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Do you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur?

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Do you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur?

Written by Andrea Zsapka

Before you start a business read this complete guide.

Entrepreneurship is on the rise.

In the last ten years everywhere all around the world, it is getting harder and harder to make your business visible. Choosing the best fitting form of business aligned with your character and your skills will help you to be successful in the long term.

There are so many new ways of making business. You can choose to become a freelancer, a businessman, a start-up owner, an entrepreneur, or an intrapreneur.

We live in exciting times and those who recognise what is going on will be the ones able to thrive no matter the circumstances. There will be challenges but how you react on them will make you or break you as a business owner.

In this chart from GEM 2019-2020, you can see in almost every country more than 30 % of the people know someone in their neighbourhood who started business in the last two years. The wish for freedom is increasing, but starting a business is not a guarantee to maintain it.

Knowing someone who has started business in the past two years SOURCE: GEM 2019-2020

In this video I summarize the topic we go through in this article.

The impact of the global pandemic on entrepreneurs.

In 2020 because of the pandemic and the unexpected special conditions, the situation is extremely challenging for business owners. Shops cannot open, there is no business as usual, people can’t go out, there are curfews. The traditional way of making business became impossible, remote working and digitalisation is an essential step to adapt to the new conditions. Working from home doesn’t make things easy, entrepreneurs have to carry more burden, children stay at home, homeschooling came into the picture.

Juggling with your work-life balance can be stressful and frustrating. In this new era resilience, patience and creativity are some of the most crucial traits entrepreneurs need to survive.

As you see in Oberlo’s report, just in the U.S. 31% of the small businesses are non-operational currently because of the pandemic.

Source: Oberlo Small business statistics

There are so many things that can make or break an entrepreneur. Internal and external factors are both playing a role in the success or failure of a business. Amongst other traits straightforward basics, innovative mindset, financial responsibility, preparation, and the entrepreneurial environment’s support are the most important factors. In the GEM report, 2019-2020 the creators of the survey also point out the fact that most of the times people are not able to see opportunities for business and even if they see it they don’t act on it.

Source: GEM Report 2019-2020
Is there a fixed recipe for success?

There is no fixed recipe for success, but there are patterns and takeaways, that we can utilize. Learning more about the new ways of business, being more self-aware and conscious about our business decisions, improving our conceptual skills will help us to thrive no matter the circumstances.

The idea behind the Entrepreneurship challenge 2021 is to support those who are struggling with business, to give clarity and practical help.

This year I will use my personal traits to summarize useful information about business and a fulfilled successful life as an entrepreneur. I will add my personal insights and I will collect and reveal additional perspectives from the best entrepreneurs in history. 

SOURCE: Guidant financial Small business trends in 2020
What does it take to become successful in business?

Some say it only takes luck to become successful as an entrepreneur; some say its the charisma, even arrogance, but all experts agree there is a specific pattern. Some particular traits and skills will make it easier for you to champion the entrepreneur journey. We will go through these traits and you can make your own checklist about the traits that you possess if you don’t have them you can still partner up with people who can complement your traits.

There are also external factors that can favour your enterprise. Reading through this article will give you clarity about how ready you are, what skills you already possess, what skills you need to acquire.

You will see what are the best places to set up your business in the attached report and you will find out what is your entrepreneur personality.

You will also gain clarity about what to avoid if you set yourself up to enter this adventurous lifestyle.

Personal message: This article is not a one-time publication. I know we all struggle, and I want to support you. Strategizing, summarizing information and encouraging people is my forte. I try my best to keep you engaged with 52 weeks of articles, assignments, exercises, videos, infographics, and more so that we can all get through this period with less stress and frustration

My real-life story as an entrepreneur.

I started to explore entrepreneurship when I was a kid, but it was not my choice to start to venture. My parents were guiding me in many ways to earn some extra money. This thought me so much, I am grateful for them to push me out of my comfort zone in my childhood.

Little did I know about entrepreneurship back then: Family Birthday picture in the age 3.

Among other things I was a delivering newspaper, I was lawn mowing, I painted fences, I was working on the cornfields with the family.

Every summer, I made some additional money, that I saved for later, but at that time in my life I wasn’t the type having tons of ideas of how to double the money I earnt.

Some of my classmates did a fabulous job, making more money than I could ever imagine already at a young age. They enjoyed the process of the buzz already in their childhood. I believe that not everyone is born to become an entrepreneur; some of us grow into this skin on the go.

In my employment era, I was working for small and medium-size Hungarian and foreign companies and also multinational ones. During this time, I started to recognize a pattern: I was always moving from set strict roles to more independent positions.

Leadership challenges, training and facilitation, the team management attracted me more than following orders. I had creative ideas about how to optimize the work, loved strategies and efficiency projects.

