What is an Entrepreneur?
Do you think you might want to be one? These days, being an Entrepreneur is all the rage. It seems everyone wants to quit their day job and make millions by starting their own company. It is now easier than ever to start your own business from the comfort of your own couch with little to no initial capital investment. Although being an entrepreneur seems extremely lucrative and a no-brainer from the outside, it takes a lot of hard work, grit, passion, sacrifice, and determination to make it work.
What makes someone an Entrepreneur?
An Entrepreneur is a person who not only starts a company but also runs it! An entrepreneur is a founder and CEO, so an entrepreneur is in it to win it. You start the company and you stay with it for the long haul. Someone who starts several companies and sells them off or hires someone to manage them is a founder or serial-founder. Someone who joins a company and manages all of its operations is a CEO. In order to be considered an entrepreneur, you must be personally invested and passionate enough to do both. Successful Entrepreneurs are innovative and work hard to make sure their ideas see the light of day and are adopted by others. This takes a lot of planning and execution in combination with a few must-have skills.
If you want to run and manage your own company then there are a few skill sets that are in your best interest to master:
1. People Management
The people who work for your company must trust and believe in you. You have to be able to mentor, guide and instill in them the same passion you have for your vision. Most people that go work for a startup do not do so for a paycheck, they do so because they believe in what you’re doing and want to contribute to its success. When the going gets rough you want to make sure you are able to motivate and re-energize them. As the CEO and Founder of the company, it is your responsibility to keep the company morale high.
Make sure your efforts are being put into the right things. What is your product? Are you producing the right product for your target market? What is your target market? How can you get their business and in what ways do you need to alter your product to fit the needs of individual customers? Are you using your resources as best as you can to produce high-quality products? And how can you allocate both capital and labor to best fit your bottom line?
Operations and Production go hand in hand. Without operations, there can’t be efficient production. You are running the show and you need to make sure everything is operating as it should. You assign people roles and make sure their responsibilities are clearly defined. You hire competent people to run other parts of the show and you make sure everyone is in a role they are passionate about and which allows them to operate efficiently. You also make sure everyone is working to produce the highest quality product your company can possibly produce. The goal of any company is to profit, so put your ducks in order to generate that revenue!
4. Financial Management
Without managing your money efficiently your company could go bankrupt before seeing the light of day or before even delivering a product to the public. Make sure you are managing the company’s finances, if you can, or hiring someone to do it for you who is a qualified professional. Your finances are definitely not something to play with. You can find countless resources on financial management online and in books so I won’t dive into this too much. The most important thing to note on this point is to make sure you are well versed in all aspects of your company’s finances.
After you build a product, maybe even before building a product, you need to make sure people buy it so your dream doesn’t disappear into a black hole leaving you with a puddle of debt soaked in tears. Every great Entrepreneur also needs to make sure s/he is a great Salesperson. If you don’t have the skills to do so, then maybe you need to hire someone you trust and who believes in your product/service just as much or even more than you do to do the selling for you, but hiring someone should be a last resort. I highly recommend you try to gain these essential skills one way or another by reading, attending a talk or conference or watching videos on salesmanship. In this world, we are constantly selling ourselves and the things around us to others. We all need to master this skill in order to work towards reaching our peak of success, otherwise, you’ll just wait around and let things happen to you hoping someone will notice how awesome you or your product are and just pay you and do all of your PR for you. No way Jose, that is NEVER going to happen so get that thought out of your mind right now. Awesome entrepreneurs go out there and happen to people, I repeat, great entrepreneurs don’t wait around and wait for things to happen, they make things happen! Having trouble thinking of how to sell your product? Well, I suggest you think about what makes your product so great for starters. How will it improve people’s lives? What problem will it solve? What led you to build it? Would you buy it? If so, why? and Why should your customers write home about it? If you can’t answer these questions in an enthusiastic voice while your heart feels like it’s going to burst out of your chest with excitement, I suggest you go back to the drawing board… you still need a product/service to offer.
Pro’s And Con’s of Being An Entrepreneur
-Failure (every entrepreneur fails at some point)
Now, the Cons list is a bit longer than the Pro’s list. But if you think about it, the rewards of the potential pro’s outweigh the consequences of the con’s one times over. There is no satisfaction greater than that of bringing your dream to life, working with a team who believes in that vision and dedicating your life to something you wholeheartedly believe in while being your own boss and making a killing while you are at it. Honestly, does anything sound better than that?!
If you’re still considering starting your own business, then you are nuts and you belong to the club, I seriously believe that if you’re still thinking of being an Entrepreneur after knowing all of the facts, then you are ready to begin the journey. Just remember, It’s best not to put all of your eggs in one basket too early on in the game. I’d suggest starting your business on the side while still holding onto your full-time job. Call yourself a side-preneur for a while and only dive into your company completely once you’ve gained some traction and have started gaining some revenue. Lots of businesses started off as a side, or passion projects so don’t be afraid to start small and grow with time. Now Go Get EM!
” Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. ” -Steve Jobs
Invisible Hand: “By pursuing his own interest, the individual frequently promotes that of the society more efficiently than when he intends to promote it.”
-A person who organizes (Founder) and operates (CEO) a business or businesses, taking on a greater than normal financial risks to do so
The important thing he looks for in an Entrepreneur:
- Integrity: Can I trust you?!
- Passion (What drives you)
- Experience (Have you ever started anything? Even some organization on your campus or in your church or community)
- Knowledge (Do you know what you are talking about?)
- Skill (It’s a little hard to invest in someone who wants to build an app if they don’t know how to code)
- Leadership (Have you been able to recruit other people onto your team with the skills that you don’t have? And do they believe in you, your leadership and your idea?)
- Commitment– Grit, perseverance and pushing through
- Vision (You have a vision of a wonderful future that is made better because of what you are working on)
- Realism: Apple computer changing the world one person at a time [Who are your first and second customers, how do you get to them? Who are your competitors and why are you different?]
- Coachability: Are you open to constructive feedback, mentorship, and advice?
David S Rose: Angel Investor, Founder of New York Angels and Founder of Gust
Author: Madelyn Tavarez