2 Apr 2011

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR?

Nine out of ten startups fail. What does this say to us? That to be an entrepreneur, start and lead a business you need:

A.  Great and direccional motivation. It's not only about self-motivation but also about being able to persuade and motivate other people.
B.  Strong tolerance to frustation
C.  Resilience (the capacity to face adverse conditions with courage and determination).

But this is not enough. Prior to these skills there are other capabilities:

A.  Iniciative
B.  Creativity and an appetite for innovation
C.  Networking
D. Sense of oportunity (to acknowkedge what the market needs or may need
E. Being a risk-lover (vs a risk-averter)

An entrepreneur must be not only a manager but someone who can detect opportunities amongst the enormous amount of information that circulates around him or her. He or she must be able to take a risk and go for a well determined objective with stubborness and persistence.It's someone who doesn't take no for an answer. Most probably (s)he'll take it as maybe. (S)he's a visionary but at the same time someone quite realistic (in some cases it will help to have a partner who complements some of these traits, not easy to reunite in one person).
Many wonder if these skills are innate or can be acquired. I believe most of them, if not all, can be learnt and the soon the better. Frustration, for instance, is one of the first things a baby has to face when s(he) realizes that mother is not a hundred per cent available (this is so hard that some people never manage to deal with it, usually in collusion with their mothers).
Creativity can and must be cultivated.
Still, all this needs a lot of hard work.

Another issue comes to mind apart from these innate or acquired personality traits: external reality and circumstances. Depending on the activity or the economic area, the entrepreneur will need financing and ideally a context where resources (capital and knowledge) are available and free access to the markets.

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