First employment after graduation: Hungarian lamp manufacturer from my hometown.

I have shifted my roles often because I didn’t feel that I am in the right place. I was a foreign trade agent then service centre agent, then customer service centre agent, then Team leadership. I became a Lean Subject matter Expert, a Lean and Soft skills Coach and ISO certified auditor.

I even have been offered to become a manager, but because of the rigid frames and the strict “box,” they would have put me in I refused the offer.

I was destined to do something more creative, my LEAN board as a LEAN SME.

I loved projects with changing goals and responsibilities. Next to the daily job, I opened my own dance school and ran it successfully for many years. I realized that I like to live and work my way, and I want to be my own boss. I just didn’t know yet how I can find a balance between my cravings for business and dance achievements at the same time.

The third final step towards entrepreneurship was our move 9000 km away from my home five years ago. We relocated to South East Asia from Hungary. This was the first time I was relocating I have never lived abroad before. I had to close a chapter and open a new one.

In traditional Hungarian outfit 9000 km away from home.

In the beginning, I was struggling to find a job. Being an expatriate was not really the ideal set up to compete for positions. After some painful weeks of adaptation, I created a dance community to keep myself busy. I was teaching for free, my goal was to build a community around me, to find friends and to get to know the culture better.

My second community was inspired by the role of women in South East Asia, I was experiencing it myself. I became a woman empowerment advocate and I built up another community.

At this point, I realized this is the perfect time to go full-time self-employed and to become an entrepreneur. I wanted to tell my story to inspire others to get out of their comfort zones.

My free dance parties and classes helped me to feel home in South East Asia.

I considered myself a freelancer, but slowly I started to realize I carried many signs of something else: I was an entrepreneur in my soul.

I have a long term vision, I have many ideas , I can inspire others to create things.

After facing challenges of being a woman in Asia. I became an empowerment advocate.

I also have an urge to succeed and achieve. As a perfectionist, sometimes I get lost in what I do for days. I would love to change the world to the better and to have a social impact.

I believe its all up to us: It all starts with self-examination, aptitude and a set of rules.

Collaborating with the Hungarian Embassy at a Craft Fair experimenting with ecommerce and making people dance Hungarian traditional dances in Putrajaya.

What about you?  What is your entrepreneur story? Take some time to digest this paragraph from your perspective. It is quite fascinating to see your journey on a piece of paper.

Quick exercise:
Take a piece of paper and write down everything you ventured in since you were a kid till today. If you haven’t done anything close to entrepreneurship, think about it what would you like to do if money and security wouldn’t be a problem?

In this video, I will tell you how I became an entrepreneur:

In this video I tell my story about how entrepreneurship found me.

What is the history of Entrepreneurship?

What about you?  What is your entrepreneur story? Take some time to digest this paragraph from your perspective. It is quite fascinating to see your journey on a piece of paper.

After the agricultural revolution 12000 years ago, people started to specialize more on specific goods. They started domesticating animals and plants and they were exchanging what they have produced for things they couldn’t make themselves.

Source BBC

Examples of the specific forms of entrepreneurs were Fishermen, Toolmakers, Hunters, Cooks, Gatherers, Homebuilders, Tailors, Shamans.

All over the world a trend of specialization started, according to the status of the differents civilisations.

First professions and specialization.

After the appearance of cities around livable locations like riversides, people started to exchange goods between the different cities. The merchants or the head of the families travelled long distances to do their trade.

Commerce made it possible to access a wider range of products. People explored lands, languages, acquired products that they could never produce and they got to know other cultures.

Once they developed money, this history-changing tool became the most important way of exchange. Money made trade comfortable and simple. People could start to collect savings and acquire wealth.

Berber trade with Timbuktu Source wikimedia commons.

In the 15th-century the banking systems developed. The banks made it possible to borrow money and to start a business even if you didn’t have enough capital. Men borrowed money to by land or corns or tools.

Entrepreneurs started to work together in groups to support and protect each other, unions appeared. Many businessmen combined their products and services to create something unique. This way they were able to sell them with a higher margin.

“Early on in the history of capitalism, the idea of monetary gain was shunned and shamed by many. The practise of usury, charging interest on loans, was banned by the Christian Church.

Banking systems, source Wikipedia.

Jobs were assigned by tradition and caste. Innovation was stifled, and efficiency was forcefully put down, sometimes punishable by death. In sixteenth-century England, when mass production in the weaving industry first came about, the guildsmen protested.

The King outlawed an efficient workshop containing two hundred looms and butchers and bakers for the workers under the pretence that such efficiency reduced the number of available jobs.”

Source: StartupGuide

A structure based on collected wealth developed. The system valued countries upon how much wealth they could acquire: like gold and exported goods.

