There is much hype about “entrepreneurship” in today’s world. From celebrities making it a trendy thing (think Kylie Jenner and her cosmetics brand, ‘Kylie’, or Gwyneth Paltrow, who created Goop from her kitchen table) to non-celebrities becoming a celebrity because of the sheer wealth they have made through their businesses (i.e. Elon Musk), entrepreneurship is much more celebrated than in days gone by. It is a term often used interchangeably with words like “startup” or “tech scale up”. However, entrepreneurship is so much more than that and must be fully explored. In this article, we delve into the world of entrepreneurship, exploring what it is, why you should consider it, and identify the universal traits of successful entrepreneurs.
Understanding real-world entrepreneurship
The word ‘entrepreneur’ originates from a thirteenth-century French verb, entreprendre, meaning “to do something” or “to undertake.” By the sixteenth century, the noun form, entrepreneur, was being used to refer to someone who undertakes a business venture. In a modern context, an entrepreneur sees a problem, wants to solve it, and develops a solution to it. It is someone who builds a venture from scratch, often undertaking risk along the way.
Entrepreneurship also takes many forms and isn’t just the “tech start-ups” that some make it out to be. There are SMEs, social impact ventures, and yes of course scale up businesses too.
Entrepreneurship itself is a dynamic alternative career path, that historically has been limited to a privileged few. It wasn’t so widely spoken about until recently and wasn’t considered as something that anyone could just pursue. However, it has the power to transform lives, shape industries and grow economies. It offers people the opportunity to create a financially independent life and can also drive positive change through innovative solutions that solve real world problems.
Benefits of choosing entrepreneurship as a career
While entrepreneurship is not for the fainted-hearted or for everyone, it gives you the independence and flexibility to live a full life. It allows you to be financially independent and in control, and simultaneously be the maker of your destiny. This is particularly attractive in today’s world, given the next generation of workers is seeking an alternative career pathway to the traditional 9-5 Corporate career, as they actively seek purpose, passion, and flexibility. Entrepreneurship can deliver on all these fronts, but also requires hard work, perseverance, and resilience.
Essential traits of successful entrepreneurs
Regardless of the type of entrepreneur you may be, there are several universal traits that successful entrepreneurs tend to possess. Firstly, entrepreneurs are fearless risk takers. They typically go outside their comfort zone to grow their businesses and to make things happen. Our Founder, Gemma Manning, talks about the fact that she only truly felt like she was an entrepreneur when she took significant risks financially and personally when she expanded her business into Asia, putting it all the line.
Entrepreneurs are also true believers. It is their unwavering belief in their ideas and abilities that keeps successful entrepreneurs going even in the face of adversity. At the end of the day, if they don’t believe in themselves, why would anyone else believe in them and their business?
They are also authentic leaders relishing being true to themselves and their ideas. Often a variety of stakeholders including customers, partners and investors are drawn to their sense of connection with self and being genuine. Richard Branson is a great example of an authentic entrepreneur. He takes his core values into his business ventures and is true to himself in his business always. This is incredibly important.
Entrepreneurs are also visionary problem solvers who are driven enough to make change, whether it’d be a small or a high impact change. They see problems, experience frustrations, and feel that passion to do something about it. That is how Spotify came to be. Daniel Ek, a Swedish software engineer saw a problem, and wanted to fix it, that is how Spotify was born.
In the early 2000s, when illegal downloading sites were causing music industry chaos, Daniel Ek pitched the concept of Spotify to dubious record company executives, telling them he had come up with a business model that “works.”
Last but not the least, entrepreneurs are inquisitive life learners who surround themselves with like-minded people whom they can continuously learn from. We are all human – we make mistakes, and we also don’t hold knowledge of everything. It is critical to learn from mistakes as we go as we all will fail at some stage, and we must keep learning from others, so surround yourself with the brightest of minds to learn from.
Inspirational figures in the entrepreneurial world
Role models play a significant role in inspiring and motivating aspiring entrepreneurs. Looking up to successful entrepreneurs who have achieved great things can provide invaluable guidance and insights. These business heroes can come from various industries and backgrounds, and their stories can serve as a source of inspiration and motivation during challenging times. Whether it’s reading biographies, following their journeys through social media, or attending industry conferences where they speak, exposing yourself to successful entrepreneurs can offer valuable life lessons and a sense of possibility.
Navigating the starting point in your entrepreneurial journey
To gain comprehensive insight into the world of entrepreneurship, it is essential to immerse yourself. This can be done through various means, such as networking events, workshops, and entrepreneurship programs. Engaging with like-minded individuals, learning from experienced mentors, and participating in activities that foster creativity and innovation can provide a holistic understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Additionally, staying updated with industry trends, market research, and emerging technologies is crucial for identifying new opportunities and staying competitive in the ever-evolving business landscape.
In summary, entrepreneurship is a career that needs to be celebrated for the positive impact it can have on society while allowing people to pursue their passion and purpose. With determination, resilience, and a growth mindset, anyone can embark on this exciting journey and strive to leave their mark on the world. To do a deeper dive, don’t miss the YoungGems® Real World Masterclass. Get in touch to learn more.