Demystifying Entrepreneurship: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur
People normally think that entrepreneurs live a glamorous life. Living on your own terms, setting your own schedule, and creating your own rules is definitely alluring.
In fact, leadership and entrepreneurship are all the rage in the modern business world.
Gone are the days when everyone wanted to join big corporations after graduation. Nowadays, the definition of success is to be an entrepreneur.
People also consider everyone who launches a business as an entrepreneur.
This goes to the extent that you are a business leader and entrepreneur even if you have just launched a new blog.
Entrepreneurship has supposedly become a way of life when the opposite is clearly true. Becoming an entrepreneur means you will be on the eternal roller coaster ride no matter you succeed or fail. The experience is nauseating most of the time rather than pleasant.
Alex Becker, the founder of Market Hero lists the reasons why so many entrepreneurs fail in this YouTube video.
The prevailing idea of entrepreneurship is ambiguous and imprecise. In total contrast to the general perception, entrepreneurship is about your actions and decisions rather than your position in the company.
If you are an entrepreneur, then you are not a business manager.
Of course, you have to take care of your business, but you can delegate most of your duties to your staff.
All you have to do is to worry about their welfare and well being.
THE REAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
It is true that entrepreneurs are the ones who start new businesses and open companies.
The basic definition of entrepreneurship states that it is the process of creating and improving the business, attracting new customers and getting revenue and profit.
However, this definition is very restrictive, to say the least.
They try to accomplish the task by initiating a life-changing process, introducing an innovative product or introducing a social change.
Watch this video to know what real entrepreneurship looks like.
Entrepreneurship is no longer merely about launching a business. It is about living an independent life and building a satisfying and happy career for yourself.
There is no one to hold you back.
In this type of life and profession, there is no boss and there is no schedule. You also have to play a pivotal role in bringing happiness and prosperity to the poor and needy throughout the world.
The following chart taken from Global Entrepreneurship Index 2018 explains how entrepreneurs improve people’s lives and economies by globally sharing ideas, improving efficiency by creating new technologies, finding new solutions to the problems and creating new jobs.
THE DEFINITION OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The Merriam Webster Dictionary describes an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise” or, “a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money.”
Note that both definitions have words like business and risk in common. It means you only become an entrepreneur when you negotiate risks and set up a fully functional and profitable company.
The biggest reason everyone wants to become an entrepreneur today is the media hype. Media presents entrepreneurship as the only remedy for your financial problems.
Then there are numerous memes about the corporations being the evil entities and that you will not make any progress in life if you work for someone else.
As a result, people tend to start their own business instead of looking for jobs.
Dan Lok presents the “true definition of entrepreneurship” in the following video.
A sizable population of the world is unemployed or underemployed.
To exacerbate the problem, they try to find even more creative ways of concealing this very fact, instead of finding a good job and building a career for themselves.
During all this time, they wrongly believe it is alright to be unemployed because they are entrepreneurs building their online presence, enhance their brand and other such crap.
It may sound a little disappointing, but you need to understand that entrepreneurship and leadership are not full-time jobs.
You are unemployed until you have a real business, real expertise, real risks, real products and a real chance of having a good return on investment.
If you do not have these things, you are not working, but simply wasting your time. Most importantly, you are not an entrepreneur.
Mark Zuckerberg is an entrepreneur because he has a real business, real investors, real employees, and a world-famous product.
Same is the case with people like Evan Spiegel and John Mackey, who are the CEOs of Snapchat and Whole Foods respectively. In this particular case, entrepreneurship is also their full-time job.
Evan Spiegel co-founded one of the most popular mobile apps in history. Snapchat attracted millions of extremely engaged people as soon as it was launched.
In fact, the very idea of the ephemeral application raised more than half a billion dollars in venture funding.
John Mackey started Whole Foods because he was crazy about healthy foods. He was passionate about living a healthy and active life. But, there are thousands of other food companies in the world.
What separates Whole Foods from the rest is how Mackey manages his business. He has a unique way of serving all of the stakeholders.
He introduced a new and better way of doing business to the world and thus, he has every right to be called as an entrepreneur.
There is an endless list of “true entrepreneurs“, but you have probably already got the idea. All these people have started real businesses with real products and real services.
They have real companies which have deep roots in the country or societies they serve.
The stress here is on the word “real.” Therefore, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you must offer something real to the world. It can be a product which solves your customers’ long-lasting problem. Try to raise enough capital to create a new product.
Market your product and win as many customers as possible. Keep working diligently and one day you will be an entrepreneur because you took the risk, opened a company and earned a profit from it.
WHAT DOES AN ENTREPRENEUR DO?
We have already discussed a number of characteristics a true entrepreneur must possess. But, what exactly a person who calls himself an entrepreneur does or should do?
According to Drew Downs, the co-founder of Nuvango:
“An entrepreneur is someone who prefers a life of boundless uncertainty to that of predictability and chooses to bet on themselves before anyone else.”