Merchants and explorers like Columbus gained significant influence. People started to compete for a good workforce.

“A man who permits his self-interest to run away with him will find that competitors have slipped in to take his trade away; if he charges too much for his wares or if he refuses to pay as much as everybody else for his workers, he will find himself without buyers in the one case and employees in the other.”

Source: The Worldly Philosophers

From the 18th century, mass production in big cities gained momentum; electricity made it possible to build huge factories and to introduce easier production processes. Many moved to the cities to find their fortune; manpower wasn’t a problem anymore.

Emil Jellinek-Mercedes (1853–1918), here at the steering wheel of his Phoenix Double-Phaeton, was a European entrepreneur who helped design the first modern car Source Wikipedia

From WWII globalization got into the picture, people needed roads that made it possible to reach different countries faster. Next to these roads, the first restaurants appeared to feed the travellers on the way.

Today we also have digitalization, which means no borders, infinite and unprecedented opportunities and a lot of competition. Some say it is the beginning of a new rea, just like the industrial revolution. The money system is changing, culture is changing, art is moving digital.

Burma road built during WWII Source: dangerousroads.org

In the 21st century, new types of entrepreneurship emerged, some are focusing on social impact some choose other causes.

You can also venture as an employee by becoming an intrapreneur and enjoy the company’s support and facilities. Many companies will employ you while you are trying your wings as an entrepreneur building your dream within a company.

Source Freedigitalphotos.net
Exercise:
Following history can help us to practice seeing patterns, read a bit of history about your industry and try to recognize specific cycles and designs, it will help you to identify trends and come up with new ideas.

In this video I will explain about the history of entrepreneurship:

In this video I tell you the short history of entrepreneurship.

What is the best definition of entrepreneurship?

There are several definitions for the word entrepreneur.

Reading through these definitions will help you to see what you are searching in entrepreneurship. You can also create your own tailor-made definition.

Whenever you do something, first set the basics straight. Understand the situation, the wording, the industry’s definitions. This step will help you become more knowledgeable about the topic and being knowledgeable will support your efforts.

Some of the famous definitions and origins of the word Entrepreneur:
  • From the GCASE – Global Community for Advancing Studies on Entrepreneurship:
    #1

“a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.”

  • From the Oxford Dictionary:
    #2

“The concept of an entrepreneur is borrowed from the French words entreprendre, “one who undertakes”—that is, a “manager.” In fact, the word entrepreneur was shaped probably from celui qui entreprend, which is loosely translated as “those who get things done.”

  • From Britain:
    #3

“The term “adventurer” was often used to denote the same meaning.”

  • From Richard Cantillon:
    #4

“a person who pays a certain price for a product and resells it at an uncertain price, “making decisions about obtaining and using the resources while consequently admitting the risk of enterprise”. A risk-taker who deliberately allocates resources to exploit opportunities to maximize the financial return. The entrepreneur is willing to assume the risk and to deal with uncertainty.”

  • From Jean-Baptiste Say:
    #5

“a driver for economic development, emphasizing their role as one of the collecting factors of production allocating resources from less to fields that are more productive.”

  • From Germany:
    #6

“a craftsperson required special permission to operate as an entrepreneur, the small proof of competence (which restricted training of apprentices to craftspeople who held a Meister certificate. This institution was introduced in 1908 after a period of so-called freedom of trade.”

  • From the Ashanti Empire:
    #7

“Successful entrepreneurs, who accumulated large wealth and men as well as distinguished themselves through heroic deeds were awarded social and political recognition by being called “Abirempon”, which means big men. The state rewarded entrepreneurs who attained such accomplishments with Mena(elephant tail) which was the “heraldic badge.”

  • From Joseph Schumpeter:
    #8

“an entrepreneur is willing and able to convert a new idea or invention into a successful innovation. Entrepreneurship employs the “gale of creative destruction” to replace in whole or in part inferior offerings across markets and industries, simultaneously creating new products and new business models. Thus creative destruction is primarily responsible for long-term economic growth.”

Exercise:
Go through the definitions one more time, even better search the internet for more and put together your interpretation and explanation about what entrepreneurship means for you.

In this video , I help you to interpret the definitions:

A detailed explanations of the interpretation of the different definitions.

What is the difference between Freelancer, Intrapreneur, Businessman, Entrepreneur, and Startup?

Today things are getting mixed up. Information is bombarding us every day from different directions.

According to experts, we are targeted with thirty-five thousand messages every day.

Companies, social media, politicians, writers, journalists, friends, family members, social media advertisers, broadcasters, and podcasts all want to manipulate, support or direct us.

