When it comes to entrepreneurs, what we mostly experience is a person on tv or magazines labeled as entrepreneur, CEO of a company x being awarded and being said to be millionaire or billionaire. Very exciting moments that incite us to wonder what is an entrepreneur and start to check our dictionaries or google for the meaning. And often get something like “a person who sets up a business rather than being an employee, takes on financial risks to gain profit”. Sounds really easy, doesn’t it?
So why hasn’t everyone become an entrepreneur? Because it takes much more than that to be an entrepreneur.
There are five main qualities that make up and define what an entrepreneur really is.
1- Problem Solver
An entrepreneur is someone who brings a solution to an existential problem. He or she asks the question of what contribution can I make to my community which is not yet out there or if so how can I render it more effective?
Martin Cooper came up with what can be considered as the first handheld cellular mobile phone, the 2.5 pound cellphone known as “the brick” in 1973. He solved a major problem of the world by making telephone wireless and carriable. Later on, and now cell phones have become much smaller, much more effective with a lot of integrated features (camera, mp 3&4 readers, internet access etc) than “the brick” in 1973. And that is thanks to numerous entrepreneurs who came up with initiatives and solutions to make handheld cellular mobile phones less bulky, more effective and a nicer accessory for our hands.
2-3 Optimism and Determination
An entrepreneur is optimistic and determined. These two traits go together. There is a saying that attests that great people are often misunderstood at the very beginning of their enterprise. Well, that applies also to entrepreneurs because an entrepreneur initiates something new, something very ambitious to an extent it sounds like “bullshit” for the laypersons. Therefore no one will be willing to believe in your enterprise because no one believes in “bullshit”. But an entrepreneur does not expect people to believe in his or her enterprise as he or she believes in it. When everyone believes his or her idea to be impossible to concretize, when even facts prove it, the entrepreneur believes it is possible without a single moment of hesitation.
Walt Disney got fired from a local newspaper for not being creative enough and his character “Mickey Mouse” was more likely to scare women. Even though fired, Walt Disney kept believing in his creativeness and his creation “Mickey Mouse” and kept working on it.
And today that non-creative aspiring cartoonist with his scary mouse is the foundation of Walt Disney Company which in 2019 held assets worth a total of over 193.98 billion U.S. dollars.
Sir James Dyson went through 5126 failed prototypes when developing his Vacuum. 5126 times that facts have proved his idea to be more likely an impossibility. But Sir James Dyson didn’t have a single moment of doubt about his enterprise otherwise he wouldn’t go for the 5127th prototype which led to his success. Now Sir James Dyson is Britain’s richest person with an estimated net worth of £16.2 billion. Optimism and determination always make the difference.
4- Risk Taker
Having Great ideas, dreams or ambitions is one thing. Be willing to invest time and money for its concretization is another thing. In such moments of life laypersons asked the questions of such kind: What does guarantee me that I can make this idea come to life? Isn’t it too ambitious as a project? What if I go for it and fail?
And the answers to these questions are more like to provide excuses to not get engaged to the unknown than the reverse. The layperson is afraid of his own ambition and doubt about him/herself. An entrepreneur’s belief of his or her idea is unbreakable. He or she asks one single question: “How can I make this idea come to life?” and starts seeking answers. And this quest for an answer to bring his or her dream to life is the investment of time and money that every entrepreneur who now has a successful life has once undergone.
In the 90’s, Jack Ma, a man of modest revenue, with no experience with computers or coding, in a country where the internet was not popular, yet had an idea of creating an online marketplace which would allow exporters to post product listings that customers could buy directly. And because of the deep belief he had about his idea he succeeded to convince seventeen of his friends to invest in him and his vision which is today “Alibaba”.
In September 2019, the company’s market cap reached $465 billion. And Ma’s 5.3% share in Alibaba now worth $24.6 billion. But all started from an idea of man without any required background skills in the domain. What made all the difference is, Ma for sure didn’t bother himself asking the question of what guarantees him that he could make this idea come to life because nothing. He even didn’t have the skills required, rather he went with the entrepreneur mind “How can I make this idea come to life?” and start seeking for answers.
5- Sacrifice Maker
Success takes sacrifice, and Entrepreneurship by nature, is an unstable path. And it’s a natural part of the process as your work progresses to encounter multiple and unpredictable shifts. Money, sleep, personal life and relation all will be severely impacted by your enterprise as you start. The process tends to be very jealous and needs all your attention all the time.
Yuli Ziv, founder and CEO of Style Coalition once attested “I had to decide whether I was returning to the job market or giving my business one last chance. Putting my last penny into the company was terrifying, but quitting on my dream seemed worse.”
Gary Nealon, president of Nealon Solutions and The Rox Group said “I also sacrificed sleep, because I was working a full-time, high-level sales job while building my business at night.”
Nafisé Nina Hodjat, founder and managing attorney of The SLS Firm confessed “I’ve walked away from relationships, friends and family members a few times in my life. It was painful because I lost a piece of my heart and identity — but it was ultimately worth it”
If you are reading this article, it’s because you want to turn into an entrepreneur, or you are already one. But you know now what it took those successful persons on the tv to be labeled “entrepreneur”, it asks a real gut! But we believe you are as tough! Go for it!