What makes entrepreneurs different?
This is a question I often get from people. It is extremely difficult to articulate exactly what makes someone entrepreneurial, but there are some clear qualities that give them this distinction. The Oxford Dictionary defines an entrepreneur as “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.” While this captures a broad definition of the term, it does not go into near enough detail to truly establish what traits, habits or characteristics are commonly found in entrepreneurs.
The cool thing about it is, entrepreneurialism can be learned and made a habit! Yes, being successful can be the result of being the right place at the right time, or having the best product and distribution when demand skyrockets for your widget, but it is also the result of doing some very specific things to manifest the life and success you want for yourself.
Entrepreneurs are eternally optimistic.
Very different from positivity, optimism is an active exercise in believing that everything will work out, and that there will be opportunities generated. Let’s start by identifying some commonly shared perceptions about entrepreneurship, and look at some more optimistic alternative viewpoints.
“I would never be brave enough to take that leap.”
An entrepreneur would say “I know there are risks involved, but anything worth doing is hard. If I make great decisions, surround myself with the right people, work hard and take every opportunity to learn, I will be successful.
“My friend runs her own business and she never stops working.”
An entrepreneur would say “My business life and my personal life are not different. There is no such thing as the 9 to 5, which allows me to work when I want to or need to. I also don’t need approval to take vacations, attend my daughter’s recital or run errands in the middle of the day.”
“I need a guaranteed paycheque.”
An entrepreneur would say “There is no limit to the amount of income I can generate.”
“I don’t want that kind of responsibility.”
An entrepreneur would say “Having responsibility for my own business and success allows me to make the best decisions for my family and my team, and motivates me to do whatever is necessary to achieve my goals.”
“So many businesses fail and I couldn’t handle that stress.”
An entrepreneur would say “Success comes with learning from failures. Businesses can fail, but I believe that if I follow my strategy, live by my values and continually learn, I will achieve great things.”
Entrepreneurs work on their business, not in their business
Migrating from Technician to Manager to Entrepreneur is a critical evolution that every entrepreneur has gone through. This progression is required
to ensure that the business is sustainable as the leader must be working on long term strategy, growth and team development. Owners must be able to grow the business and evolve from doing the day to day operational or administrative tasks. Entrepreneurs have an abundance mindset and the discipline to follow through on their strategy to graduate through this process.
Entrepreneurs understand the infinite game
Brillian writer Simon Sinek wrote in his book “The Infinite Game”:
“In finite games, like football or chess, the players are known, the rules are fixed, and the endpoint is clear. The winners and losers are easily identified.
In infinite games, like business or politics or life itself, the players come and go, the rules are changeable, and there is no defined endpoint. There are no winners or losers in an infinite game; there is only ahead and behind.”
Entrepreneurs aren’t interested in winning or losing, they simply want to do more, faster, better and stronger than they did the year before.
So what is the answer for someone who wants to own a business but doesn’t know where to start? What about the person who has all of the right qualities but doesn’t want to start from scratch?
There are many answers to this, but one of the most obvious solutions is to invest in a franchise that allows you to be entrepreneurial. Using a tried, tested and true recipe, franchise owners are able to appreciate all of the advantages of business ownership with a reduced risk of failure. Working for yourself but not by yourself, you’ll gain a trusted team of advisors, coaches and trainers, and a new family of other entrepreneurs who are working toward the same vision and mission.
Entrepreneurialism is as much about mindset as it is anything else. You can train yourself and develop the discipline to think like an entrepreneur to manifest the life you want.
Luke Bazely is co-founder of Driverseat Inc.