If you have been considering starting a business of your own, the only thing that can stop you is your own reluctance to leave the comfort of working for someone else. There are many needs in the world and filling them is primarily a matter of building systems and hiring people who will solve problems with consistency and resourcefulness. There is no such thing as a person who cannot be an entrepreneur if they set their mind to it. Even if an entrepreneur fails, it can be taken as a lesson for the next great endeavor.
Some people have the belief that entrepreneurs are somehow special. While there is nothing inherently superior about entrepreneurs versus people who spend their whole lives working for someone else, there are certainly differences between the mindset of an entrepreneur and an employee.
Who are entrepreneurs? In the 20th century, there has been a lot of research on how entrepreneurs think and are driven to act. Researchers such as Joseph Schumpeter, Frank Knight and Peter Drucker have observed many key traits among entrepreneurs. The following are attributes associated with entrepreneurs:
Focus on innovation and opportunity. Entrepreneurs try to build new organizations, either to meet untapped opportunities or to apply innovation to do something in a new way. Entrepreneurs are the people who see a need and instinctively begin to brainstorm how to fill that need.
Comfort with ambiguity and uncertainty. If entrepreneurs waited for all questions about their venture to be answered they would never begin. Instead, they get started with many of the details left undetermined. Many entrepreneurs rush product to market as a kind of experiment to see what consumers are willing to pay for or use.
Discipline and drive. Many problems and challenges will arise when creating a new organization. Entrepreneurs need to be tenacious to overcome those problems. They must also have the discipline to work for themselves, independently and unsupervised. This freedom to procrastinate is a key difference between most employees and entrepreneurs, and successful entreprenuers entrepreneursneed to be disciplined to avoid procrastination. Entrepreneurs tend to be very driven self-starters who do not allow problems to stop their quest to accomplish something that is important to them. Entrepreneurs are also extremely passionate individuals who strive to create something that no one has ever seen before from a point where there was nothing. Even if the path toward filling the need will be difficult and the world will tell them that they are crazy, entrepreneurs will persevere and push through to accomplish the goal and create the fulfillment of the need they perceive.
Entrepreneurs do not fear failure. Entrepreneurs will never accomplish anything if they aren’t willing to risk failure. In general, a willingness to take risk is a hallmark of people who launch new ventures. Instead of seeing the risks and being afraid of them as most people are, entrepreneurs see the opportunities and work to capitalize on them.
Salesmanship and leadership. An entrepreneur needs to be able to sell her product and convince other stakeholders to work with her. Lenders, investors, suppliers and employees will all need to be convinced to work with the new venture.