Ultimate Guide To Successful Entrepreneurship
You watch The Apprentice regularly and place Alan Sugar, Richard Branson and Donald Trump (before he became President) at the top of your heroes list. Hours are spent thinking of ingenious ways to make the Forbes 500 list, and you’re the type to take a chance on that direct-selling opportunity because it might change your life. If this sounds like you, then you’re an aspiring entrepreneur.
Aspirations are great, but there comes the point when you wonder why you can’t make anything work. Guess what? Anyone can be a successful entrepreneur if they know what they’re doing.
What’s Entrepreneurship All About?
An entrepreneur is an individual that sets up their own business, based on a gap in the market. By identifying a need, they can create a service or product to solve the problem. Most entrepreneurs manage their business and are liable for the financial implications.
Entrepreneurs differ from business developers because they are willing to take risks. Think of it this way; business developers consider the small details, but entrepreneurs are all about the big picture. In a way, entrepreneurship is similar to gambling. People take the risk because the rewards could be substantial, but don’t think about the odds and the money they’ll lose.
Business developers are pragmatists, but entrepreneurs are dreamers. However, entrepreneurs work anywhere from 40 hours a week to 60 to make their vision a profitable reality.
The Reality of Entrepreneurship
Crowdspring recently published statistics on their website, that show the reality of entrepreneurship. There are around 400 million entrepreneurs around the world, each with an idea of how to fill a gap in the market. The competition is fierce, and everyone thinks theirs is the best.
The statistics show that in their first year of operation, 20% of new businesses will fail and only 50% make it past five years. Most entrepreneurs fund their business from their savings, instead of getting bank loans, and some rely on their families for financial support.
Not only do entrepreneurs have to work really hard to set-up their business, but 15% also work a second job. However, it’s not all bad! Entrepreneurs come from a multitude of backgrounds, and it’s more about how good your idea is, and how much time you commit to your business succeeding.
Don’t feel too disheartened because there are plenty of entrepreneurs that have beaten the odds! So, what traits do you need to be a successful entrepreneur?
Have you ever seen a job advert that states the candidate must have an entrepreneurial spirit? The problem is, few people actually understand what entrepreneurial spirit means. We can break it down into a set of character traits.
1) Hard Worker
Entrepreneurs work hard. Really hard. Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day, but a successful entrepreneur always puts their business first. Sacrifices are inevitable, including less time with friends, family, and giving up some of the things you enjoy.
Passion fuels us to do something. It’s an intense feeling that’s essential to being a successful entrepreneur. If you don’t believe in your project or feel strongly about the business, then you won’t fully commit yourself to it.
Spending hours each day on your business can be tiring, especially when you’re not achieving results. Success takes time, and there will be a lot of rejection on the way, which is why it’s crucial to put yourself out there! Don’t see rejection as a negative thing but instead use it as a lesson to improve.
4) People Person
Entrepreneurs have to be able to sell, and not that’s not easy for everybody. If you struggle with public speaking, cold calling and motivating others, then failure is imminent. Your team depends on you to lead them, and if you lack confidence, they won’t believe in you.
Were you the kid in school that took part in every sports day race? Did you make a point of answering every question the teacher asked? If so, then you have the competitive drive of an entrepreneur. When it comes to competition, some people are laid back. For most people it’s not about winning, it’s the taking part that counts. For entrepreneurs, it’s all about first place.
The most successful entrepreneurs find a gap in the market and create solutions to problems. Not everyone can be creative, but entrepreneurs make their money based on an original idea.
Technology is changing at rapid rates, and people who aren’t open-minded enough to embrace new software and ways of working will be left behind. Blockbuster didn’t think they needed to team up with Netflix and believed their business model was perfect. Had they been more flexible, they might not be bankrupt!
There are leaders, followers, and then there are self-starters. If you wait for others to give you clarification, or wait for guidance, then you won’t succeed as an entrepreneur. You need to make things happen, and you have to drive the business forward.
It’s Friday night, and you want to go out with friends. However, you also have a pile of work to do. An individual with an entrepreneurial spirit will choose to stay at home and work because they know the end rewards are worth it.
The First Steps to Entrepreneurial Success
You’re ready to take the plunge, and you know that idea is going to make you a lot of money. Slow down, breathe, and break your idea into pieces. You may have a brilliant concept, but have you thought about how or who will build it? Do you have a proper plan in place? These are questions you must ask yourself.
It’s also essential to define whether you want a growth or lifestyle business. Growth businesses have big ambitions, but lifestyle businesses are about achieving financial freedom and a work-life balance.
With drive, determination, and a lot of hard work, success as an entrepreneur can happen!
About This Entrepreneurship Guide
This guide offers the most insightful articles, educational videos, expert insights, specialist tips and best free tutorials about entrepreneurship from around the internet. The learning guide is split into four levels: introduction, basics, advanced and expert. You can learn at your own pace. Each item shows an estimated reading or watching time, allowing you to easily plan when you want to read or watch each item. Below you’ll find a table of contents that enables you to easily find a specific topic you might be interested in.
What is Entrepreneurship?
The meaning of entrepreneurship involves an entrepreneur who takes action to make a change in the world. Whether startup entrepreneurs solve a problem that many struggle with each day, bring people together in a way no one has before, or build something revolutionary that advances society, they all have one thing in common: action.
It’s not some idea that’s stuck in your head. Entrepreneurs take the idea and execute on it. Entrepreneurship is about execution of ideas.
Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
It takes a special kind of person to be an entrepreneur – to come up with an idea and put that idea into action. But not all ideas work out. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that 50% of small businesses fail within the first four years. Not a big vote of confidence for quitting your job and becoming an entrepreneur.
But entrepreneurs don’t see the risk: they see the reward. As an entrepreneur myself, I know how to put the time and effort in to make my dream a reality.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you need to have the right personality and the right attitude.
History Of Entrepreneurship
The original entrepreneurs were, of course, traders and merchants. The first known instance of humans trading comes from New Guinea around 17,000 BCE, where locals exchanged obsidian, a black volcanic glass used to make hunting arrowheads for other needed goods. These early entrepreneurs exchanged one set of goods for another.
The Art of Entrepreneurship
Julie Meyer is one of the leading champions for entrepreneurship in Europe. With over 20 years investment and advisory experience helping start-up businesses, she is the well known founder & CEO of Ariadne Capital, co- founder and Managing Partner of the Ariadne Capital Entrepreneurs Fund, founder of Entrepreneur Country and co-founder of First Tuesday. Julie has added a successful media career to her business commitments, recently joining BBC’s Online Dragon’s Den, in addition to her regular contributions to Business Week, Computing, FT Digital Business & Spectator Business.
Guidelines for Starting a New Venture
There are many approaches to entrepreneurship available today. Many of them are different ways of saying the same things. Many different descriptions of the entrepreneurial process may reflect differences in tastes for words. Some may reflect differences in substance. Entrepreneurial success comes from careful thought, common sense, and persistent execution. This Manual is one outline of the entrepreneurial process. It is intended to capture the general principles of entrepreneurship and to apply to all forms of new venture creation.
Essential Qualities of Entrepreneurial Leadership
Most qualities of a leader are qualitative, in that they can’t be measured, captured, or reviewed concretely. In other words, we can’t say a business leader scored 98 in leadership. The best we can do is look to anecdotal examples or psychological studies to see which qualities good leaders possess. Here are traits that are good indicators of a leader’s potential.
What It Means to Be an Entrepreneur
Despite all these hardships, every year, thousands of entrepreneurs embark on this journey determined to bring their vision to fruition and fill a need they see in society. They open brick-and-mortar businesses, launch tech startups, or bring a new product or service into the marketplace.
So what motivates entrepreneurs to venture forth when so many others would run in the other direction? Though each person’s motivation is nuanced and unique, most entrepreneurs are spurred on by one or more of the following motivators
What is Social Entrepreneurship?
Put simply, it’s the use of new approaches to solve old social problems. Throughout history there have been social change agents and activists who have put their societies on a better path. Over the past couple of decades, a distinct, more entrepreneurial approach to alleviating the problems associated with poverty has emerged. That path-breaking generation of social entrepreneurs broke free of the false dichotomy between “it’s a business” or “it’s a charity” to experiment with business models, innovate new distribution and replication methods, and hold themselves accountable for results.
Challenges Of Social Entrepreneurship
While universities, think tanks and other groups study and support social enterprise, the missing link has been candid and authentic engagement from those of us in the field. It is one thing to study social entrepreneurs; it is quite another to worry about meeting payroll, ensure your organization is continuously innovating its models and aligning staff expertise to increase impact, while often putting your health, family, relationships and even lives on the line in your quest to deliver systemic change.
Challenges Women Entrepreneurs Face
Women-owned firms are still in the minority, and the hurdles faced by women who have embraced entrepreneurship are vast and often very different than those experienced by their male counterparts. To shed light on some of these disparities, Business News Daily asked female CEOs about the key challenges women entrepreneurs face and how to overcome them.
Entrepreneur Decision Making Process
The decision-making process is one of the most critical processes in your business. You can see different types of this process in reality, but generally, they all have the same purpose – effective and efficient decision that will bring results to your business.
The most common used approaching in the decision-making process is according the following steps.
Business Plans: A Step-by-Step Guide
Business plans are inherently strategic. You start here, today, with certain resources and abilities. And you want to get to there, a point in the future (usually three to five years out), at which time your business will have a different set of resources and abilities as well as greater profitability and increased assets. Your plan shows how you will get from here to there.
Business Plan Best Practices
Whether starting a new business, expanding an existing business, or simply introducing a new product or service, it’s a good idea to start with a plan – a business plan. To some, developing a business plan may seem like an extremely time-consuming and unnecessary task. It doesn’t have to be. Business plans can range from the simple to the complex–but should include the same core elements.
Examples and Best Practices of Business Plan Writing
In this 15-minute video, Dr. Steven Gedeon talks about the challenges of writing a business plan as well as the best practices for writing different sections of the business plan, how should you write the financial section, executive summery, how to create a marketing plan and much more.
Business Plan Template Guide
Creating a business plan remains a valuable part of launching any new business venture. Formats and business plan templates may have evolved, and new documents like pitch decks are becoming even more important.
Though without going through this process many entrepreneurs will find they have huge gaps in their ideas and may fall short when it comes to fielding questions from serious investors.
Entrepreneurs And Economic Development
Global development is entering a phase where entrepreneurship will increasingly play a more important role. There are at least three reasons for this, each particular to certain types of countries. Firstly, in the West, the managed economy of the 1970s-2000s, characterized by reliance on big business and mass production, has given way to a so-called entrepreneurial economy. Here knowledge-driven goods and services are now more flexibly provided by smaller firms, and the emergence of a creative class requires a less interfering but more facilitating state.
International Entrepreneurship And Cultural Understanding
With the emergence of international entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs are concentrating on specific issues that they face operating in complex environments affected by diverse national cultures and institutional influences. New global entrepreneurs depend on global networks for resources, distribution, and designs for growth. International entrepreneurs realize that success in a new marketplace requires agility, ingenuity, and certainty with a global viewpoint to acquire sustainability.
Is Entrepreneurship the New MBA?
Proponents of business school agree that one of the biggest benefits of an MBA is the professional network it provides— a talented group of future leaders who can open doors for you along your career path.
For entrepreneurs, networking is equally important, and founders have created their own communities of support that include other entrepreneurs, as well as investors, engineers and thought leaders.
Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Business
There are no limits on who can become a great entrepreneur. You don’t necessarily need a college degree, a bunch of money in the bank or even business experience to start something that could become the next major success. However, you do need a strong plan and the drive to see it through.
Check out this step-by-step guide to help turn your big idea into a successful business.
Entrepreneurship Risks & Challenges
Despite all the glitz and glamour attached to the word “Entrepreneurship”, it is somewhat synonymous with risks. And people are barely starting out more often than not talk about common entrepreneurship risks.
So what are these common entrepreneur risks that I talk about? Read on to find out some common entrepreneur risks that most entrepreneurs face in their business endeavor.
The Risks & Rewards of Being an Entrepreneur
If you are an entrepreneur, this means that you will often have to give up the security of a steady salary at the end of the month. This means that if your business is not doing so well, it can have a serious effect on your personal income.
A lot of times entrepreneurs have to use their own savings to get their business off the ground until they have developed it enough to be ready for external funding from angel investors, government grants, loans or crowdfunding campaigns. If you are not planning to take investment or look for funding, the strain on your savings can be even larger.
Top Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Business Advice
From Richard Branson to Arianna Huffington, Tim Ferriss, Mark Cuban, Sophia Amorusoand many more, the business advice from this group of entrepreneurs is collectively worth billions.
They’ve created products & services we’ve all heard of, turned entire industries upside down, redefined what it means to be successful when you start a business and many have also written business books or taught online business courses about it. Suffice it to say, their business advice is worth its weight in gold.
Entrepreneurs Share Their Biggest Failures and What They Learned
We love learning from others as well, and since we got so much out of our round-up of counterintuitive advice, we wanted to find out even more about what other people have learned from experience. This time, we wanted to learn about the darkest moments of successful and famous entrepreneurs and what their lesson has been.
Without any further ado and in their own words, here are some of the biggest mistakes and lessons learned from 13 successful entrepreneurs.
Confessions of a Failed Entrepreneur
After 3 years of working on my startup (NOX), I decided to make the hard decision of leaving. I used to think that I would be able to step away from the business if I ever decided that it isn’t working. But in reality, it’s really hard to give up on something which you had spent so much blood, sweat and tears building. The thought of “OMG, I would have wasted xx years of my life” constantly prevented me to face this harsh reality.
Free Resources And Tools For Entrepreneurs
This is a collection of extremely helpful free resources that have been crowd compiled over the years, originally shared with me by Deins Slisans. I’ve edited, re-titled, sorted and optimized it for Medium. I’ve also added some extra resources that I’ve found useful and taken out double-ups/errors.
Further Reading: Best Entrepreneurship Books
Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup. This book will show you how to create a successful startup through developing an innovative product. It breaks down the necessary processes into an integrated, comprehensive, and proven 24-step framework that any industrious person can learn and apply.
Entrepreneurship: Starting and Operating A Small Business. In its Fourth Edition, Entrepreneurship takes a critical look at contemporary entrepreneurial successes, allowing readers with a range of business interests to engage with and draw insight from the text. Balancing real-world case studies with thoughtful instruction, Entrepreneurship leads readers to develop their business plans step by step, at the end of each chapter.
Essentials of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. By dissecting case studies, examining successes and failures in the context of the market, and observing the tactics used by today’s most successful small business ventures, students can develop the skills that will give them a unique advantage in a hotly competitive environment.
UNSCRIPTED: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship. UNSCRIPTED is the definitive blueprint for escaping the cultural conditioning of the mundane and mediocre; learn how to create an awe-inspiring life using the power of entrepreneurship. UNSCRIPTED is not something your TRY, it is something you LIVE.
Further Learning: Best Entrepreneurship Courses
Entrepreneurship by The University of Pennsylvania. This five-course series is designed to take you from opportunity identification through launch, growth, financing and profitability. With guidance from Wharton’s top professors, along with insights from current Wharton start-up founders and financiers, you’ll develop an entrepreneurial mindset and hone the skills you need to develop a new enterprise with potential for growth and funding, or to identify and pursue opportunities for growth within an existing organization.
Entrepreneurship Strategy: From Ideation to Exit. This course covers in the chronological order each defining step of an entrepreneurial project. It begins with very personal considerations related to getting to better know yourself better so as to decide if you are ready for the multiple challenges of entrepreneurship.
DO Your Venture: Entrepreneurship For Everyone. You will learn the “DO your Venture” ideology, which will teach you common paths entrepreneurs take when launching their own venture. You will also learn the tools and techniques for generating ideas and then test your ideas in the field and gather feedback.
Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business. This course examines the entrepreneurial mindset and skill sets, indicators of innovation opportunities, critical steps to bring innovations to the marketplace, and innovation strategies to establish and maintain a competitive advantage.