Similarly, Yoav Schwartz, the co-founder of Uberflip states that:
“Entrepreneur is someone who seeks to make a change – either to an industry, or the world. They’re willing to take on financial risk, always choosing growth over profit, and are optimistic to a fault. There’s never been a lower barrier to entry – you don’t need a Computer Science degree to launch a web-based product or service. So to be a successful entrepreneur today boils down almost entirely to execution and perseverance.”
The recurring themes in the above statements are value creation, rebellion, and risk. You cannot qualify as an entrepreneur unless you have the courage to rebel against the norms.
You must also be ready to lose some or all of the money you invested in your new venture.
Similarly, your ultimate goal should be the general growth of your business and the welfare of the masses instead of profit.
Most importantly, you do not need to be highly qualified to become an entrepreneur. There are no minimum requirements as well.
If you have the will and stamina, you can start from scratch and still succeed as a business leader.
The following video explains 15 aspects of effective entrepreneurship.
THE ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
So far we have learned that you need a real company with real customers to be an entrepreneur.
There is another aspect of entrepreneurship, which people tend to ignore.
It is called the entrepreneurial mindset. It is how you think about a specific thing or problem. It can be rightly said that entrepreneurs have their own unique style to approach things and take on challenges.
Entrepreneurship has evolved quite a bit over the last two to three decades. Currently, it is more about how you do it instead of what you do.
Nowadays, people tend to get to the basics of entrepreneurship to better understand the concept. In fact, the new approach towards entrepreneurship has given rise to a new culture of research, scholarship and study around it.
It has become even more important for business owners to think like an entrepreneur if they want to succeed. Furthermore, it will also help you understand what the entrepreneurial mindset is and how you can apply it to your own business or company.
Business experts, after years of research, have been able to break down entrepreneurship into several different but equally important parts.
These parts correspond to how entrepreneurs think and approach problems.
It is pertinent to mention that these components are very subjective and elastic. They are not rigid but allow flexibility and independent thinking about how to tackle things.
Similarly, an entrepreneur does not need to possess all the “necessary traits”.
After all, different people have different strengths and weaknesses like everything else and entrepreneurs are no exception.
The only thing that matters is how you apply your concepts while managing your business.
WHY DO PEOPLE BECOME ENTREPRENEURS?
Before we actually talk about how you can think like an entrepreneur and what are some of the “entrepreneurial capacities”, it is necessary to discuss why you would you like to become an entrepreneur in the first place.
Why don’t you just do a regular job in a good company and build your career just like everybody else? Why do you want to rebel against the system? What do you want to achieve from entrepreneurship?
Watch the video to learn how you can become an entrepreneur in the modern age.
There is no doubt that entrepreneurship is very alluring. It is evident from the fact that there are millions of active entrepreneurs across the world many of which are females.
Each one of them has his own reason why he chose entrepreneurship over a 9-5 job.
No matter what their reasons are, they decided to live an independent life on their own terms. Here are some of the most important reasons why you would want to become an entrepreneur.
The entrepreneurial ecosystem has attracted a large number of people in recent years as shown by the following infographic.
To Change the World
Some people choose this path for the sole purpose of serving humanity. They want to dedicate their lives to helping underprivileged people.
They strive to build a brand which serves others.
The motive behind launching the brand can be anything such as space exploration (Elon Musk is an example), creating a product which transforms the lives of people in poor countries and eliminating poverty.
Some people start a business just for the sake of raising more money for their noble causes. The only goal of social entrepreneurs is to improve the lives of others through their companies or ventures.
They Do Not Want a Boss
Well, this is the most obvious reason to become an entrepreneur. People with entrepreneurial tendencies don’t feel easy working for someone else, especially their bosses.
They feel that a 9-5 job as well as their boss hold them back and restrict their performance. They believe the only way to realize their full potential is to work independently.
Some even believe they have a better and more effective way of doing things. Others opine that bosses limit their creative flair.
Ultimately, they resort to opening their own businesses and to work according to their own schedule and conditions.
They Want Flexible Hours
Entrepreneurship is particularly popular among people who hate rigid working hours such as a 9-5 job.
Many people with physical disabilities enjoy entrepreneurship because it allows them to work whenever and wherever they want.
Similarly, more and more young parents are taking an interest in entrepreneurship. It enables them to take better care of their children without feeling guilty for it.
Many full-time students do not want to put the extra burden on their parents and start a part-time business to bear their study and living expenditures.
They Like to Take Risks
Entrepreneurship and risk-taking go hand in hand. For instance, Entrepreneurs hate applying for jobs. Instead, they take risks, start a new business and offer jobs to others. Business is always risky because it involves financial risks and other risks.
Sometimes They Cannot Get a Job
Sometimes, people launch their own business because they cannot get a job anywhere.
Any kind of criminal record, lack of experience and having been fired from a job are some of the reasons why you may find it difficult to land a new job.
However, these dire circumstances cannot deter or discourage a true entrepreneur. He creates new opportunities for himself instead of being overwhelmed by the situation.
For instance, a fresh graduate with a low GPA can start a new online store to enhance his experience and improve his resume. A parent who has recently been laid off can also start a new business to keep earning a livelihood for his family.
