The Essence of Entrepreneurship

A Dream

So, she opened up her eyes and drew in a deep breath. What was the meaning of such a dream?

Could it be that all her waking hours of thinking about owning a business was finally permeating in her sleep?

Well it was a wonderful thought while it lasted but she now needed to snap out of it being 6:20 am already.

She needed to shower, grab a bite to eat, go over her notes and make it to the office on time for the big advertising meeting with the district managers.

There’s little doubt a scenario of some similarity plays out in real life for men and women every day around the country.

It brings us to the broader question, which is, what does it actually take to be self-employed or hold the elusive description of being an entrepreneur?

Today it seems that many people are entertaining the idea of striking out on their own to test the waters of entrepreneurship. The concept is as old as business itself although perhaps not always termed as such.

A century ago, when the nation’s economy was primarily based on agriculture and industrial production it was common place. During that time the farmer who plotted and tended the land to produce food for the owner of the local general store or the blacksmith who poured and bent steel for his rancher customers were all essentially entrepreneurs.

The same exist today except that we have shifted to a service, technology and information based economy.

The essence of entrepreneurship is really many different parts which make up the whole. It isn’t a one dimensional expression but rather a composite of the best key ingredients which take advantage of capitalism and the free enterprise system.

Let’s take a glimpse at three key characters of the essence of entrepreneurship.

Innovation

Innovation is a necessary concept for being a successful entrepreneur. In principle it describes a very important energy that fuels the capacity for growth and new development.

If you typically find yourself interested in creating or designing improvements relative to the status quo this may signal that you possess a core understanding of innovation.

Right alongside being able to notice and then desire to make changes, there is an equally important need for the necessary talent to implement those new things or methods.

Do you have a knack for looking at the way things are normally done and deciding, “That could be done much better or in a more efficient way”? If you are able to break down the steps or the systems of why things are being done a certain way and learn from them then you are exhibiting the capacity of innovation.

Because of innate or developed ability you may be able to discover how to produce better quality, bigger profits or more dominance in the marketplace.

As a small and nibble business owner these often simple yet profound insights can be the difference between failure and success. The more that innovation is used the greater degree of considerable positive change that can be realized.

This in turn translates into establishing an entrepreneur’s USP or unique selling proposition. USP is a marketing phrase which simply means the special or exclusive differentiation from your competition.

Vision

Vision in relationship to entrepreneurship is being able to spot a future market interests or customer trend demands before others ever take notice. In essence you need to have the ability to get a sense of where business is likely to be heading in the coming years.

Basically there are two key elements to vision. The first is strategic and the second is tactical. Now with strategic or developing a strategy we refer to a high level blueprint, scheme, or a more holistic series of plans for capturing a specific goal or result.

In contrast tactical is more of a " single tree versus the forrest" perspective. Conversely it is the hands-on deployment of systems or structures at the local level that are a result of the overall plan.

Take for example a couple that cooks and entertains for their friends and others at small parties on a regular basis. He does an amazing job on the barbeque and her cakes and desserts are just fabulous! They find both friends and acquaintances constantly imploring them to “go into business” stating how certain they would be successful.

Given the fact they have a couple of small children, are both employed full time and have bills due at the end of every month the idea although exciting is far from practical. Should they just try to keep expanding their little get-togethers into a full time catering service or move to a stand-alone restaurant? The answers of course to these questions and many others would be found in carefully laying out the proper vision that contained both strategy as well as tactics.

Courage

Although there is a lot of buzz these days about being an entrepreneur or joining the ranks of the self-employed it is and most likely always will be the exception rather than the rule. The reason for this originates from one fundamental reality. In order to take the plunge one must overcome and conquer some measure of fear about giving up total stability or security. Therefore an essential necessary element is that of having the courage to get started.

Now fortunately, today’s version of entrepreneurship can be launched with a lot less risk and much more leverage for success than decade’s gone pass.

The barriers of entry have been significantly reduced with the advent of technology. The ability to research trends and identify not only what customers want but what they are willing to pay for has grown tremendously.

