Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

What does one need to be an entrepreneur? First, you need the desire, the ambition, and the perseverance to work for yourself. If you have those, then you will want to continue reading.

Whitney Johnson states some interesting statistics in her course Entrepreneur Foundations: Are you an Entrepreneur? including that the average age of an entrepreneur is 40, fear of failure is biggest hold back from starting a business, that you need to be goal setter and someone who likes to work to achieve those goals.  You will also need to hone the ability to persuade people to help you with your dream. Do you have a deeply held need to create? If so, being a entrepreneur can help fulfill that need. Johnson says that she has learned that, “To do something truly new, you need to play where no one else is playing.”

“The world needs dreamers, and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” Sarah Ban Breathnach

Now that we know some of the characteristics of an entrepreneur we should discuss what entrepreneurs do. From the course The New Rules of Work I have learned that entrepreneurs do the following things:

  • Identify and solve problems in a proactive manner, and seek input from others as well.
  • Make decisions based on the information that they have. They gather information quickly and then they act on it.
  • Take smart risks, they see failure as a “badge of courage.” They don’t make the same mistake again, but they may make new mistakes.  Failure is a chance to learn, and grow.

How to Begin to Choose a Business

As Dave Crenshaw says in his course Know Yourself as the Entrepreneur you should look at your gifts + loves+ skills =talents in order to figure out what type of business you might want to start.

Gifts are things that you were born to do. Ask yourself and ask others “what makes you great?” Now for the love part, what do you enjoy doing? What activities give you energy? Skills are the things that you have learned how to do from school, or past jobs and apprenticeships.  When you list all your gifts, loves, and skills look for areas that overlap; these are your talents.

Once you discover, or rather uncover, your talents you will want to focus your “business idea generation” around that talent. It really is the best place to start.

Next you should look at what the marketplace may need. As Crenshaw states, “discover the pains that other people have.” Think about your day; what is missing, or difficult to do, what do people tend to ask you to do, what annoys you about businesses and how you would do things differently, and what existing businesses revolve around your talents?

What business ideas do you find exciting?  Which business ideas make logical sense? If an idea doesn’t seem logical and exciting then do not pursue it.

While deciding on a business idea, an entrepreneur will look at:

  • -the demand for the product or service
  • -the expertise and know how to enter that business
  • -the resources needed to create a product or service
  • -can the business make money and be profitable?
  • -the distribution of the product
  • -is the business idea unique enough to give them proprietary advantage?

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Crenshaw also believes that entrepreneurs should FOCUS on one business. If you bring it to a successful level and want to move on then you can. But don’t spread yourself thin by starting another business before the success is reached and before you have either sold, or put someone else in charge of the original business.

These experts have given us much to think about and ponder. By knowing who you are, what you bring to the table, and doing your research you can decide what type of business you want to start.  That, of course, is just the start in the wild ride of being an entrepreneur.

Best of luck in learning what you need to know, and remember that learning from failures will propel you forward.

As always let me know your questions and comments I would love to hear them.





4 thoughts on “Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

  1. Hey Bill
    This is a really interesting and thought provoking article. I particularly resonate with the part about concentrating on one business at a time, allowing you to be able to build it up into a success. Spreading yourself too thin is something I see a lot of people doing, and it usually ends up in failure.

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