Monday, 11 January 2016 11:36

What's an entrepreneur?

Hey! I’m an entrepreneur!

But wait. What does that actually mean?

Stop for a minute and consider this before reading on: what mental picture are you currently making of 'the entrepreneur"? What type of person is it? What do they look like? What is their day like? Are they all alike? Do you know any?

Got that picture? Now read on!

First thing first, let's straight things up: entrepreneurs don’t need to have lots of money to get started, any specific skills and certainly don’t need to wear a fancy suit! But one thing that is common to all entrepreneurial types is they all share one common trait: a considerable dose of initiative! 

Your 'entrepreneurial self" comes to life as soon as you think of doing something new or differently, either because it grates you how it is currently done or because you can see an alternative to make something better and greater. If you've found yourself grabbing a pen to jot ideas down, or saying a lot "this could be easier, faster, cheaper, greener if.." in various situations, you have what it takes to solve problems that bother you, it's definitely the first sign: you are an entrepreneur. Go you!

Entrepreneurs want 'to change the world and make a difference', and do something that has not been done before. And guess what? That is a pretty laudable goal, there is so much to sort out to make our world smarter, safer, kinder and more sustainable!

Deciding to act on an idea, and developing it into a product people need to solve a problem they have is the first step on your entrepreneurial journey. The discoveries and explorations will open your mind and change the way you think forever. It won't be long before you experience that the benefits of starting your own business (set your own hours, decide on the direction you want to take, really make a significant impact on the people you deliver value for...) far outweigh the fear of the unknown and the risks. 

Entrepreneurship is not the easiest road, and it takes a lot of trial and errors, and stop-starts and learning new stuff while you are doing it, not ahead of doing it, to have success. But it is a very rewarding road, one that you have control over, that you can trace in your own terms, and that let's you define success in your words.

Entrepreneurs in blogs and magazines are often described as successful. Being successful involves creating a business that can sustain itself and make a profit. Often those entrepreneurs have become successful after several ventures, as it takes perseverance and grit, and the ability to keep learning to make a success of something. 

What makes an entrepreneur is their ability to be focused on creating a business as well as developing the idea. The best way to learn is to get started and to know that that first idea is your first attempt at success.  You will make mistakes and you will fail and it is your ability to use this failure as feedback that will set you well on your way to be truly entrepreneurial. Every successful entrepreneur has failed the same as every successful entrepreneur has learned from their failings.

Got you thinking?

To be successful as an entrepreneur, you'll need to switch on your can-do attitude and be prepared to learn from mistakes. Failure is great feedback!  There's no right or wrong way to get started, just look up information online, find out who is working with entrepreneurs in your area, and surround yourself with positive people who are going to support your initiatives. Be prepared to listen and to be productive. If you get started, learn and re-apply what you learn-by-doing, you will keep moving in the right direction. 

What next?

Got a great idea and not sure where to start? Come to Mashup (here is the link to sign up)! You will find a supportive environment, with mentors and entrepreneurs who have done it before, where you can experience entrepreneurship over a weekend. You'll get that first idea out of your head into a business!

See you on April 2nd!

Dara @ Venture Centre

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