In this noisy world, it is so essential to see clearly what are we up to. We need to be able to stick to our goals and our own path no matter the manipulation attempts around us.

We also need to know the differences between the different forms of doing business and not just jump into business blindly without research.

We can start with one form of doing business and grow into another role slowly. Experience and trial error will always be the best way to learn. Learning from our mistakes will make us more resilient and gives us different perspectives.

I collected the main forms of doing business, very similar to entrepreneurship but at the same time so different that it is crucial you do the identification of your role right.

Once you specified yourself, you can dive into that specific type, as all these forms have different patterns, strategies and roadmaps towards success.

Freelancer

Let us start with this popular form that falsely believed to be the same as entrepreneurship, although there are significant differences.

I will quote the words of my favourite marketing guru Seth Godin as I learnt so much from him lately about culture and business:

“A freelancer is someone who gets paid for her work. She charges by the hour or perhaps by the project. Freelancers write, design, consult, advise, do taxes and hang wallpaper. Freelancing is the single easiest way to start a new business.”

“The goal of a freelancer is to have a steady job with no boss, to do great work, to gradually increase demand so that the hourly wage goes up and the quality of gigs goes up too.”

“Freelancing has two significant pros:

You only need to focus on one thing.

You can earn money immediately.”

Source: Fourpillarfreedom.com

Here is the difference between the two forms:

Source: Fourpillarfreedom.com
Exercise:
Are you a freelancer?

The Intrapreneur

There is a trend within corporates and companies, that can favour those who are not high risk-takers.

Intrapreneurship is something existing for a while, one of its first appearance was in 1985 by Gifford Pinchot, he said: “Intrapreneurs are dreamers who make their dreams come true within a company.”

What are the benefits of becoming an Intrapreneur for you and for the company who employes you?

Here is a great summary from intrapreneuriat.org:

Source: Intrapreneuriat

The given external factors and economic circumstances today made this form of business extremely popular as it can benefit both the host company and the employee at the same time.

It is a significant step to gather experience before you become a full-time entrepreneur.

“An intrapreneur is an employee who is tasked with developing an innovative idea or project within a company. The intrapreneur may not face the outsized risks or reap the outsized rewards of an entrepreneur. However, the intrapreneur has access to the resources and capabilities of an established company.”

Source: Investopedia

Typical example Arthur Fury, the inventor of post-it. First, no one believed in him within the company, but despite the hard work and the unsuccessful first attempt, he managed to convinced everyone about his idea.

This means intrapreneurs need to be ready for a more challenging battle against corporate bureaucracy.

The main differences summarized by Michael Page IESE Guillemsanz.

Exercise:
Are you an Intrapreneur?

Businessman

A businessman is another form of doing business which is often mixed up with entrepreneurs. Here is an excellent comparison between the different entities.

“A business person who is engaged in carrying out any activity, related to commercial and industrial purposes is known as Businessman. He sets up his business as a new entrant in the market as for the existing business. When it comes to originality of ideas, most business people go for high demand or make huge profits irrespective of uniqueness. However, an entrepreneur is an entrepreneur, an organizer, a risk-taker a manager at the same time. The former focuses on competition, but the latter emphasizes coordination and cooperation of all the resources.”

Source: Key differences

Summarized differences:

Source StartUpJobs Asia Blog
Exercise:
Are you a Businessman or a Businesswoman?

Entrepreneur

We already went through some definitions of entrepreneurship. I want to share with you my favourite one. This specific explanation helped me to see the difference clearly.

“Entrepreneurs use money (preferably someone else’s money) to build a business more significant than themselves. Entrepreneurs make money when they sleep. Entrepreneurs focus on growth and on scaling the systems that they create. The more, the better.

The entrepreneur’s goal is to sell out for a lot of money or build a long-term profit machine that is steady, stable and not particularly risky to run. The entrepreneur builds an organization that creates change.”

Source Fourpillarfreedom.com:

Freelancing-vs-entrepreneurship-which-is-right-for-you by Seth Godin 

I also wanted to show you this infographic from whoisCH!CK.

I believe this picture explains the reason why some people are not ready for entrepreneurship and what you need to overcome if you decide to choose this rewarding but challenging journey.

Exercise:
Are you an Entrepreneur?

Startups

Startups are purely born because of innovative reasons, they mostly have a fantastic idea, but they don’t have the business structure.

They also don’t have the financial means and strategical skills to scale up the business, so they often turn to sharks and angel investors who will either buy the business or part of it or help with scaling it up.

This picture by Anna Vital explains how startups make money:

“A significant difference between entrepreneur and startup comes with closing the loop. Business is not viable unless the loop of creating a value item, producing and delivering it to the target customers and getting paid for the entire project is completed and closed.