Take a look at the following chart to find the percentage of people who started their own business because they were fearing unemployment or they were actually fired from their jobs. The chart has been taken from an article, published on https://foundr.com.
They are not Compatible with Corporate Environments
Entrepreneurs never like working in corporate environments and for good reasons. Corporations normally tend to suppress the growth of an individual instead of encouraging it.
Entrepreneurs want to have more control over their role and policy-making which corporations hesitate to provide.
They are Ambitious
Entrepreneurs like to take on new challenges. They happen to be industrious and leave no stone unturned to reach difficult goals and milestones. They work day and night to achieve the highest level of success as the sky is the limit for them.
In fact, some of them never stop growing and achieve much more than they originally dreamed of. They somehow overcome all the hurdles which come in their way. In simple words, they are unstoppable.
HOW TO THINK LIKE AN ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
The following are some of the most important components of the entrepreneurial mindset.
Do Not Hesitate to Take Risks
You may already be familiar with the phrase, “more risk, more reward.” The willingness to take more risks distinguishes real entrepreneurs from the false ones.
It is never easy to resign from your job or start a new business. However, you must give it a try and that is what true leaders do.
And, if the risk pays off, you will reap greater rewards. Remember that the road to success is long, tortuous, and perilous.
But, once you get to your destination, you will be grateful that you took that road.
Do Not Take Failures to the Heart
Failure is part and parcel of your life. Even some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world failed miserably at the start. You should not take failures seriously.
Most importantly, they should not deter you from trying. Donald Trump (you are free to disagree with his politics) is one such entrepreneur.
The man has gone through problems like huge personal debt, bankruptcy and some ideas which failed horribly such as the Trump Shuttle. He did not lose heart and today, he is worth approximately 4 billion dollars.
You must take failure as an opportunity, not a loss or weakness. Never give up, learn from your mistakes and quickly get back to your feet.
There are No Limits
Boundlessness and limitlessness are some of the words you can associate with entrepreneurship. Average people are conditioned to go to school and then to their day jobs and they content with it.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, never rest on their laurels. They constantly expand their repertoire and always dream big. You have to pay a heavy price for dreaming big that is you have to work really hard, but it is worth it in the end.
Entrepreneurs are very passionate about whatever they do which also enables them to achieve the success they wanted when they started.
Therefore, if you spend your days dreaming of what would you like to do in the years to come, think about how you can stimulate your career and attain your goals as well?
Try to figure out better ways of utilizing your resources, experience, and skills. How you can use them to change your life? Can you make a successful move to the industry or career you are passionate about?
Self-reliance is the key to success in today’s business environment.
It is imperative for you to build a business which can provide you with financial freedom. After all, you cannot survive solely on your meager salary for long.
Even if you are doing a regular job, there is nothing wrong in starting a side business, no matter how small it is. It will give you a little more control over your finances.
Secondly, it will be a good start if you ever decide to leave your job. At least, you will not have to take on lesser jobs because you will already have a steady source of income to fall back upon.
The world is changing at a rapid pace. It has become increasingly important for you to stay present by conditioning yourselves to the changes happening all around you.
It is the era in which you have to constantly review your lifestyle, diet, and living situation and of course, occupation to control life instead of life controlling us.
A vast majority of people are very nostalgic about their lives, not way back in the 1950s or the 1960s, but even in the 1990s when life seemed to be too simple and stable. Nowadays, everything, including the business is changing at an alarming rate.
You hear about new business techniques and technologies coming to market every other day. It is probably a foolish idea to keep track of all these changes and technologies.
However, it is important to regularly evaluate how all these developments are affecting your life and business in general and make necessary adjustments.
You would waste time on unnecessary activities if you are not focused. Lack of concentration will not only slow you down, but it will also result in a waste of precious resources and energy.
It will also make it difficult for you to attain your real goals. True business leaders always remain focused on their goals and objectives. They know where they want to be after a certain period of time and how they will get there.
Recognize New Opportunities
Entrepreneurs have an uncanny ability to recognize and seize new opportunities. That is exactly what people like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Jeff Bezos have done.
Real leaders learn from the experiences of others, develop an advanced sense of identifying opportunities and make life better for themselves and others.
Creativity and Innovation
People who launch successful businesses are some of the most creative and innovative people you would ever meet.
Their products and services are not run of the mill but tend to solve the problems of people in a more creative and unique way.
They take on an existing challenge and solve it by applying unconventional tools and techniques.
They Develop a Positive Mindset
Entrepreneurs see themselves as successful persons.
They pay no heed to the problems and hurdles which come in their way and always find a way around them instead of wailing about the lack of chances and blaming others for their poor circumstances.
They keep on moving forward despite all the difficulties. They have the courage to embrace the unknown and take the risks which heavily contribute to their success.
The concept of entrepreneurship is continuously changing and evolving.
It is not enough to simply start a new business to qualify as an entrepreneur. You and your business need to have a positive impact on the sizeable portion of society you are operating in.
Similarly, you need to develop most of the characteristics which are common among some of the most successful modern entrepreneurs. Only then, you can be called as a true entrepreneur.
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