12 Essential Characteristics of an Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur is a businessperson who not only conceives and organizes ventures but also frequently takes risks in doing so. Not all independent business people are true entrepreneurs, and not all entrepreneurs are created equal. Different degrees or levels of entrepreneurial intensity and drive depend upon how much independence one exhibits, the level of leadership and innovation they demonstrate, how much responsibility they shoulder, and how creative they become in envisioning and executing their business plans. The Five Levels of Entrepreneurial Development Brad Sugars, a world-renowned business author and founder of his own international franchise with nearly 1,000 offices worldwide, identifies five different types or levels of entrepreneurial mindsets, patterns of thinking, and belief systems. They begin with the basic level of the employee – and an understanding that good employees often evolve into great entrepreneurs but that to become an entrepreneur one has to first adopt a perspective and seek out a role above and beyond that of an employee. The employee sets goals mainly to impress others, to avoid confronting fears – including the fear of personal freedom and success – and to conform to a comfort zone rather than pushing to learn more and gain new experiences. Because of self-imposed limitations, employees prefer to follow someone else’s game plan, and they lack the desire to become a self-motivated and self-reliant entrepreneur.
• They focus primarily on personal security and their emotional motivation derives from a fear of insecurity and a desire to be within the comfort zone of a secure situation. Those who want a greater sense of responsibility and control over their lives and have the confidence to experiment with that possibility often rise up from the ground level of employee status to the first level of entrepreneurship. They do this by becoming self-employed. Level One: The Self-Employed Mindset The emotional driving force behind the self-employed person is not security but a desire for greater control over his or her life, career, and destiny. Relinquishing that control to a boss every day from nine to five is not their idea of happiness, and they believe that they could do their job just as well without an employer – and perhaps without the need for other employees. They want more autonomy. They want to do things their own way. And they usually begin by creating a situation where they do the same type of work they did while an employee, but they figure out how to do it by themselves and for themselves. Unfortunately, many of the primary objectives of the person setting off to become an entrepreneur with the self-employment mindset are pitfalls or traps. Because they want to go it alone, they often do so at their own peril. By not taking help from others they not only cut themselves off from valuable talent, intelligence, feedback, and experience that others could offer in the form of assistance, but they also create a situation where they will never
experience freedom. Many small business owners with a strong do-it-yourself attitude only succeed at creating a new job for themselves, not a new career or profitable company. And as a solo performer, their job becomes all-consuming. They never get a day off, they always bring work home with them, and they work overtime with no financial compensation. Their motto is “Why have someone else do it when you can do it better yourself?” and they often promote their business by telling customers “When you deal with this outfit you only deal directly with me.” Soon they get burned-out, and a great majority of these self-employed people fail in a short amount of time and wind up going back to work for someone else. They make the mistake of not envisioning a business that will run by itself without their constant supervision and handholding, and...