For the entrepreneurs completing and closing this loop is necessary and essential for ensuring ultimate profit but startups are not always bothered with it.

This is why many startups incur a huge amount of debts as well, which leads to major trouble with the financial front? Often this can also lead to bankruptcy.”

Source: Startupchile

Here is a short comparison between entrepreneur and startup:

Source: medium.com
Exercise:
Are you a Startup?

In this video I will summarize and explain to you the differences between the above-mentioned forms of making business:

A summary of the chapter: Freelancer vs Intrapreneur vs Entrepreneur vs Businessman vs Startup

How can you categorize entrepreneurship?

The following information will inspire and help you to find out in which entrepreneur category are you today.

Once you have identified your way of enterprising and your entrepreneur character, it will be easier to focus on that given category and build up your tailor-made long term roadmap accordingly.

You can also spend some time analyzing the following infographic from the Nashville Entrepreneur center about the 4 phases of the Entrepreneur Lifecycle. Knowing in which phase you are will help you to align your entrepreneur behaviour and entrepreneur dynamics.

Source: The Nashville Entrepreneur Center

While I was researching the topic I found many sources and many ideas about how to categorize entrepreneurs. I would like to lead you through the process of how to filter all the data that you can find online.

  1. Go through the entrepreneurship cycle and find your phase
  2. Go through the images in this gallery and write down the categories resonating with you on a piece of paper

The different categories of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship:

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Sources are named on the picture or in the link collection at the end of the article.

Exercise:
Go through the above categories in the gallery and write it down to a paper which categorizations fit you when finished try to merge all of those categories in one sentence, and that’s who you are as an entrepreneur.

In this video, I will help you to identify the main categories:

Detailed explanation of this chapter and the different categories.

Why do we want to become entrepreneurs

Well, there are many reasons why someone is deciding to become an entrepreneur. Just like we saw earlier, there are different motivators.

The most significant benefit that people mention is the freedom of being your boss. More than half of the entrepreneurs open a business because of this reason according to Oberlo’s small business study.

Oberlo Small business Study

I have to tell you it is not as simple as it seems.

Being your own boss, organizing your own schedule, staying motivated. Being accountable and committed is harder when there is no one to encourage you. Many entrepreneurs join Entrepreneur groups or hire a coach to keep themselves on track.

Some of the inspiration why people chose this path:

Some people would like to make a difference in the world; some people would like to earn more, for some, it is a sense of achievement if they are successful in business, some like the buzz, others continue family traditions.

And some of us just like me, don’t find job opportunities, so we grow into the entrepreneurship skin on the go. I have to tell you at this point in my life I don’t see myself going back to a 9 to 5 job again.

Here is a gallery of selected reports about this topic from the GEM 2019-2020 report, go through the gallery and see it for yourself why people all around the world become entrepreneurs.

GEM report 2019-2020

The main thing that matters add the end is your why. Why did you start in the first place and how you feel about it? Why do you want to leave your job and start doing business? Do you start because of the pressure of employment, family or money?

Outside pressure may not be the best motivator in the long term if you can’t love what you do. The wrong type of motivation often leads to failure or burn out.

We all have different reasons, the Millenials and Gen Z generations tending to have a better attitude towards side jobs or creating their own business and live their lives according to their own expectations.

Oberlo Small business report

You need to have a strong sense of self-belief and a high level of confidence when you start a business. If you are confident it gives you enough push to achieve more without external pressure.

Many people who were pushed to become entrepreneurs will not be fit against the competitors, just because they don’t have the natural instinct to see business opportunities and they don’t have the enthusiasm to maintain their motivation and to inspire others.

Exercise:
What is your motivator? Why would you start, or why did you begin entrepreneurship?
  • A. To continue the family tradition.
  • B. To create a job for yourself as nothing was available.
  • C. To make the world a better place.
  • D. To be your boss
  • E. Other reasons

The summary of the chapter about Motivation :

In this video I explain you what makes us motivated.

How this guide and the Entrepreneur Challenge 2021 will help you with your entrepreneur journey?

I want to show you all sides of entrepreneurship the good and the bad backed with statistics and global reports to show you the full picture.

I will be with you for 52 weeks, challenging your mindset, giving you value, and summarising the knowledge I gathered about the fifty-two topics I found crucial to business survival.

Enjoy the work, stay committed, the best assignments will be rewarded!

Don’t forget there is no perfect answer, question everything and keep an open mind.

Keep focused while doing the assignments.

If you take time to read through the upcoming 52 articles and do the weekly practical survey assignments:

  1. You will gain more clarity about yourself as an entrepreneur.
  2. You will be able to distinguish the different forms of businesses.
  3.  You will have a big picture and new statistics about the topic.
  4. You will see what areas; skills need to be developed.
  5. You will see what the failures are to avoid.
  6. You will get more information about how to build and maintain a thriving business.

