Entrepreneurship often refers to as running your own business but Entrepreneurship is much broader than the creation of a new business venture, At its core, it is a mindset – a way of thinking and acting. It is about imagining new ways to solve problems and create value. To make the world a better place.Regardless of how you define an “entrepreneur,” one thing is certain: becoming a successful entrepreneur isn’t easy.
So, how does one person successfully take advantage of an opportunity, while another, equally knowledgeable person does not? Do entrepreneurs have a different genetic makeup? Or do they operate from a different vantage point, that somehow directs their decisions for them?
Though many researchers have studied the subject, there are no definitive answers. What we do know is that successful entrepreneurs seem to have certain traits in common. Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled.
Here’s a bit more on the perceived hurdles:
- Innovation/Idea: most ideas have been thought of before, and all will have competition. Success comes down to executing on your idea well and finding the right customers where you can solve their needs better. Think of all your favorite companies, and chances are, there was already someone doing a startup very similar when they founded.
- Time: starting a company does take time, and this just comes down to managing your time well. Focus on the things that matter most, and remember that perfect is the enemy of done. Recall also that many great ventures start as side projects, which is why companies like Google allow their employees 20% of their time to work on projects they think will benefit the company. Check out this article for more on when to go all-in with your startup, and this one for why the overnight success myth isn’t real.
- Team: you can do a lot on your own, though when you do go to find teammates, understand the gravity of this decision and what is most important in choosing a great team. Check out this post for more.
- Funding: the average amount to start a company is only about $10,000 – $30,000 (depending on the source — Kaufman Foundation estimates $30,000, while the Small Business Association quotes smaller numbers). Most entrepreneurs fund their company either on their own, or with a small loan from friends and family. Media skews what is needed to start something with the few outliers who raise millions of dollars, but the truth is, it usually requires much less.
Points to consider while starting your own company:-
- Pursuit: the actions of an individual entrepreneur — drive, resiliency, focus, discipline, and balance
- Opportunity: the type of venture — a better, cheaper, or more efficient offering for the customer
- Beyond resources controlled: managing the risks of external constraints
2. Interpersonal Skills
- Leadership and Motivation
- Good Communication Skills
- Good Listening skills
- List your own underserved needs or frustrations
- Listen to customers in this market about their frustrations
- Watch your competitors — both top companies and newly hyped companies in the industry, assessing their strengths and weaknesses. Read online customer reviews of current offerings and identify their biggest unmet needs.
- Assess barriers to being a customer to see if there are certain skills, access, awareness, etc. that makes the offering accessible to these customers, but prevent it from being desirable or accessible to others.
- Drive and Persistence
Relationships are hard, and this is especially true in startups, when the ups and downs of the process cause emotions and tensions to run high. Startups are much more likely to fail due to issues within the founding team than any other problem. Sixty-five percent of startup failures result from “people problems,” compared with only thirty-five percent failing for any other reason—including funding, customer acquisition, and product development.
You can minimize interpersonal challenges by finding the right co-founders and setting up expectations for how you’ll work together. The success of a team can be broken down into three parts:
- Design – finding the right complementary co-founders.
- Launch – setting expectations and norms.
- Process – managing the culture relative to norms and expectations.
While you may be tempted to startup your company alone, keep in mind that there can be a lot of potentially valuable reasons to have co-founders: complementing your skills, getting a more well-rounded perspective, having support through the ups and downs of a startup, and more.
Critical and Creative Thinking Skills
- Creative Thinking
- Problem Solving
- Recognizing Opportunities
Team design is about having the right people—finding co-founders with a similar vision and values, and with complementary personalities and skills. Many entrepreneurs start by finding others who have similar interests, like their friends. Instead, entrepreneurs should start look for people who have the same values and reasons for wanting to start a business. Skills can be learned and interests can change, but shared values and motivation create a strong foundation.
- Shared vision – have a common “why”. The best cofounder teams have similar drives for starting their company, and this plays out in their decisions as they develop and grow the business.
- Complementary skills – we refer to three types: the builder, brander, and business developer
- The builder is the technical co-founder and product developer. This may include skills of coding or product prototyping.
- The brander connects the customer to your offering, including marketing, brand guidelines, and visual design.
- The business developer is the operations, finance, and sales person. This person hustles to get the right partners and customers.
- Shared interests – (least important) Once you’ve aligned with compatible teammates around similar values, it becomes surprisingly easier to find common ground to develop business ideas.
While there is no one “right” set of characteristics for being a successful entrepreneur, certain general traits and practical skills will help you succeed.
By examining your own personal strengths and weaknesses and comparing these with those of the typical entrepreneur, you can get a sense of how well this career will fit with your personality.
Remember, becoming an entrepreneur is a career decision like any other. Do your homework, look at your needs and desires, and then decide whether this path is for you.