The word “entrepreneur” seems to be all the rage these days. There’s a significant difference in people’s minds as to what an entrepreneur is. Are they born, or made? Are they visionaries, or leaders? I believe they are all these things and more. And they always stand out in a crowd!
Though all entrepreneurs are very similar, they come from different ethnic backgrounds, education levels, social circles, etc. There’s no definite blueprint as to why they succeed, only that they share similar traits. Let’s look at the traits so we can grasp the meaning of entrepreneur. Could you be one?
Of all the definitions I read, I like the Business Dictionary‘s the best:
“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 be produced. An entrepreneur supplies risk capital as a risk taker, and monitors and controls the business activities.
The entrepreneur is usually a sole proprietor, a partner, or the one who owns the majority of shares in an incorporated venture. According to economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter (1883-1950), entrepreneurs are not necessarily motivated by profit but regard it as a standard for measuring achievement or success.”
This definition encompasses many of the traits I think an entrepreneur is, but not all. Let’s take a look at what I believe one is truly like. Do you see yourself with any of these entrepreneur characteristics?
Characteristics Of Entrepreneurship – Which Is You?
Visionary – new, creative and sometimes strange ideas come from these minds. They can see uses for new technologies that no one has thought of, or applied yet.
They are often ridiculed, but only because they can see the finish line before it’s even started. Because of this “curiosity”, their businesses are often in the forefront of emerging fields.
- Think of Henry Ford for pioneering the assembly line.
- Or Bill Gates with Microsoft, and Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook
These types of people are true visionaries, creating empires from nothing.
Passionate – so passionate they would do it for free. Such people pursue their passion, and have faith that the fortune will follow.
Passion is what fuels their commitment and determination. It’s also what keeps them going when the stress and pressure would have anyone else quit.
- Debbi Fields and her husband Rands started selling their homemade chocolate cookies, which eventually grew into Mrs. Fields, with over 300 franchises in 22 countries.
- Bill gates was a visionary, but also passionate about computers. He was an amateur programmer long before Microsoft.
Risk-Taker – willing to take significant risk when the odds of success are low. This type of entrepreneur seems to have a tolerance for uncertainty or failure, and can manage fear successfully.
- Elon Musk, who co-founded PayPal, faced haters and critics when he started his Tesla & SpaceX businesses.
Both businesses were near bankruptcy, but with great risks, both companies nowthrive!
Leader – who else could have the communication and sales skills to sell their ideas to a group of people who could bring it to success.
This person is always looking for the best way to present their product as the best solution to a customer’s problem.
- Mark Cuban from “Shark Tank” says – “Learn to sell. In business you’re always selling to your prospects, investors and employees.
To be the best salesperson put yourself in the shoes of the person to whom you are selling. Don’t sell your product. Solve their problem”
Determined – “failure is not an option”. Where many people would just quit after a few failures, these people treat every obstacle as a way to success.
Their tenacity of building a better business is their motivation to keep going. As some entrepreneurs would say, some of the best ideas arise from the ashes of a failed business.
- Elon Musk is very determined. Who else wants to take us to Mars? He’s determined to achieve his greatest dream of saving humanity.
- Thomas Edison probably holds the record for the most failed attempts before reaching success. He failed several thousand times before inventing a working light bulb.
He said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.
Confident – that’s what gets them through the day. A confident entrepreneur thinks outside the box and sees opportunities where others see failure.
They can see the reward of success, not letting the problems and challenges get in the way. This level of confidence helps them get what they need to reach their goals, even with a lack of assets or resources.
The best way I can have you truly understand confidence is to listen to this short video. Carmen Moushikh pitches his rim and tire company on the Dragon Den. Now this is what self-confident sounds like….
Adaptable – change with the times or be left behind. I believe the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur is adaptability.
The business landscape is always changing. Even though they can’t see what’s coming, they are highly adaptable to these changes. They need to respond quickly to avoid oncoming trouble.
Fortunately, most entrepreneurs thrive in these environments.
- Think of Nokia and Kodak. They refused to change with the digital times and nearly got phased out because of it. Many photo developers were phased out with the onset of digital images.
- Apple was also on the brink, once, trying to sell everything from digital cameras to TV appliances. Steve Jobs was even ousted due to internal squabbles.
He returned in 1997 and focused on creating “beautiful” electronics, starting with IMac in 1998. Due of their drastic change, look where they are now!
Inquisitive – always learning new things. Because successful entrepreneurs in the world crave learning, they are able to stay ahead of the competition in an ever-changing industry.
Their thirst for knowledge, and new skills, brings new innovations to market.
- Benjamin Franklin craved knowledge. Just look at some of his wacky experiments…a lightening rod anyone?
But because of this thirst, he became a man of a thousand hats. His portfolio included scientist, inventor, printer, politician, diplomat, author….just to name a few.
Trailbreaker – rule breakers you may say. Breakers of conventional wisdom that is. They desire to engage in activities that others don’t or won’t, with the goal of making things better.
These entrepreneurs want to bring a solution to a problem that the current system doesn’t offer.
- Kanika Tekriwal, of Delhi, India, smashed through several stereotypes and founded Jetsetgo at age 16.
Her desire to launch an aviation enterprise, flew in the face of tradition. Single women were to be married and have children.
In her own words: “With a 20-hour workday, I don’t have the time or inclination for a relationship.”
Disciplined – helps you do what you need to do, even when you don’t want to! This is what makes the entrepreneur so successful.
They are masters at self-discipline. It’s easy in the beginning when there’s excitement at creating a new business. But when the glamour begins to wane, that’s when discipline takes over in order to reach that big reward.
- Sweta Patel, founder of Silicon Valley Startup Marketing, says you need to start with love to cultivate self-discipline.
She says: “When your job becomes your mission, you can make the sacrifices necessary to succeed.”
And her sacrifices include her stopping to spend time with people who didn’t further her mission.
Networker – and I don’t mean having a collection of business cards. Entrepreneurs know the importance of having value-based relationships.
These relationships lead to mutually beneficial opportunities. To have a strong network, both parties need to be able to offer, and receive, opportunities that impact their businesses.
- Tim Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Workweek”, started out by having his book proposal rejected 26 times. After connecting with a couple of industry influencers (well-known people), he was able to embark on a self-promotional tour.
The book became a best-seller and broke all expectations. His point is “You don’t want to meet someone, get their business card, and then expect to have accomplished something. Real networks are built on real relationships, and those take time.”
Do You Recognize Yourself?
So how many of these characteristics do you have? You don’t need to have them all. But I bet you see some of them in yourself, now that you know the meaning of entrepreneur.
Have you ever had the desire to fix a problem or help someone with tools that don’t exist yet? Just helping people find answers online can help change someone’s circumstances dramatically.
Having control over your own online business gives you the freedom to help others and yourself. Would you like another income stream to help out month to month?
Though entrepreneurs love to think outside the box, they also desire the fortune that comes with their ideas.
If you would love to be an entrepreneur and start your own business, please click on the button below, to see where I learned to start my own online business.
I would love to hear about your entrepreneurship, or your desire to start a business. Please let me know in the comments below.
And if you know any entrepreneurs in your life, please share this post.