Because of all the above, you will become more resilient and ready for unexpected changes.

Hope it helps!

Feel free to send me your ideas about how to make it better, I love feedback!

This video explains the challenge.

Let's continue our journey to get to know you as an entrepreneur.

HOW TO FIND OUT WHETHER YOU ARE FIT FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Finding out whether entrepreneurship is for you or whether you are better as an employee or intrapreneur or freelancer is important.

Exploring what type of entrepreneur you are is a process that many people forget to do at the beginning of their journey.

However, this step can save you many years, wasted stressed out and frustrated whether you are on the right path. Many will regret they haven’t thought about this part.

Source: leeds.ac.uk/educol

If you are not fit to become an entrepreneur the business burden can eat you up alive, and we all know stress is not the best company if you are aiming to have a happy and balanced life.

Don’t worry, it is possible to prepare yourself and to become more resilient as an entrepreneur. Already taking the time and reading through these chapters can save you years. I am trying to put in one place all the information you need before you start this journey.

Let’s see the checklist feel free to write down on a piece of paper what are the ones you already have and what are those that you still need to learn.

In this video, I summarize the things you need to check before you start.

Short video about the factors that can make or break and entrepreneur.

Internal factors, checklist

Internal factors are the specific personal characteristics and skills that most of the successful entrepreneurs have. I will reveal a researched lists from the experts of the field. You have to keep in mind: they all agree it is not a “have all or you will fail” list.

This means you can still be an entrepreneur even if you don’t like to risk too much for example. If you don’t have some of the traits from the list it doesn’t mean you cant be successful as an entrepreneur.

Reading and comparing the list to your own personality traits can be a hint about your own readiness and your resilience. The more treats or skills you have from the list, the more chance you have to become a successful entrepreneur.

What are the characteristics of entrepreneurs?

Before we go through the checklist of personal traits, check out the statistics below. Individual characteristics and attitude often influence how successful you can become an entrepreneur.

  1. Are you opportunistic? Do you see and take the different opportunities presented to you?
  2. Are you proactive do you prepare a plan and act on trends and possible threats?
  3. Are you creative finding out new ways of creating new innovative products?
  4. Are you aware of your characteristics, how do others see you?

“YOU have to figure out who you are, how you represent yourself to your potential friends and what is your story is. In other words, you have to build your brands and market the hell out of it”

Source: Get big fast and do more Good

Let’s see what are the essential traits of a successful entrepreneur according to the experts.

I even asked around in our WEEB Entrepreneur elevator community so that you can see the complete list of personal characteristics of entrepreneurs

First of all, a good entrepreneur needs to be a people person; we can’t do everything alone, mainly because of this, we need to learn to accept and learn from feedback and critics.

There will be many situations throughout our entrepreneurship journey when we need our open mind and flexibility. Rigid concepts don’t work anymore the world is changing too fast.

Source: Target training international

We all know many entrepreneurs are stubborn enough to bring through their ideas event though no one believes in them.

Learning from mistakes and not avoiding them is also one of the personal characteristics of promising entrepreneurs, they are not afraid of risks because they are hungry for more.

Entrepreneurs are extremely curious, and they want to achieve something bigger than themselves.

It’s a good thing if you can still ask for help and delegate tasks because sometimes you think you can rule the whole world alone, but you can’t do everything alone in reality.

Many experts say most successful entrepreneurs have a strong charisma, unique sometimes weird habits, extreme willpower. Although they can’t concentrate on the long term, they can focus on a specific task related to their innovation or idea.

Many entrepreneurs share a sense of urgency; they are very ambitious; this is why they forget about time and forget dates and appointments.

It’s a plus if you are healthy emotionally and if you are a resilient problem solver, there are so many things that can change, many things will pressure and frustrate you if you choose to become one of us. The good news is: The successful entrepreneurs flourish under pressure.

Most of the time entrepreneurs are aware of the world around them; they know who they are, and they are very self-conscious and confident. It is not hard for them to do shameless self-promotion and sometimes they are labelled as arrogant.

Profitable entrepreneurs are also able to motivate and encourage others as they need a good team to succeed.

Most prominent entrepreneurs are intuitive and energetic with grand visions; they are childish sometimes, which is useful if you think we said they must be creative.

Also, the main point is that most entrepreneurs love to be their own boss, and they love the freedom that they create for themselves.

Exercise:
Go through the infographic and write down the traits you don’t possess and find partners who have them. This will help you to build up a successful business.

In this video, I will summarize this chapter about the crucial personal traits of successful entrepreneurs.