Nevertheless even with these modern day advantages the element of stepping out in faith and having the courage to believe in your dreams will always be necessary. It takes courage to walk away from a steady paycheck, company healthcare benefits or other corporate or job perks.

Again, the good news for aspiring entrepreneurs today is by using the tools and platforms that are available it is still quite possible to begin part-time while on your job and then transition to full time when cash flow and profits will allow.

Obviously there are many additional attributes and characteristics of being an entrepreneur of which we’ll continue to cover in upcoming hubs :-)

I wonder what your thoughts are on the essence of entrepreneurship?

Staypos!

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The Essence of Entrepreneurship 20 comments

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 5 years ago from London, UK

It's something I encourage.... or one could have it part-time while working for another company. I set up a small IT Training business about 10 years ago and even though sometimes I teach in Colleges - I still have it by the side and run it part time.

I like the way you wrote this article - in an inspiring and encouraging way.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Hi Staypos, my good friend, I haven't seen you around for a while.

I'm always looking for ideas and ways to make things better, and this inspires me to research and learn more. Writing online, for example, is always something I have wanted to do and now I'm excited to be doing it!! I really enjoyed reading your hub, it was very interesting. Voting up!

Cloverleaf.


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

Lady_E,

Good to see you again!

Thanks for the kind compliment and comments on one of my greatest passions :-)

I absolutely agree with you that starting part-time and just staying with it, is one of the best ways for many people to realize entrepreneurship!

Congrats on your IT training business and much continued success!

Cheers!


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

Hey there Cloverleaf :-)

You are the epitome of this hub!

I'm so excited for your success here on Hubpages!

By stepping out in faith and taking action on your desire to write you've realized your own brand of entrepreneurship!

Your innovation and vision have helped launch you towards a whole new wonderful set of possibilities!

Thanks for your compliments stopping by to share with us!


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

Great information, StayPos! Entrepreneurship is an exciting and rewarding adventure. Yet, it takes a lot of courage to begin, like you mentioned. This is a very inspiring hub and a reminder to follow our dreams and to plan appropriately.

Voted up, up and away!


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

Dexter!

Thanks for your compliments and contribution to the dialogue :-)

Yes, having courage is essential to taking the first steps.

Once we do that then we’re on our way, as you say, to the adventure and excitement of becoming an entrepreneur!

All the Best


LuxmiH profile image

LuxmiH 5 years ago from Fort Pierce, Florida

So refreshing and inspirational too. Woven into the hub are some excellent guidelines for readers to follow... a recipe of how to make lemonade when life hands you lemons.


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

LuxmiH,

Thanks for your kind compliments :-)

I'm glad you found The Essence of Entrepreneurship a refreshing and inspirational point of view!

I think it's part of the hallmark of my focus on staying positive :-) All the Best


b2b-sales-europe profile image

b2b-sales-europe 5 years ago from Berlin, Germany

Hi StayPos,

you made some good points, but I would like to add a few views.

From my point of view, I wouldn't mix vision with strategy and tactics. A vision keeps you going through the war, strategy lays out the way through all the battles, tactics help you win the battles. (Sorry for the war metaphors).

The vision is something like the light of your everydays life. In the morning you wake up and you know, that your vision once fulfilled e.g. makes the world a better place, brings reasonable prized coffee or clear water to the masses or what ever. In the evening you know how many steps toward the fulfilment of your vision you have made, following the outlining in your strategy.

For me the essence of entrepreneurship:

the guts to take responsibility for your own life into your own hands, i.e. being a creator, someone being part in shaping the world and his/her own future.

The innovation part is - in the end - not really essential, but it gives meaning to the enterprize. You know how much money is made by copycats, where is the innovation there? Innnovation can also be very simple, e.g. cutting out the middle man in trade.

Innovation and USP make it easy for workforce and customers to relate and liaise with the company, because that's something that touches.

Good hub, keep on going!


