Entrepreneurship means different things to different people. Some picture tech geniuses working at Silicon Valley startups, while others imagine small business owners having their small shops right next their homes. Ultimately, entrepreneurship encompasses these and many other business ventures that aim to turn an idea into a sustainable and at the same time profitable business.
What is Entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is the willingness to take risks and develop, organize and manage a business venture in a competitive global marketplace that is constantly evolving. Entrepreneurship contains a great dose of innovation and invention of new products, production methods, markets and forms of organization. Often entrepreneurs come to the forefront of technological and social movements and become leaders in their fields and in our society.
When the dreamers become doers, real magic starts happening.
Successful entrepreneurship involves much more than coming up with a great idea or concept. Many people think having such a great idea is enough, and it is not. What is truly important is what you do about it every single day. Therefore, many successful entrepreneurs consider entrepreneurship a mindset rather than a talent one is born with. It is a way of thinking and acting. It entails imagining new ways to solve existing problems and creating value. As a result, the entrepreneurial mindset shapes a specific skillset.
Who is an entrepreneur?
There are no specific traits that every entrepreneur shares, but many do possess a few common characteristics. Among the most important traits of successful entrepreneurs are the ability to take risks and handle adversity. Their motivation to start up a certain business is intrinsic and quite personal; they are proactive doers who are brave enough to challenge the status quo. Successful entrepreneurs have the willingness and the courage to go off the beaten track and even if they fail, they are not afraid to start over from scratch. Because they do believe in their idea and their capacity to make it happen exactly as they imagine it.
“An entrepreneur is someone who can take any idea, whether it be a product and/or service, and have the skill set, will and courage to take extreme risk to do whatever it takes to turn that concept into reality and not only bring it to market, but make it a viable product and/or service that people want or need,” MJ Gottlieb
In the recent decades female entrepreneurship has been on the rise. The economic and social empowerment of women along with the substantial psychological differences between men and women create different circumstances for male and female entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs see the world through a different lens and, in turn, do things differently. These differences are reflected in the kinds of business women start up and the way they behave as leaders.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are 126m women operating new businesses and another 98m at the helm of established ones. Yet we face a huge equality gap. In only seven countries—Panama, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, Nigeria, Mexico and Uganda—do women take part in business at rates equal to men’s; in some countries, like Pakistan, they barely take part at all. Even when women are active business owners, they do not reach their potential: women own almost three in ten American firms, yet employ only 6% of the country’s workforce and account for barely 4% of business revenues.
Tips for aspiring entrepreneurs
Male or female, if you are ready to enter the world of entrepreneurship, here are a few important tips:
Learn from others’ mistakes and failures. Rather than admiring the small percentage of businesses that grow to become successful, study those that end up failing. Gottlieb said this research will greatly increase your chances of success, because most companies have made common mistakes that have led to their demise. He said that having the humility to learn from the mistakes of others before making them yourself is the secret to success.
Make sure entrepreneurship is your field. Because entrepreneurship requires so much hard work, it is critical to ensure you’re following the right path. If you have started up a project you are really passionate about, think long-term and be persistent. More often than not, even the greatest entrepreneurs fail many times before they succeed.
Solve problems. Entrepreneurs should always be on the lookout for problems to solve, and not the other way around. In other words, do not start with a solution looking for a problem.
Be passionate. Successful entrepreneurs are primarily driven by the need to achieve and the desire to make a meaningful difference. As Bachenheimer puts it “The most important traits are passion and persistence, but these must not be confused with arrogance and stubbornness”.
Get advice from those who have done it. One of the smartest things to do is to find entrepreneurs who are already successful and learn from them, as well as to read books, network with people you admire and look into great educational programs to help you throughout the process.
And never ever give up your dream.