What are the personal characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

What are the crucial skills of successful entrepreneurs

There are specific skills that will ensure you can survive as an entrepreneur, no matter the circumstances. 

As I said earlier, it’s not like a score at an exam that you have to match 100% to pass.

Entrepreneurship requires hard work, a great personality and some luck.

External factors are also playing significant roles in your success as an entrepreneur.

Let’s go through the skills that will help you to succeed.

Able to ask for help is a crucial skill. Many of us first believe that we have enough time for everything. Well, it is not true and I am talking about personal experience here.  Yes, to save money at the beginning we avoid to employ outsiders, but it is so good to delegate and outsource the work that you don’t like to do once you have enough money to spare.

In today’s world, being an exceptional storyteller will give you a significant advantage in the market. Everyone wants to know everything about your business on a personal level.

You need to learn about communication, public speaking and even about how to entertain people on a long term to keep them in your tribe.

This infographic summarizes the skills that are good to have as entrepreneurs, again keep in mind there is still an option to partner up with someone else who has these skills, or you can learn new skills too, any time.

Exercise:
Go through the infographic and write down the skills you don’t possess and learn them. This will help you to build up a successful business.

In this video I summarize the skills you or your team needs to build a thriving business.

Crucial skills of successful entrepreneurs.

External factors that will impact your business

These factors are the ones which can make or break an entrepreneur.

You don’t have control over them.

They control you and your companies activity, so you need to pay attention to these factors and include them in your decision-making process.

This diagram from the GEM 2019-2020 report tells a story if you look closer. It tells you what are the countries that are great places to start a business and it also tells you whether you should go local or international.

Source GEM 2019-2020

In some countries, even things like your gender can be something that will have an impact on your business.

Access to funds to grow your business will also be depending on the country and the economic environment you are in.

Researching the business environment is very important before starting a business, following regulations and political decisions can help you to react faster and it will help you to build your business faster.

Sometimes there are excellent conditions to set up companies while in other countries or specific industries, it can be dangerous to start a business as an outsider at all.

Challenges like labour quality on the market you are in can also cause headaches if you haven’t checked this condition before you set up your business.

Source: Oberlo Small business report

There are many things to consider and many things to go through before deciding to become an entrepreneur. As these external factors are out of your control, you need to consider them at the beginning.

Here is a list of all the different external factors that is better to take into consideration before you start your venture.

Exercise:
Go through the infographics and write down the external factors that impact your business in your location. See whether there is anything that can cause difficulties in the long term and consider relocating if its necessary.

In this video, I will go through all the external factors mentioned in this chapter.

External factors that can break an entrepreneur.

Successful entrepreneurs

There are several lists available online or you can buy books about the biography of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.

You can use these lists and books to find role models closer to your industry and see how they built up their business and you can learn from them.

Whether they have an excellent, lovable or lousy personality doesn’t matter; some entrepreneurs are unbearable people and have no people skills.

Still, when they are with their tribe talking about their spark, talent and their specialities, they are lighting up the whole room, and they will inspire you too if you are listening carefully.

These innovators create things that no one else can replicate, innovations that are unique to them.

In 2002 as part of a survey 58 business history professors gave the top spots in American business history to the top entrepreneurs of all time. You can find the whole report on Wikipedia.

Find here their names and their short introduction:

“They were followed by Sam Walton; J. P. Morgan; Alfred P. Sloan; Walt Disney; Ray Kroc; Thomas J. Watson; Alexander Graham Bell; Eli Whitney; James J. Hill; Jack Welch; Cyrus McCormick; David Packard; Bill Hewlett; Cornelius Vanderbilt; and George Westinghouse.”

“A 1977 survey of management scholars reported the top five pioneers in management ideas were: Frederick Winslow Taylor; Chester Barnard; Frank Bunker Gilbreth Sr.; Elton Mayo; and Lillian Moller Gilbreth.”

Source : Wikipedia

Exercise:
Search for similar lists online or offline and create your list of entrepreneurs who inspire you. Choose some from the same industry as you are in to make sure you can relate to them. what can you learn from them?

What are the main reasons why entrepreneurs fail

There are many reasons why an entrepreneur fails.

In this paragraph, I will summarize all the causes, takeaways and lessons learnt from studies and other entrepreneurs throughout history.

According to Oberlo new businesses fail most of the time because there is no market demand for the products that they create.

Oberlo Small business report

Many people are pushed to become entrepreneurs because of their financial situation or because their family is pressuring them.

Many people are not following trends and can’t see the opportunities and cycles clearly, and they are starting something at the wrong time and place.

Many entrepreneurs are leaving the business and quit.

You have to see that there are two options to quit as an entrepreneur.

You can quit because you fail or the external environment is changing.

You can exit because you manage to sell your business and you can go and pursue another opportunity.

