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Mentor’s Thoughts
January 16, 2012

What Is An Entrepreneur?

There are many definitions of an Entrepreneur. It is difficult to have one common description, but we can look at the certain characteristics and traits entrepreneurs’ possess, making them what they are.

So when do you know that you have become an entrepreneur and when do you stop being one?

“It is my belief that on the day you as an entrepreneur consider yourself as having achieved success, you will simultaneously, on this same day, begin the end of your journey as an entrepreneur.”  – Mr Inderjit Singh, The Art and Science of Entrepreneurship.

This is because entrepreneurs always feel that they have yet to accomplish more.

You do not need to start your own company, to be an entrepreneur.

An entrepreneur is not only one who starts their own businesses; it is a person who wants to solve problems and take on opportunities for the betterment of themselves and others. You can be entrepreneurial in the company that you are working for.

If you see a problem or find an opportunity for the company, you should bring it up and work to getting that project going. Companies like 3M, give employees time off during the week, so that they can work on personal projects. The company is encouraging such activities, to help build more ideas and projects that may benefit the company and their customers.

Hubspot, a marketing software company has started “firing” employees by training them and encouraging them to advance their careers.  In 2008, an employee, Pete Caputa, approached the management about adding a reseller business model to their business. Brian Halligan (the boss) was not convinced, but seeing the employee’s zeal, he told Pete, that he could work on the project on his own time. Pete Caputa, made it a success and he was fired from his day job, being told that his project was now his new job.

Hubspot has now implemented a 3-step process to help incubate employee’s ideas. Now out of 260 employees, 30 are running their own projects. You can read the article here (My Story – Brian Halligan of Hubspot)

So What are the Characteristics of Entrepreneurs?

Never Contented
You will notice that entrepreneurs are never satisfied, they are never contented or sitting idle. They love to tinker with things, always testing the limit of boundaries and trying to make things better.

Very flexible in thinking, they are always looking for ways to change conventional thinking.

Not only creative, but innovative
Being creative and thinking out of the box is one aspect of being an entrepreneur. These guys take it to the next level, innovation. They put their ideas together with available resources and materialize them.

Fear and Risks
Many people assume, that entrepreneurs are fearless and they love to take risks. Contrary to that, they do actually have fears. They get scared when starting new projects just like everyone else. And they do not like to take risks blindly; instead they see all possible angles to cut down the risk to an acceptable level.

Passion
Many entrepreneurs start projects based on what they love and what they are very familiar with. It fuels their passion, that they can do it everyday.

What is passion? I would define passion as, loving something so much, that you would do it everyday, even most of the day. Many people love photography, so much so that they do daily projects (A Photograph A Day); many even go on to make it their careers. The love for the art, fuels their passion and creativity. It motivates them to jump out of bed in the morning and get to work straight away.

How Do I Gain Those Traits?

It is time to think differently. First start by looking at yourself. What traits do you have?

Sit down and perform a SWOT analysis. See what are your strengths and weaknesses. Then start looking for opportunities that you can take advantage off. Also look at threats and situations that may hinder your progress.

Don’t be afraid; always remember that there is a solution to every problem. Every time you face an issue, break it down into small parts and start working on them piece by piece.

Look at the traits above, which of the characteristics do you have? Always remember those are your strengths in this field. As for those that you do not have, figure out a way to work on them, improving yourself bit by bit.

We will delve deeper into the traits in future posts. For now, work on this week’s activity and get your SWOT analysis done up.

Activity 1: SWOT Analysis (Click to view, requires sign up to EntreCity’s CourseKit Classroom. Use code PS23RP)

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