How To Become An Entrepreneur

by Broke Grad on February 2, 2012

You may be reading this because you want a change of pace in your career. Or maybe you have a business idea, and you’re wondering if you have what it takes to become a revered entrepreneur.

What exactly is an entrepreneur? I’d like to show you why entrepreneurism is something you’re not just “born with,” how anyone can become one, and why we as a society need you to read this article.

Entrepreneur Defined

When I researched the definition of entrepreneur, I must say, I was a bit disappointed with the results I found. I was hoping for a definition that truly encompassed the risks, struggles, benefits, and traits that were generally associated with being an entrepreneur. One definition I found online was:

“A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.” – Merriam-Webster

While the Merriam-Webster definition is unarguably true in many ways, I don’t think this definition gives entrepreneurs the credit they deserve. I’d like to cut and dice this definition to better illustrate the life and journey of a true entrepreneur and then get into what specific qualities true entrepreneurs must learn.

Here’s my version:

“A visionary businessperson who organizes and spearheads a movement in the marketplace and works diligently to ensure success of the initiative.”

I took out Merriam-Webster’s “taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so,” because while it is true that entrepreneurs must be financial risk takers, I believe that entrepreneurs take on more than just financial risks to pursue their initiatives, and I believe “works diligently to ensure success” better encompasses the idea that entrepreneurs will do just about anything and wear multiple hats to achieve their goals.

There are many different types of entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur doesn’t have to be the next Steve Jobs, change the way cars are built, or even start a revolution, but they do have to share a special set of qualities and characteristics that are essential all for entrepreneurs in charge small or large businesses.

5 Must-Have Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneur

If you don’t consider yourself an entrepreneur now, you can become one. Contrary to popular belief, people are not born entrepreneurs. People are born with certain qualities that they can capitalize on, and then they are presented with events in their life that create opportunities to display these qualities and build something great. The good news is that you can cultivate the qualities you weren’t inherently born with, but it takes effort. Here are five areas that you must honestly judge yourself in if you want to be an entrepreneur.

Maintained Vision
Every successful business endeavor starts with a vision. Every step you take in business should move you closer to your vision. You may refine your vision as you go, but you must always work towards this outcome that you have imagined.

Inner Drive
As an entrepreneur, you must have a burning drive to do something with the vision you’ve created. There’s not much you can do with an idea unless you have the inner passion to initiate a response to take action.

Self Discipline
Entrepreneurs typically don’t have a boss. Therefore, you must be able to manage yourself. You must know where your weaknesses lie and be able to crack down on them. For example, if you can’t finish projects without deadlines, YOU have to set the deadline. Some people need a boss. That’s what makes the world go around. Be your own boss if you want to be an entrepreneur.

Don’t let obstacles stop you from moving forward. Search for the thing that you need until you’ve found it. Network to find the right people who can help you. Don’t take no for an answer. If you’ve hit an obstacle, it just means you need something. That “something” you need is somewhere, so go find it and don’t give up until you find it.

Entrepreneurs must be able to pick themselves up when they fall. Don’t get discouraged by the occasional doubts you may face. In fact, the doubts you face are the perfect opportunity to prove to yourself that the vision you’ve created can become a reality. Why can’t it? If you backslide in your initiatives, get back on the wagon. Focus on your vision and what steps you need to take to move forward. You created it, so take charge of it.

Why We Need You To Be An Entrepreneur

We need leaders! We need someone with revolutionary ideas to set these “norms” for us. Entrepreneurs will continue to shape and build our business society, create jobs, present new ways of doing things, and define the way businesses should be run.
You’ve got something to contribute to this world, and your ideas could be the next big thing. Even in small businesses, you as an entrepreneur can set the standard of how business is conducted in your industry, and you can reap the rewards of being a true entrepreneur.

About the Author: Sara Schoonover is Vice President of of TicketKick, a California company that helps drivers to reduce speeding fines and/or get speeding tickets, and other traffic tickets dismissed by helping drivers through the trial by written declaration process. The company, which formally launched in 2010 after providing similar services since 2006, is the leading company in this space and growing rapidly.

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