Back to basics: Entrepreneurship for dummies

- December 2, 2013 4 MIN READ

Disclosure: This article is intended for those who’ve only recently come across the word ‘entrepreneurship’ in the dictionary and want a slightly longer explanation.

Being one’s own boss – to have total command of how one’s career is going to be – seems like the dream job of almost everybody nowadays. The financial incentive is undeniably worth considering. If someone can come up with a unique idea and raise enough capital to back it up, they have a very good chance of making it big. Everyone has heard of numerous stories in different versions about precocious kids who strike gold with their ideas, and quickly ascend to join the select group of millionaires before they are barely of drinking age.

Even older career men and women find themselves making the switch from corporate offices or professions to the independence offered by being an entrepreneur. It may be the less hectic schedule, or having ultimately no bosses to answer to, or the fulfillment of a bigger dream that fuels the drive on having a successful startup business.

People witness these kinds of tales every day on TV and in the newspaper, and they instill in everyone a sense of optimism that being a successful entrepreneur might not be so far-fetched after all. Entrepreneurship is closely associated with two values – freedom and money – and so it’s understandable that everyone is trying to be an entrepreneur of some sort these days. Answering the need for some guidance in entrepreneurship, here are four acquirable qualities every ‘wannabe’ should understand:

Being proactive in educating oneself

Once a person has the idea for his business venture, it is time to start learning about the logistics needed in the trade. If they are diving into a business field that they are already knowledgeable about – one that plays to their strengths and skills – their experience will give them the upper hand in starting a business of their own. But if they are interested in opening up a venture in which they have no experience, they should not be afraid; they can still have a successful business as long as they are willing to research thoroughly and learn.

They can start by studying the top people in their field, get in touch with the community to build up their network and gain trade knowledge, and develop an inquisitive mind to keep inquiring and learning about the business to help it grow and expand.

Being passionate and fearless about what they want

These two characteristics go hand in hand in determining the success of any business startup. If they really believe in what they are doing, they will do whatever it takes to see their vision come to life. That resolve includes putting in countless, unpaid hours and resources to build their business – a business that is still in the gray area of success — without letting the uncertainty feeling get in the way of their work.  They will need to be able to focus their mind solely on the task at hand and be not bothered by other people’s judgment about their effort, which is a hard feat to achieve.

Many aspects about startup businesses are susceptible to failures and cost a lot of money to actualise – one big glaring negative that often deters people from trying their luck at entrepreneurship. But if they can get past that and prepare themselves well, the payoff might be substantial.

Being a visionary

Every entrepreneur is eccentric in one way or another. The embodiment of that quality is the way they perceive the world: Where others see dead ends, they see a chance of turning the tables to benefit themselves by making something new. That something might be what other people never thought of needing before; but now that it is made, they can’t live without it. The main example in this case is the iPad.

Before Steve Jobs came up with the idea of creating a full touch-screen device that essentially works as a computer, people lived just fine with their laptops and desktop computers. Since its launch in April 2010, other computer companies have followed Apple’s direction and have created their own versions of the iPad. Jobs created a need for the market and not the other way around – a casual act for a visionary but an eccentric one for an entrepreneur. This trait also rates him as one of the best visionaries to date.

Keeping Up with Current Technology

Almost all industries – big and small – live on technology these days. Gone are the days when markets relied solely on traditional advertising and marketing schemes. Every business now must keep up with the trends to make it big, or at least keep afloat – this is even more applicable for startup ideas, which are often introduced first on the Internet. With the help of social media and network sharing, ideas are spread out to the world faster than wildfire.

Of course, this works to the advantage of the entrepreneur, who should even take full advantage of such platforms. Technology has helped many industries expand from startup businesses to full empires and franchises. With sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest now accessible to everyone that has a computer or mobile device, getting the word out has become all the more easier. Of course, this comes together with the application of basic SEO principles, affiliate marketing tactics, and other online advertising strategies depending on what the entrepreneur prefers.

These four qualities are found in a lot of successful entrepreneurs, and the good news is that they can be learned. For people who have never managed any business but wish to be an entrepreneur, they can start doing work that will sharpen these particular traits, such as being the leader of a project.

In the long term, they will get used to these qualities and will practice them naturally – leading to success and productivity, which is the whole point of having a business, after all. With these pointers in mind, all hopeful business owners can venture out with their products or services towards complete financial freedom.

If any of this seems like common sense to you, congratulations you’re ready to become an entrepreneur (or already are)!