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What makes a person an entrepreneur?

NVArchitectNVArchitect subscriber Posts: 12
edited January 2011 in Grab Bag
The entrepreneur has been the topic of much academic research. Like an animal in the zoo they have been studied at length by economists, anthropologists, management academics, psychologists, sociologists, historians, finance experts and organisational scholars.
Who are these creatures? Why do these persistent people never give up? What drives them to take risks that ordinary folk find overwhelming? Where do they get that energy and that courage? How do they create value from nothing and most importantly … what makes entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs. In other words - what makes the entrepreneur tick.
So keen to add our bit to the debate, Dr. Neil Flanagan and myself sat down to come up with what we think is the A to Z of what makes entrepreneurs - entrepreneurs. What do you think? ... see the knol The Entrepreneur (A to Z) to get the full description.
NVArchitect12/3/2008 8:55 AM


  • JmesJmes subscriber Posts: 4
    What about inventing a problem?
    When I was 12 my father bought me a remote control toy car which I loved
    The next day I "remodeled" my backyard to host a new racing track with some hard-terrain driving
    I was very proud of myself and had hours and hours of fun by myself and with friends
    My father wasn`t too thrilled about having his beloved yard, what he later referred to as `fubar`ed, evicted of anything even remotely close to a plant
    I did grow tired of it about 2-3 weeks later though
  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    using the term "mindset" doesn`t get us much further.  what is a "mindset"?
  • JmesJmes subscriber Posts: 4
    Craig, are you saying that if I don`t have the correct "mindset" you can`t be an entrepreneur?
    If so, can you change your mindset? and if yes, how?
  • MattTurpinMattTurpin subscriber Posts: 22
    An entrepreneur is the lemming. She jumps off the cliff, headfirst, hoping there`s a better tomorrow at the bottom. She knows 90% of new lemmings die on the first jump. She`s heard cowardly mice and their naysaying. She`s not interested in the kind of work most beavers have to offer, gnawing and gnawing for little gain. She looks at the gerbils in their corporate wheels, running and running and going nowhere fast, and figures jumping off the first cliff she sees is the only way. Not everyone is born into the life of a rabbit - good food, lots of sex - the high life. A lemming is willing to risk it all to try. That says a lot.
  • MattTurpinMattTurpin subscriber Posts: 22
    I feel like I`m jumping off a cliff. 90% of small business fail. That means 90% of entrepreneurs aren`t making careful enough, considered enough decisions. I don`t speak for any entrepreneur but myself, but I don`t have a full expectation of success. I know the odds, and the odds are bleak. I`m betting that I`m smarter and/or (probably or) luckier than other cafe owners who failed. The odds aren`t on my side. In fact, I wouldn`t gamble such odds in a casino. Am I good enough to be a 10 percenter? God only knows. I`m jumping off the cliff, if only to say that for once in my life, I had the guts to try to do something bigger than me. This cafe will be the cream of my success, and I`m pinning my entire ego on it. I`m nervous, but it`s a risk that I just have to take, or I`ll feel like I`ve never tried to better myself. I`m better than I am at the moment. I just have to be an entrepreneur to prove it.
  • MattTurpinMattTurpin subscriber Posts: 22
    That`s a fair rebuttal. I have to ask, do you think 100% of new businesses think they have 100% chance of success? 90% fail. If this is the case, I think 90% of new business owners have poor judgement. It seems almost like gambling. Every time a gambler pulls the lever, he`s 100% sure this is the one. He`s gonna strike it big this time. Then he gets zip. I think I have a great idea. I just don`t want to put myself in the category of the 90% who deluded themselves to think they were infallible. I hope I match your level of success. I just don`t know if it`s wise to believe the odds are with me. I believe I have a great idea. I believe it could work wonderfully. I just don`t know 100% if it will. How do you mentally make that leap of faith? Clearly, 90% of entrepreneurs are misguided, if 100% of entrepreneurs believe they have 100% chance of success and 90% fail. It`s a tough concept to grasp. Am I better than 90% of attempted entrepreneurs? I think I`m pretty talented. I`d feel pretty vain to think myself that good. I hope I prove myself wrong. I`ll definitely be proud of myself if I pull it off.
    MattTurpin3/21/2009 4:29 PM
  • passion09passion09 subscriber Posts: 0