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

b2b-sales-europe,

Thanks for adding great insights to the conversation!

You've highlighted some key ingredients to the essence of Entrepreneurship!

I certainly agree that vision plays a huge part in the motivation to stay at it.

Although we aren’t talking about war, business can be fiercely competitive and may seem like combat sometimes, but with good strategy and tactics we can prevail :-)

I appreciate your perspectives on taking responsibility, innovation and Unique Sales Proposition too! Great Stuff!

All the Best


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois

StayPos - I really liked this article. I have always been an entrepreneur at heart but never had the courage to step out and take a risk.

I would recommend to any kid in college or just out of college, that if they have a solid idea and the willingness to pursue it and set themselves apart from the competition, then they should just do it. I think it is so much easier to risk and fully commit to a business venture when there are far less responsibilities and obligations.

Now you've got me thinking again. You've certainly got my vote up and awesome.


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

ktrapp,

I’m glad you enjoyed the hub :-) Thanks for the kind words and great addition to the conversation.

I join you in encouraging young and older people alike to take that step of going into business for themselves.

The great thing is with today’s options it’s very possible to start out on a part-time basis and slowly transition to a full time situation.

We will be talking about some of these options in future hubs so stay tuned!

All the Best


Maralexa profile image

Maralexa 5 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Hi StayPos -- excellent hub! Your mention of developing a USP I believe is extremely important. It's extremely important for the latest iPhone (being announced tomorrow) to position itself as clearly more valuable than the droids. They will probably do that by emphasizing features and benefits that customers want AND that they are seen to be better able to provide.

The other key point for me when developing and growing a small enterprise is how to find and hold a niche market. Most entrepreneurial companies aren't as large as GM and so their marketing strategies, and the tactics they employ to implement their strategies, need to be sharper, more 'pin point' in nature. They can't take on the larger competitor in the market so they have to focus on key areas (that are really important to customers) where they can show they beat the big competitor.

Vpted Up and awesome. Thanks very much.


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA Author

Maralexa,

You hit the nail on the head with your great commentary :-)

It’s so very important to leverage business tools like the USP (unique sales proposition) in order to differentiate their value in from the competition.

Large corporations with huge budgets do it therefore small business owners certainly ought to take heed as well.

Just as you say, by being small they are “quick and nibble “in terms of making adjustments for improvements.

That’s something that can be a great advantage over big business.

Also your point regarding locating and developing a market niche is absolutely critical.

One of small business owners and entrepreneurs greatest strength is being a specialist rather than a generalist.

It's often the difference in winning or losing in business.

Thanks for the compliment and super comments!

All the Best


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 4 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

Great hub and such insight, lots to take in, thanks for sharing this....blessings!


StayPos profile image

StayPos 4 years ago from Florida, USA Author

Whidbeywriter,

I'm glad you enjoyed :-) I'll be writing more along these lines during the year so stay tuned! All the Best


Johanna Boomsma profile image

Johanna Boomsma 17 months ago from Florida

I agree with the 3 key points to starting on your own... but recently saw a serial entrepreneur research the self-employment/entrep businesses and that surprisingly "timing" seems to be a factor in successful launch/fail and maintenance... when i find the link i try and post it.


StayPos profile image

StayPos 17 months ago from Florida, USA Author

Johanna,

Glad you enjoyed my hub :-) I am very passionate about entrepreneurship. I believe it is an empowering perspective in regards to making a living and gives opportunity to realize value and potential in relationship to talent and purpose. In many ways entrepreneurship is more about purpose and calling than profits and business at it's core level.

All the Best


Ferhan Patel profile image

Ferhan Patel 7 months ago from Montreal, Canada

Wonderful article. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on entrepreneurship!


StayPos profile image

StayPos 7 months ago from Florida, USA Author

Ferhan,

Thanks for reading. I really enjoy the subject and appreciate your complement :-) Entrepreneurship has many nuances . I endeavor to inspire and motivate others to find out more and then take that leap of faith toward it!

All the Best,

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