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The Essence of Entrepreneurship
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 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 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.
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?