    Hello, NVarchitect

    Being an entrepreneur is about not just starting a business or two, it is about having attitude and the drive to succeed in business. All successful Entrepreneurs have a similar way of thinking and posses several key personal qualities that make them so successful in business. Successful entrepreneurs like the ambitious Richard Branson have an inner drive to succeed and grow their business, rather than having a Harvard Business degree or technical knowledge in a particular field.
    All successful entrepreneurs have the following qualities:

    Inner Drive to Succeed

    Entrepreneurs are driven to succeed and expand their business. They see the bigger picture and are often very ambitious. Entrepreneurs set massive goals for themselves and stay committed to achieving them regardless of the obstacles that get in the way. Strong Belief in themselves
    Successful entrepreneurs have a healthy opinion of themselves and often have a strong and assertive personality. They are focused and determined to achieve their goals and believe completely in their ability to achieve them. Their self optimism can often been seen by others as flamboyance or arrogance but entrepreneurs are just too focused to spend too much time thinking about un-constructive criticism. Search for New Ideas and Innovation
    All entrepreneurs have a passionate desire to do things better and to improve their products or service. They are constantly looking for ways to improve. They`re creative, innovative and resourceful. Openness to Change
    If something is not working for them they simply change. Entrepreneurs know the importance of keeping on top of their industry and the only way to being number one is to evolve and change with the times. They`re up to date with the latest technology or service techniques and are always ready to change if they see a new opportunity arise. Competitive by Nature
    Successful entrepreneurs thrive on competition. The only way to reach their goals and live up to their self imposed high standards is to compete with other successful businesses. Highly Motivated and Energetic
    Entrepreneurs are always on the move, full of energy and highly motivated. They are driven to succeed and have an abundance of self motivation. The high standards and ambition of many entrepreneurs demand that they have to be motivated!

     Accepting of Constructive Criticism and Rejection

    Innovative entrepreneurs are often at the forefront of their industry so they hear the words "it can`t be done" quite a bit. They readjust their path if the criticism is constructive and useful to their overall plan, otherwise they will simply disregard the comments as pessimism. Also, the best entrepreneurs know that rejection and obstacles are a part of any leading business and they deal with them appropriately.
    True entrepreneurs are resourceful, passionate and driven to succeed and improve. They`re pioneers and are comfortable fighting on the frontline The great ones are ready to be laughed at and criticized in the beginning because they can see their path ahead and are too busy working towards their dream.

  • daveb1daveb1 subscriber Posts: 1
    anyone that has a passion to build nothing to something and has original ideas is an entrepreneur imo
  • metro2metro2 subscriber Posts: 1
    In my opinion, entrepreneurs are funny and irrational animals (I'm one of them). Statistics show that only 1 out of ten new businesses survives beyond 5 years. In other words it is safer to go to Vegas and put all your start up capital on black or red and let it roll.
    The amazing thing is that we all think that we are the one out of ten person and you know what, that's ok. I believe the secret of successful entrepreneurship is persistence. Because if you try ten times, you are bound to eventually hit the "one out of ten" business idea.
  • Jessie HookieJessie Hookie subscriber Posts: 351 Silver Level Member

    Entrepreneurs are characterized by high intelligence, high self esteem, and a higher level of risky, aggressive, and even illicit behavior as adolescents. They make that distinction by separating out self-employed people into two groups.

  • FastUKmedsFastUKmeds subscriber Posts: 12 Bronze Level Member

    For me passion. If you have enough passion to do it and guts then you might be next Elon Musk :)

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  • manassarmanassar subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member

    anyone that has a passion to build nothing to something and has original ideas is an entrepreneur imo

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