Are Entrepreneurs born or are they created? Over the years we've heard how you have to be born an Entrepreneur, and that you can't just develop into one. I think that's true to an extent, but I think that's being a "natural" Entrepreneur, someone who was born with certain skills, whereas someone who was not born with certain traits could develop most of the skills needed to become what is known as an Entrepreneur.
That may not make much sense, but that's for another article. Let's discuss how you can develop the skills needed to become a true Entrepreneur.
First off, what is an Entrepreneur? It seems that everyone has different definitions and opinions of what an Entrepreneur is, but I've always stuck with a simple definition: "Someone who takes risks and responsibility to build a Business, and sticks with that Business until they feel it's complete." There's a lot of Wantrepreneurs out there that want to build a business for the sake of feeding their ego. They usually give up quickly and move on, back to their Corporate jobs, when they realize that their experience was not what they were hoping for.
Let me say this: being a Business owner does not make you an Entrepreneur. Anyone can start a Business, especially someone who sticks to a specific Business Model. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but there's a big difference between the two. The explanation below should help clear this up.
An Entrepreneur has several skills.
Risk Taker: You have to have the desire and the stomach to really want to take on the risk(s) that it will take you to build out the Business that you envision. There's a lot of hills and valleys that Business owners have to defeat over the course of the Business' lifetime. Not anyone can take a risk with time and money. Sure, you may be OK with spending a few thousand in Vegas, but how does it make you feel when you're simply gambling? Regardless, there's also the issue of risking time, too.
Visionary: Most Business owners aren't true visionaries. Most small Businesses are based on other Business models and they don't utilize much vision. But there's also those who take a Business idea and use their vision to create something different. Something a bit more "unique."
Responsible: To be in Business you have to be responsible. But, again, this is where most Wantrapreneurs and even some successful Business owners are different. Taking full responsibility for success is easy, but taking full responsibility for failure and picking yourself back up off the ground is something an Entrepreneur needs to be able to do.
Getting Things Done: Most Business owners feel the need to hire others to get things done for them. They don't want to do anything other than one thing. This is fine and probably smart, for the most part. Most Entrepreneurs will do what it takes to get that task done, even if they have to do it themselves. A quick look at Silicon Valley and you will see how many successful Entrepreneurs became programmers just to build their vision, even though some had no technical background!
Intuition: Intuition is something that not many people have. This is a trait that many successful Entrepreneurs seem to have, naturally. This isn't necessarily something that you can create, but you can learn to trust your gut and go with your gut feelings more often. It doesn't mean it will always work, but it's sometimes your best bet, since you have to get things done!
Resiliency: Being able to get back up when you get knocked down. So many Business owners work their business by a book, a pre-made plan created by someone else. But what happens when that plan goes awry? If you want to be successful, you need to learn how to become resilient!
Always Selling: Being able to always sell your ideas, regardless if other people tell you that your idea sucks and it's wrong. Your intuition tells you that it's going to be big and you're sure of it. If you trust your intuition, you have to stick to your guns and keep pushing forward. You need to be thinking about your idea 24/7 and not allowing anyone to sway you from your vision.
Always Learning: If you're not learning, you're slowly killing your business. An Entrepreneur needs to always be learning and solidifying his knowledge for future opportunities. You never know what you could be missing out on if you're not continuing your education.
These are some things that make an Entrepreneur successful. You need to trust in yourself and your gut, always believe in your idea even when you get pushed back and always continue to move forward, no matter how tough it may seem at times. Believe me, it gets hard when you really get moving, but that's just what separated the weak from the strong.
Of course, you also need to learn the basics of Business, too. Being able to complete simple Business tasks will help you bootstrap when building your Business, although you should learn how to delegate as you grow. There's no reason you should be doing bookkeeping tasks if you're an expert Marketer!
What do you think makes an Entrepreneur? Do you agree with my list? If not, why? Let me know what you think!