Are You Cut Out to Be a Successful Entrepreneur?
First, there was an interview with a successful entrepreneur. Second, there was a talk on entrepreneurship by a guest speaker, Mr. Azmi Ahmad (the CEO of Skali.com) and later, an "elevator speech" by fellow students on various issues related to entrepreneurship. This collective information and some reading on entrepreneurship journals, books and articles have brought to the idea on writing this paper, towards certain perspective, on successful entrepreneurial characteristics.
This paper examines the myths associated with what it takes to be an entrepreneur, the profiles and the common characteristics among these successful entrepreneurs.
The first definition on entrepreneur was simply someone who invented something. Eventually, it turned into someone who owned a business. But the best definition, the one used most often today, is someone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks for a business or enterprise. This shows that not only does a person "invent" something, but that they see the opportunity and build a business around it. An entrepreneur has a vision and builds around this vision.
Although no one has found the perfect entrepreneurial profile, there are many characteristics that show up repeatedly. Good health was a characteristic mentioned the most because they are physically resilient. In good health, entrepreneurs work extended periods of time.
DEBUNKING ENTREPRENEURIAL MYTHS
Let us examine a few "flying myths" and put things into a better perspective. i.
Entrepreneur are born, not made
It is true that most entrepreneurs typically have a flair for the creative and a lot of energy. They are born with it. But having these characteristics alone could not help much to become successful. They have to actually gather the right skills, use them and continue to improve these talents. ii.
Anyone can start a business
Although it is true that anyone can acquire a business license and open the shop but the hardest part is surviving, sustaining and building the business. To be successful it takes focus, creativity, diligence, time and resources. iii.
Entrepreneurs are their own bosses and completely independent An entrepreneur, though independent, has to serve many masters including customers, employees, families, and those involved in social and community obligations. iv.
Entrepreneurs are motivated by the quest for money
A sense of personal achievement and accomplishment, feeling in control of their own destinies, and realizing their vision and dreams are the most powerful motivators for entrepreneur. Money is viewed as a tool and way of keeping score.
PROFILE OF AN ENTREPRENEUR
David McClelland (1961), the entrepreneur is primarily motivated by an overwhelming need for achievement. He has a strong "urge to build". Bird (1992) sees entrepreneurs as Mercurial, that is, prone to insights, brainstorms, deceptions, ingeniousness and resourcefulness. They are cunning, opportunistic, creative, and unsentimental. Busenitz and Barney (1997) claim entrepreneurs are prone to overconfidence and over generalizations. In a small business, where there is no depth of management, the leader must be there. At the end of the eight-hour day, when everyone leaves home, the entrepreneur will often continue into the evening, developing new business ideas. They have this characteristic which actually drive, motivates and brings them to a certain level of achievements. i.
A dominant characteristic of entrepreneurs is their belief that they are smarter than their peers and superiors. They have a compelling need to do their own thing in their own way. They need the freedom to choose and to act according to their own perception of what actions will result in success. ii.
Entrepreneurs are self-confident when they are in control of what they are doing and working alone. They tackle problems immediately with confidence and...
References: International Journal of entrepreneurial behaviour & research, Volume 6, Number 6, 2000,
Entrepreneurship and the characteristics of the entrepreneurial personality, by Hannu Littunen, University of Jyvaskyla,
Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal, Volume 6, Number 1, 2000
The five-factor model of personality: Assessing entrepreneurs and managers
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