Entrepreneurs play an important role in society. They identify and exploit opportunities to provide goods and services that were previously unavailable or in limited supply. In order to launch a successful business, it is essential to plan well, stay motivated and execute to perfection.
There is no specific set of skills required to become an entrepreneur. These can be learned and developed over time. For that, it is imperative that you and your new business survive for long enough. A startup does not have many resources in its initial days; its biggest resource is the entrepreneur himself. Consider the following points to evaluate your entrepreneurial readiness and consider whether or not you are up for the journey:
Fear of failure can stop the best entrepreneurs in their paths. The risk of failure is ever-present, and initially, there are only limited instances of receiving appreciation for the effort you are putting in. This is where commitment comes into play. You have to be able to focus on your business and keep working with the same zeal and vigor despite the emotional rollercoaster that you may be riding on. The real challenge is to keep going even when things are at their worst.
A startup has to begin small. Over time, you can try different approaches and then make the necessary changes to take your venture to the next level. However, it is important to set small goals initially and rejoice after having achieved them.
The story of Pandora is the most inspiring example of the level of commitment that is required to survive a startup. After raising $1.5 million from angel investors in 1999, Pandora had roughly 50 employees by 2001 and burned out of all of its money. The employees worked without a salary for roughly two years after that. Founder Tim Westergren was rejected by 347 venture capitalists before being able to find investors at his 348th pitch. The company never looked back and is now publically traded on NYSE.
Employees are the lifeblood of a business. Being a successful entrepreneur is all about how you build a team, how you motivate them, how you challenge them and how comfortable you feel being challenged. This is all part of being a leader.
You can be the president or CEO or hold any title you please. Whatever you do, you need to be the catalyst of change within your business. You cannot just try to maintain the status quo and expect your business to succeed. You need to change the situations, work processes or the people who work for you—maybe all three—in order to influence the success of your business.
Quoting John Quincy Adams: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
An entrepreneur is the master planner and strategist of a business. You are the one coming up with the plans to grow your business from strength to strength. Strategic thinking is what is required to create a business and also retain an edge over your competitors. Your ability to think strategically will be crucial in assessing risks, making business decisions, evaluating trends and most importantly, building alliances.
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