The importance of being an entrepreneur
It is prerogative for each of the entrepreneur to possess personal qualities for her/his personal progress. Ideal base line that a person must possess is mentioned by different types of articles, text books, and research papers. This will say about the entrepreneurs’ ability and traits that needs to be proved for maintaining their responsibilities and leading to ultimate success. Entrepreneurs in these days must have not only equal but also proper balance among all of these characteristics for better serving themselves, their clients & employees.
Following traits have been developed by Dr. Charles Toftoy, who had his long experience in the real world of business. The author had guided more than 2100 SMEs (both high tech & low tech client). His face to face contacts with all his clients that include Ernst & Young are the testimonies of his successes, which prove about the distinguished traits & qualities an entrepreneur must have.
If French word “entreprendre” is translated in English, it will mean entrepreneur or to undertake. In the 21st century, entrepreneur means the owner of a free enterprise. With a view to building multimillion-dollar enterprises, creativity and innovation have been used by many of them for fledgling businesses. New services & products have been created by the entrepreneurs, which are risky for their ventures. According to (Kuratko & Hodgetts, 2004), in the business frontier in these days, “Pioneership” is the other term of ‘entrepreneurship’.
Who can be an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurs are considered to be the vanguards of the successful businesses in this world. Their motivational drive, sense of opportunity and capacity for accomplishments have become the yardsticks for measuring the free enterprises.
Entrepreneurs are also the developer or innovator in these days. They not only recognize the opportunities, they also grab it. Besides these, they also convert these opportunities into marketable or workable ideas, adds values of money, efforts & time, and assume the competitive market place’s risks for implementing these ideas and realize the returns from the efforts. To exemplify it, economists term ‘entrepreneurs’ as the mobilisers for labor, materials and resources along with other assets and combine them unusually, for increasing their value more than earlier so that profit can be generated through a new order. As per the views of the psychologists, an entrepreneur has relation with the achievement’s behavioural term. They also term an entrepreneur as the party to seek accomplishments through challenges.
Having discussed as above, it is clear that the views regarding the entrepreneur have slight variations of perspectives from different disciplines, although they contain same notions viz. Organising, Creating, Newness, Wealth, and Risk taking.
Entrepreneurs can be the harbinger for economic change for carrying out the process of entrepreneurship, through purposefully searching, carefully planning and wisely judging
The myths of entrepreneurship
Due to the dearth of research on entrepreneurship, many myths about entrepreneurship have cropped up. The following 10 myths have been discussed by Kuratko and Hodgetts (2004)
The Ten Myths of Entrepreneurship
Myth 1:“Entrepreneurs are doers, not thinkers”
Fact: In spite of being action oriented, entrepreneurs are also thinkers. In case their plan fails, they opt for alternative set, proving that they are both thinkers and doers.
Myth 2: “Entrepreneurs are born, not made”
According to the descriptions of non-entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurs’ characteristics are beyond teaching or learning, because these characteristics are needed to be innate since birth. Nonetheless, researches have proved that processes, models and case studies are the facilitators for learning entrepreneurship.
Myth 3: “Entrepreneurs are always inventors”
Inventors can be the entrepreneurs, but entrepreneurs need not to be inventors. Example: - For becoming the entrepreneur of world’s largest fast-food enterprise, i.e. McDonald’s, Ray Kroc did not invent the system of franchising of fast food. Innovative and creative ideas are the root for the successful entrepreneurs, the characteristics of which do not come under learning process.
Myth 4: “Entrepreneurs are academic and social misfits”
The rationale behind this belief is that many successful entrepreneurs are the school drop-outs or job-quitter. If history is to be referred to, no social or educational organization did ever recognize entrepreneurs; although they are viewed as the professionals, as because enterprise is never a misfit in this present world.
Myth 5: “Entrepreneurs must fit the “Profile””
Characteristics of successful entrepreneurship have been check-listed by many articles and books. These lists were never completed nor were they validated, because they were based on the findings of the research studies by the achievers. It is believed in these days that, if retrospectively studied since the time of starting their venture, the profiles of standard entrepreneurs are not easy to be completed.
Myth 6: “All entrepreneurs need is money”
It is beyond doubt that capital is needed for any venture’s survival. The other truth is a good number of ‘business-failure-cases’ are also there due to dearth of finance. Money is always a source for entrepreneurs; it is never an end in itself.
Myth 7: “All entrepreneurs need is luck”
It is always an advantage to be at right place and at right time. It is a fact that luck peeps through when preparation finds opportunity. With a view to seizing an opportunity, an entrepreneur must prepare, plan, determine, desire, innovations and knowledge.
Myth 8: “Ignorance is blissn for entrepreneurs”
‘Too much evaluation and planning result constant problem’- is not true in these days of competitions. The venture’s weakness and strength are identified by the entrepreneurs, while setting up clear timetables for handling any problem.
