One of the things that made this country great was its entrepreneurial spirit. It drove the early founders to pick up their belongings, sale across the dangerous Atlantic, and make their homes and businesses in a world that was completely new and foreign to them. They faced hardship, turmoil, sickness, disease, and challenges every step of the way. Some never made it, but those who did make something for themselves. This is our Definition Of An Entrepreneur…
That’s what the spirit of entrepreneurship is all about. Starting your own business is never easy, even if you have a million dollars of capital to start with. You will face endless challenges that will make you want to give up on your dreams and quit. You will have to deal with naysayers and people who want to “keep you safe.” The road will be long, hard, narrow, and often lonely.
What defines an entrepreneur, however, isn’t the challenges that they face, but how they face them. How they stand up in the face of adversity, handle their problems and continue to move forward every single day.
Today, we’re going to looking at the definition of an entrepreneur, how you can become one, and the qualities that make a great one.
What Is An Entrepreneur?
According to Dictionary.com, an entrepreneur is:
- A person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
- An employer of productive labor; i.e. contractor or even micropiles.
Well, we find that definition to be a little bit boring, so let’s cut to the chase. A great entrepreneur definition is somebody who starts, organizes, and manages their own business often at great risk to themselves and their finances.
If you’re reading this article, then the chances are that you’re either an entrepreneur yourself looking to better yourself or you’re looking for the courage and motivation you need to take your first steps towards greatness. Whatever your particular position happens to be, you’re guaranteed to find something useful in this article.
How Does One Become An Entrepreneur?
Now that you know what the definition of an entrepreneur is, how do you become one? There are two answers to that question; one is simple and the other is not so simple.
The first answer is to have an idea. This is the easy part. Do a bit of thinking, look at the world around you, identify a need or a gap that needs to be filled, and create that solution. If you sit down with a pen and pad, a cup of coffee, and an open mind, you’re sure to come up with a few good ideas.
The second part is the hard part. It requires you to take action in order to make your idea a reality. This is the part where most people fail. Every day, people all around the globe come up with ideas that are worth billions of dollars and let them fade away because they lack the drive and resources to back up their ideas.
Most people look at the challenge of creating your own business from the ground-up and shudder in fear. It’s not an easy decision. It requires you to have complete faith in your idea, and it will often put you and your finances at great risk. You may have to take out loans, find people willing to invest in your idea, and pour your own time, energy, and resources into your business for years before seeing a return.
Deciding to create your own business is like taking your first swim in the ocean. It’s dark, deep, and often murky. It might be cold, it might be warm, you might see some pretty dolphins or you might get eaten by a shark. But as any professional diver will tell you, once you experience the fascinating new world, your whole life will change.
The same is true with entrepreneurship. The world of business is like a vast unknown ocean. If you’re willing to take that first leap and fully commit yourself to action, however, there is nothing in the world that can stop you from achieving your dreams.
It won’t be easy, but it’s guaranteed to be one of the most rewarding things that you will ever do in your life.
Qualities That Make A Great Entrepreneur
All that being said, there are lots of entrepreneurs in the world. Some of them are great, and others aren’t so great. A scary statistic that you should always keep in mind is that 50% of small businesses fail within the first four years.
The difference between those who make it big and those who hit rock bottom and fail are the qualities and core values that exist at the heart of the entrepreneur.
The two leading causes of failure are incompetence and lack of managerial experience. After you start your business, you need to be able to properly manage it. Your small business is like a tree. If you plant it in good soil, keep it fed and pruned, and keep away the bugs and disease, it will grow big and beautiful.
Before you set out on any great business venture, you need to have a solid action plan that’s backed by the following core values.
You obviously need to have a little bit of creativity to come up with your first business idea. However, the creativity cannot stop there. If you want to truly grow your business you will have to constantly fuel it with fresh ideas and innovation. Companies that don’t innovate will eventually stagnate and fail.
Technology companies know this principle better than anybody. If they don’t constantly improve on bugs and make their products smaller, faster, and more intuitive every couple of months, then their competitors will trample them. Even if you own a small family restaurant, you need to be creative. Restaurants that can’t create fresh ideas and bring new meals to the table will eventually bore patrons and they’ll find somewhere else to go.
The Ability To Inspire (…and gain capital)
While an entrepreneur doesn’t need to be wealthy, they do need to have means of gathering capital for their business. If you want your company to grow, you’re going to need money. If you have a healthy nest egg that you’ve been saving, that’s great. However, more often than not, you’re going to have to rely on money from outside investors to grow your business.
If you want to collect capital, then you need to be inspiring. You need to have the confidence to walk up to your potential investors and sell them on both your idea and their ability to profit from it. If you can inspire people, then you’ll get the money that you need.
Leadership has been covered time and time again in business articles. The reason is that it really is that important. No successful business can operate as a one-man show forever. You need to be able to lead a team of equally dedicated individuals and employees if you want to grow. A business with no leadership is like a body without a head.
Will Power… Lots Of It
You need to have lots of willpower. During your first few years as a startup company, you’re going to face challenges that you never dreamed of. You’ll probably lose some money, make a few mistakes, have a few deals fall through the cracks, and have your closest friends and family second-guess your decision to be an entrepreneur.
The only way to power through these tough times and come out on top is by having unbeatable willpower. You’ll have to wake up every morning with a fire in your eyes, grit in your hands, and the will to keep on driving.
In the words of NFL star Marshawn Lynch, “you have to be willing to run through [somebody’s] face over and over and over again.” In this interview, Lynch talked about drive and how he became an unstoppable force during his career. His answer was simple- he was relentless.
A great definition of an entrepreneur is somebody who is relentless in the face of opposition. You’re going to face setbacks, you’ll have competition, but if you keep on hammering through them, eventually they won’t be able to get back up.
Finally, you need to have wisdom when it comes to running a business. Being a hot-head will never get you anywhere, and your emotional weaknesses will eventually be exploited. It’s important to keep your cool, always have a plan, and know how to handle situations logically. If you can keep yourself together, fix mistakes, resolve disputes, and keep moving forward, you’ll gain respect and influence in the business community.
The definition of an entrepreneur is simple, but the process of becoming an entrepreneur is one of the hardest things that you will ever do. With great risk, however, comes the possibility of great reward. If you think you have what it takes, go for it and chase your dream. If you still have a little ways to go, then focus on the qualities we discussed above and do your best to develop them. Finally, always remember to believe in yourself, your team, and your ideas.
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