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Entrepreneurship becoming an entrepreneur v2


Should you be an entrepreneur? Read about how your personal behaviors can help or hinder your startup. Learn how to become an entrepreneur.

Should you be an entrepreneur? Read about how your personal behaviors can help or hinder your startup. Learn how to become an entrepreneur.

Published in Business , News & Politics
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  • Bill and Ben… both creative and intelligent. Both potentially entrepreneurial. Ben constrained by fear of failure.
  • Street kids have similar profiles to entrepreneurs… resource gatherers


    Becoming an Entrepreneur
  • 2. The short answer….
    • Let’s dispel the myth that only a few people, who are ‘born to it’ can be entrepreneurs.
    • 3. It’s not about characteristics and behaviours; it’s about the balance of behaviours. So learn how to understand and modify your behaviours.
  • To be covered
    Can entrepreneurship be learned, or are you born to it?
    What strengths and weaknesses are typical in entrepreneurs?
    If entrepreneurship can be learned, how can you become an entrepreneur?
  • 4. Entrepreneurs are, in this context…
    … those who innovate and carry risk in building a new business
    So… I’m not talking about
    Intrapreneurs (so-called corporate entrepreneurs who don’t carry the risk themselves)
    Small-business owners (who don’t innovate much)
    Franchisees (who don’t innovate much)
    …though they are included in many definitions of ‘entrepreneur’
  • 5. And they do it because…
    They want to control their own destiny
    They can build something great/cool/fun
    They consider ‘having a job’ to be boring or unchallenging
    And often ..
    The world of ‘jobs’ is just too slow-moving for them. Entrepreneurs set their own pace, and it’s usually fast!
  • 6. Nature/nurture debate
    Entrepreneurs are both born and made
    You have to have a basic personality receptive to the experiences which make an entrepreneur. But that filter still allows much of the population through.
    Our experiences are a bigger factor, and determine which of us will actually be able to embrace the mindset of an entrepreneur
  • 7. Comfortable people don’t make good entrepreneurs
    Correlation between unmet needs and strength of entrepreneurial profile?
    When people are comfortable and self-satisfied:
    they lose the need to innovate in the demanding way required of entrepreneurs
    they lose the excessive drive which powers an entrepreneur’s achievement
  • 8. Three common motivators are:
    The creative desire to build something great (legacy)
    The desire to make the world a better place (social conscience)
    The desire to ‘prove yourself’ (challenge)
    The desire to ‘prove yourself’ is particularly common because entrepreneurs judge everyone, including themselves, by what they achieve…. Results are everything!
  • 9. Sometimes the unmet needs have deep roots…
  • 10. Characteristics and Behaviours
    Resource gatherer
    …so that’s all you need!!
  • 11. Strengths and weaknesses are often finely balanced:
    Stubbornness in clinging to a path regardless of conflicting views
    Persistence in chasing a vision
    Inability to accept best practice when it conflicts with the entrepreneur’s views
    Ability to see beyond conventional wisdom
    Opportunism; the ability to see and act on new opportunities as they emerge
    Diluting effectiveness by trying to follow too many opportunities at once
  • 12. Strengths and weaknesses are often finely balanced:
    Inability to manage reluctance by potential investors to accept the same level of risk
    High tolerance of risk
    Lack of appreciation of the limits of the entrepreneur’s expertise (not knowing when to rely on other experts)
    Deep expertise in some aspects of building a business
    High internal motivation
    Unrealistic expectation that others will be equally internally motivated
  • 13. Strengths and weaknesses are often finely balanced:
    Unwillingness to delegate when the business grows large enough to have specialist staff
    Willingness to take responsibility
    Unwillingness to give up control (particularly when the company has grown beyond the entrepreneur’s skills to manage it)
    The ability, and willingness, to control the whole business during initial start-up
    Clarity of thinking; a clear view of the tasks which must be completed to build the business
    Inflexibility; the inability to recognize/accept a new idea which does not fit with the entrepreneur’s model of what is needed
  • 14. Strengths and weaknesses are often finely balanced:
    Inability to find time to learn and adapt during the high-pressure start-up phase of building a business (hence, many entrepreneurs learn through failure)
    A high acceptance of the need for learning and adapting in building a business
    The inability to recognize that the market may not be ready for fast innovation (particularly an issue for entrepreneurs with a technology background)
    The ability to recognize innovative concepts and technologies
  • 15. The entrepreneur is likely to be both:
    • The greatest asset of the start-up
    • 16. The greatest liability of the start-up
  • Learn to be an entrepreneur by…
    Examining your own profile … knowing how you’re likely to behave makes it easier to recognise inappropriate behaviours
    Getting mentors/board members/advisors who will tell you when you’re going wrong, and reinforce you when you’re going well
    Taking time to reflect on what you’re hearing about your own behaviours, and modifying your behaviours where appropriate
  • 17. The reflective learning process
    Work on the project/company
    Listen to the advice you’re getting from mentors/boards/advisors
    Listen to feedback from customers and staff
    Balance that advice against what you know about yourself
    Repeat the process
    Change what you’re doing where appropriate
  • 18. Reflective learning is difficult for entrepreneurs because…
    Entrepreneurs are externally focused (it’s about what I do rather than who I am). They don’t tend to ask for personal help (it’s about task accomplishment, not personal development)
    It’s hard to practise reflective learning when you’re under stress (and company building is stressful)
    But the best time to learn is while you’re actually working on a company… if you are open to learning.
  • 19. Understand yourself, and you can still learn while you’re under pressure
  • 20. In summary
    Can entrepreneurship be learned, or are you born to it?
    There are some ‘natural’ elements, but entrepreneurship can be learned if you can understand your strengths and weaknesses
    What strengths and weaknesses are typical in entrepreneurs?
    The strengths and weaknesses are often the same behaviours being displayed appropriately and inappropriately
    If entrepreneurship can be learned, how can you become an entrepreneur?
    Understand your own strengths and weaknesses, then learn by doing and reflecting. Building companies is the only way to learn to be an entrepreneur
  • 21. Want to learn more about entrepreneurship?
    - read the free chapters from my book
    - take the light-hearted “Idiot’s Survey”
    - subscribe to my blog
    Find this information at:www.becominganentrepreneur.bizwww.norman-evans.com