I just Googled “what is an entrepreneur?” It told me that an entrepreneur is “a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risk in the hope of making a profit”.
“Mmmmm,” I thought to myself. Then, as Google lends us to do, I scrolled down and it started listing characteristics of entrepreneurs, what skills an entrepreneur needs and how entrepreneurs become successful.
I closed the screen in a hurry.
Why? Because it all seemed a little aggressive, cold and clinical.
Are entrepreneurs born or made? I believe it is a bit of both. I grew up in a family where both my parents ran their own successful business, so to me, working for yourself was normal. To others, working for a company is normal (and I did this too, for many years) and neither dictates whether you can be an entrepreneur or not.
Yes, there are personality traits that may help but many of these skills can be learned.
Often, when we start our own business, it’s because we have a particular skill or product and we decide we want to make a living from it, rather than earning the money for someone else
Let me tell you: starting a business is the easiest bit. It’s what comes after that’s hard. Often, when we start our own business, it’s because we have a particular skill or product and we decide we want to make a living from it, rather than earning the money for someone else.
However, when we dream of having our own business – agri business, food business or other – often we do not think about how, and to whom, we are going to sell the product or service, get paid for it, manage our accounts, social media, deliveries etc.
It is the passion for what we do or make, the love of it and the dream that we can make money from it (noted that money part may not be a big factor for some) which places us on the road to starting our own business. But actually running a business is a whole different ball game!
I think this is the difference between a “wantrepreneur” (someone who wants to run their own business – including someone who may have even started a business, but are stuck in the creative process) and an entrepreneur.
Now, maybe that ironically sounds very aggressive, cold and clinical – and they are most definitely skills which are learned through the business journey and by taking action, but the really important part of being an entrepreneur (and this bit is REALLY important) is quite simply believing beyond belief and logic that you can do it and nothing is going to stop you.
So, can you be an entrepreneur? If you have a skill or a product you believe in, are willing to learn the business skills you don’t have, are willing to keep working on and in your business with your dream goal as your North Star and are able to get out of your comfort zone and ask for help when you need it, then yes – you can be an entrepreneur.
As Walt Disney said: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
So be courageous.