Who are you Mr. and Mrs. Entrepreneur?

Posted on February 13, 2012 by

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For my last blog post I want to write a resume of what an entrepreneur actually does, what characteristics can be found in them and what drives them. On our blog we wrote about what you need to be a leader, how to recruit your employees, how to raise funds and described different start-up ideas, so now I want to find out who those people are and where the innovation they create comes from.

What is an Entrepreneur?

The Business Dictionary describes an entrepreneur as “someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how and how much of a good or service will produced. He furthermore greatly values self reliance, strives for distinction through excellence, is highly optimistic and always favors challenges of medium risk”.

Really? From the top of my head I would have described an entrepreneur as somebody who is passionate about something, wants to create something new, he is energetic, risks a lot for something he believes in and works a lot.

I guess I am looking for another sort of entrepreneur than the Business Dictionary. One that doesn’t organize a venture, but founds an organization, starting with an innovative idea. One that takes high risk and relies not only on himself but also on his team.

James Debono, blogauthor of Key Characteristics of an Entrepreneur lists some characteristics I feel are much more suitable for an entrepreneur. From the many characteristics he lists, I believe those are the most important:

Go with the Gut, an entrepreneur has to have a feeling for right and wrong business decisions, to be successful, he has to take and recognize chances.

Seeing Opportunity in Frustration and take something going wrong as an opportunity to improve rather than be frustrated and give up.

Smart Networking to meet valuable business contacts, build a profitable business relationship and learn from them.

Time Management, be efficient and know when to do what.

Know when to recreate the wheel, in order to pursue your idea you don’t have to invent everything anew but should also use others experience and apply their practices to your own needs.

Why do I think they are important? Watch the following video and you’ll notice that you need them on the described ride on the “Entrepreneurial Rolercoaster”, which displays the up and downswings of having a business idea which might be “the next big thing”. It illustrates different stages an entrepreneur goes through and where they might lead him.

Born this Way?

The next question I want to research is whether entrepreneurs are born as entrepreneurs or if you can train yourself to be one.

The above listed characteristics are no personality traits, but you need to have a certain passion, innovation and leadership characteristics to develop those entrepreneurial characteristics.

I found a really well written and interesting story on a different form of entrepreneurship with the title How does an Entrepreneuractually start out?. It doesn’t, as I expected by reading the title, talk about a famous start-up founder but about a boy who is forced to be creative and innovative to make his living. Who takes any chance to make money –setting up a small coin-trading business in school– and does this really strategically and clever. He is persistent and learns about people, who he can sell what and how. It doesn’t end with him being rich, but he still is rich with experience and even though he had to struggle all the way he can be proud of what he accomplished – out of nothing.

And that is what they do: make something from nothing. This principle can be applied to any form of business starting with an idea only.

In a way the blog Web and Startups by Oscar underwrites this thesis. He claims that there is an entrepreneur in each and every one of us; he just has to be unleashed.

Circumstances like the one described above: the necessity of having to create something in order to have something might just be the trigger.

I found an article on Business Insider, claiming on the basis of a study about twins, that certain entrepreneurial characteristics are genetic. Identical twins are more likely to make the same decisions than fraternal twins; this includes starting up a business. In twin research they have found initial evidence that personality traits (such as being extroverted, open to experience, disagreeable and sensation seeking) influence the decision to found a start-up.

The article concluding states, that genes never determine your way in live, they merely influence you just as experiences you make are too.

So this means you can be born an entrepreneur, but you might just as well make yourself one.

What we found out so far is that there are different forms of entrepreneurship and different reasons of being an entrepreneur. But most importantly: everybody can be an entrepreneur, if he wants to.

And isn’t that what counts? To really want something? Or does also work otherwise?

 

The Accidental Entrepreneur

 

As you might have guessed from my posts by now I am a huge fan of TechCrunch where I found a great post by James Altucher on The Secrets of The Accidental Entrepreneur. He recalls his two best investments to be accidents. Starting with an idea, which fell apart, but after working on it turned out as something much better and much more profitable then the initial idea.

Another accident he names is Google, which tried to sell to Yahoo, was rejected and thus four years later built up an immensely successful business – by accident!

So what got those start-ups to be the successful companies they are now? James Altucher calls it a “combination of luck, health, and flexibility that allows one to roll with disappointments, learn from them, move forward and repeat when necessary”.

 

I am impressed Mr. and Mrs. Entrepreneur!

You seem to be having it all and suffering just as much. I am impressed by people so persistent and energetic.

Even without wanting to be an entrepreneur, I think everyone can learn something from Mr. and Mrs. Entrepreneur because the situation of failure in business or any other part of life are similar. Thus the way of dealing with it can be assigned to any situation in your life. Actually it isn’t only failure, it’s all of it, the full rolercoaster ride can be applied to life with it’s up and downs, right and wrong decisions and having to get up and go again. So try being a life-entrepreneur might be a good start to develop into a business-entrepreneur!

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Posted in: inspiration, life