What is extremely important to consider is:

Going into business for the right reasons at the right place and the right time with specific personality traits and proven skills will give you a competitive advantage as an entrepreneur.  

Here is the summary of common failures of entrepreneurs:

Exercise:
Go through the list and see whether you have ever done those failures. It is not at all a problem if your answer is yes. The goal is to see and recognize the failures, do them but be aware of them and learn from them.

Here is the summary of the failures other people made so that you can learn from it.

Summary of the chapter failures to be aware of as an entrepreneur.

Pro and contra of entrepreneurship

Let me summarize some of the main points here to show you that there is a sunnyside when you are an entrepreneur.

We all need to find the things that will fuel us no matter what are the circumstances and no matter how hard it is to succeed.

You have to work for the success but it brings achievement, satisfaction, confidence, knowledge, network and irreplaceable experience and learning journey.

Some Benefits of becoming an entrepreneur

  • Freedom  and Goodbye Boss
  • Work form anywhere, anytime
  • Money is made for you by the automation you create
  • Live from what you like to do
  • Control over strategy and way of operation
  • Work for yourself, the money you generate is yours
  • The fulfilment of the Buzz
  • You can choose who you work with

Some Disadvantages of becoming an entrepreneur

  • Hard work and commitment, no weekends
  • You have to multitask
  • Money comes only after a particular time
  • Financial insecurity and risks
  • Huge responsibility
  • Time and Personal Limits
  • Not having resources
  • A lot of Competition
Exercise:
What are the benefits that could motivate you enough to work harder? What are the disadvantages that you are afraid of? Use the benefits as a motivator and prepare against the disadvantages in advance.

In this video, I will summarize the pros and cons of entrepreneurship.

Pros and cons of entrepreneurship.

Main takeaways in a list about how to be fit for entrepreneurship:

I hope you enjoyed the guide and you have a better overview about the topic than before. Business can be very simple sometimes all you need is clarity and encouragement.

Find here the list of what I learnt from my research, my Weeb community, my Workshops with entrepreneurs, and from my own journey as an entrepreneur about ENTREPRENEURSHIP.

What are the most important things to do before, during and after your entrepreneurship journey?

  • Know yourself
  • See the patterns and trends.
  • Train yourself continuously
  • Have a Team
  • Find the best place, time and location to venture.
  • Build your business character upon your personality
  • Partner up to have access to those skills that you don’t have
  • Keep an open mind
  • Gear up with Financial, Marketing and People skills
  • Know what it takes to be an entrepreneur and Love it
  • Create your narrative for Entrepreneurship and stick to it
  • Follow your industry role models.
GEM 2019-2020 Entrepreneurship of all kinds.

In this video, I will explain the takeaways in details.

What to keep in mind before and during your entrepreneurship journey.

How to use this guide:

  • Save the article to your bookmarks or download in pdf (available from March).
  • Digest each paragraph watch the video and answer the questions at the end of the paragraphs.
  • Do the survey assignments for the 52 topics I reveal this year.
  • Sign up for the Entrepreneurship Challenge and get notifications to your mailbox about the 52 topics in 2021 grow with us: RSVP to info@changeyourlifesocialize.com
  • Join the Weekly Entrepreneur elevator community networking sessions and brainstorm with other entrepreneurs.
  • Add your comments, reference other useful resources, share the article with others to build together a go-to page with all necessary information about entrepreneurship.

Start your self-exploration you will find the 52 survey assignments here: Assignment and challenge.

Download the article to study it later available from March.

Download article in PDF (COMING SOON)

About Andrea

I mentor, coach, empower and inspire individuals from all walks of life to take back control over their lives by creating their personal brand. I inspire people to reach their highest potential and to maximize their resilience by using physical and theoretical exercises. I encourage people to earn a living that fulfills them personally and professionally. I am a master life coach, a personal development coach, and a personal branding expert.

“I am a born opportunity taker. I love challenges. I believe it is vital today to brand yourself to be able to stand out from the crowd. I work and live for my passion, to help people to create their own brand identity.  I do what I love the most. I am an advocate of personal branding. My motto is : Dare to dance your way!”

Visit www.andreazsapka.com/about-andrea for more info

Hungarian Dancing Economist Brand strategist living in SEA

ALL RESOURCES THAT HELPED ME TO CREATE THE ABOVE ARTICLE

BOOKS:

The 100$ Startup: Chris Guillebeau
Get big fast and do more good: Idi Leffler & Lance Kalish
The 4-Hour work week: Timothy Ferris
The Beermat Entrepreneur: Miker Southon & Chris West
A mind for business Andy Gibson

LINKS REFERRED AND USED AS SOURCES IN THIS ARTICLE: