keep friends and visit parks, watch movies, play games and every other thing a normal person does. Properly managing your time helps you accommodate time for your business and also time for yourself.
Try establishing an adequate working routine that helps you manage your time properly if you're having issues with time. Set a schedule/work calendar that contains all the things you need to get done at work. Always put the hard stuff at the top of the list and move on till you get to the less important stuff. Take breaks often and work hard to make sure you follow your own routine.
Yeah, hold on a bit. Entrepreneurship is not genetic. It's not even biological. Most people believe once a person becomes too good at his/her business, then they were born to do it. At times, family businesses are passed to people and they're expected to run the family business just like it has always been because it is in their "genes".
There's no way entrepreneurship is genetic. It just can't be. It's almost the same as saying being kind or truthful is in the gene. Certain individuals have gone through rigorous set of training and experiences to help them become better entrepreneurs. The deal with entrepreneurship is hard work and commitment. With both, an individual will make a good entrepreneur. This also debunks the assumption that entrepreneurship is for everyone. Not everyone can be an entrepreneur. Some individuals don't just have what it takes to start a business.
This is yet another popular misconception. Many people believe that entrepreneurs take too many risks in the running of the business. Some also believe that entrepreneurs are gamblers and they mostly rely on luck or trial and error concepts to run their businesses. Now, the truth is, yes entrepreneurs take risks and these risks are only for the business.
Whatever risks an entrepreneur takes relates to the business and how well it survives. And no, they're not always taking risks. Risks are an important part of entrepreneurship and determining when to take these risks is highly important. For entrepreneurs, risks are more about balancing risks and rewards. Taking a low risk could mean a low reward or benefit and vice versa. Imagine if there were no risks, there will probably be more entrepreneurs than we have today.
It is widely believed that when someone goes into entrepreneurship, the person is there because of the money the person expects to make and the person doesn't care about other things. They believe that entrepreneurs are mostly being pushed into what they're doing for love of money or fear of poverty.
Well yeah, money is quite important no doubt but it's not the only reason why individuals venture into businesses. In fact, there are quite a number of other reasons that could make an individual want to start a business. One is fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Most successful entrepreneurs out there today are people whose businesses are connected to their passion and what they've really wanted to do all their life. On the other hand, some people do it as a way of giving back to the society. Others are for experience or resume purposes and lastly is for freedom. Some people feel limited to certain things when they work for organizations. Starting up their own businesses serves as a avenue for more freedom.
This appears to also be a common myth. Maybe it is the tag or the name Entrepreneur, but people seem to believe once an individual is an entrepreneur, he/she automatically has an ocean of ideas in store. In truth, it can be said that great ideas are what make an entrepreneur but also, it doesn't mean all entrepreneurs need to hustle and stress too hard to get a new or fresh intelligent idea to be able to start a business.
In recent times, we've seen people who have picked up an existing business and transformed it into something that fits their own plans. An existing idea can be exploited to build another business from it as long as there are no infringements or plagiarism issues. There are many examples to pick from if you look at it. People who do almost similar things but the way they implement their operations make it look totally different. Take for instance, Opay and Gokada. Also, Uber and Taxify, Kusnap Online Marketplace . The list goes on. Similar ideas but vastly different implementations.
Maybe this is because of the way some entrepreneurs make their success look, but people actually believe there is a particular secret formula that most successful entrepreneurs use to get results. Some individuals don’t just want to believe that hard work and commitment are key in the path to success, instead they are always willing to ask entrepreneurs what they “actually do” to attain so much success. There are simply no shortcuts.
In truth, two different people can decide to engage in the same kind of business and still, one could be more successful than the other. There is no such thing as a secret to entrepreneurship. It all comes down to the way the ideas are implemented, level of hard work put in and the dedication and commitment to work. The goal is always to work smart and that’s the thing that always stands out in the stories of successful entrepreneurs. Their ability to come up with smart ideas to help them properly run their businesses is sometimes vital. Everyone cannot run their businesses the same way, even twins, so you can’t always expect a similar result.