Myth 9: “Entrepreneurs seek success but experience high failure rates”
Undoubtedly, numbers of mistakes are committed by entrepreneurs before their success. Practically, many lessons are learnt from mistakes although they lead one to future success.
Myth 10: “Entrepreneurs are extreme risk-takers (gamblers)”
In the process of entrepreneurship, risk-concept is a major identity. Interestingly, it is a well-accepted fact that entrepreneurs are prone to high risks; the reason is they always look for information and do prior planning for action, making the risks ‘calculated’.
Any Successful Entrepreneur’s Characteristics
Figure: Characteristics of effective and successful entrepreneurs
(a) Initiative and Responsibility
Majority of the researchers are in the opinion that to be an effective entrepreneur, you must have to seek as well take initiatives. They show their willingness in putting themselves in situations where-in they are responsible for both failures and successes.
(b) High Degree of Commitment
If any venture is successfully launched, it needs total entrepreneurial commitments. Being armed with this commitment, an entrepreneur can tide over different obstacles.
(c) Opportunity Orientation
In place of structures, resources and strategies, opportunities are focused on by the entrepreneurs. Opportunities are the seeds for further nurturing them to important issues. The distinguishing characteristics found in an entrepreneur are their capacity of searching new business opportunities and seizing them too.
(d) Moderate Risk-taker
Entrepreneurs never take wild-risk, but take calculated risks. If any venture is undertaken by an entrepreneur, it is their well calculated, well thought-out matter. They always fight shy of unnecessary risks.
(e) Confident and Optimistic
By characteristics, an entrepreneur possesses lots of confidence for proceeding towards success. They are always optimistic about their successes. The optimism depends on the reality. Even with the high level of optimism & confidence, some of the business men have fallen down more than single time, but ultimately had succeeded.
(f) Creative and Innovative
With a view to gaining competitive advantage, an entrepreneur must be creative & innovative. Being helped by their innovative and creative minds & imagination, entrepreneurs can produce exemplary services or goods for the customers. Creativity is never inherited, it is to be learnt.
(g) Seeking Feedback
Entrepreneurs are always inquisitive to know about their way of doing and their reinforcement. They constantly seek as well use food back so that they can improve themselves & their venture performance. For knowing about their mistakes, feedbacks are very important.
(h) Drive to Achieve
Achievements appear to be the main motivating force for the entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs or the self-starters have the strong desires to pursue, excel, compete and attain challenging goals. The common misconceptions about the entrepreneurs are their desire for money, because money is never a driving force and is basically a symbol of achievement.
(i) Ability to Set Vision
Entrepreneurs know about their targets. However, all entrepreneurs do not have predetermined concepts or visions. This vision, in many cases, develops over time, because the entrepreneurs start realizing about the firm and its strength.
(j) Skilled at Organizing
The building of any venture is never a cake-walk. So entrepreneur best knows about putting the right people in right place for accomplishing a task and transform their vision into reality.
(k) Internal Locus of Control
The entrepreneurs know well that their venture’s successes and failures dependent on them. They have full control on their setbacks & accomplishments, so the outcomes are also under their control.
(l) Tolerance of Failure
The words ‘depression’, ‘discouragement’ and ‘disappointment’ are not found in the dictionaries of any entrepreneur. Failures are considered as the learning experience for the entrepreneurs. This makes them searching for opportunities in the difficult times. Early failures are more revered than early successes for many entrepreneurs.
(m) High Level of Energy
If compared with the average persons, entrepreneurs are more energetic, which help them to cope up with the stressful demands and unusual workloads. This energy is always a critical factor for the situations, requiring extraordinary efforts for starting a company
(n) Team Building
It is obvious that the most successful entrepreneurs will have well motivated & well qualified teams for helping in handling the growth and development of a team.
Entrepreneurs are independent, so they want their own way to finish their task. This is never indicative of the fact that all the decisions are entrepreneur-dependent.
As far as their venture is concerned, entrepreneurs are never rigid. Due to their flexibility, they can adapt to the changing demands of their business or customers. Since the world-economy is rapidly changing, rigidity may lead to failures.
The Differences between an Entrepreneur and a Businessman
The word businessman (especially small business man) does not mean entrepreneur, because all business men are not entrepreneurs; however all entrepreneurs are definitely businessmen. The most of the entrepreneurial characteristics must be in a business man. There are many differentiating characteristics between an entrepreneur and a small businessman. The table below indicates about the differences between an entrepreneur and a businessman.
The Differences between a Conventional Entrepreneur and Manager
A difference exists between an entrepreneur and a businessman, as has been shown in the table below, with special indication to an entrepreneur and conventional manager.