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Entrepreneurs: Their Inspiration, Challenges and Opportunities

By: Michael Kaiser

Entrepreneurs face an arduous climb as they build their business but the view from the top is worth it!

Entrepreneurs face an arduous climb as they build their business but the view from the top is worth it!

From the point of view of our economy’s present and future direction, we can predict that management and executive jobs that lasted or last for more than five years will experience a sea-change in the financial history of our country, to be replaced by interim executives and entrepreneurs. For the purpose of this blog I will cite The Random House Dictionary of the English Language Definition of who is an entrepreneur: “A person who organizes and manages any enterprise, esp. a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.”

I will propose another definition of what an entrepreneur is: He/She are the creative parents of a startup company. In the case of high-technology products and services, those parents have become the innovation and R&D sources of the New Economy.

By the aforementioned dictionary definition, entrepreneurs are driven by deep personal convictions, the main one being the vision of a unique opportunity to be successful in their career choice, as well as financially so. They are also driven by the challenge of their essential need to work after the collapse of job opportunities stemming from an economic recession.

In the search for a better understanding of the entrepreneurial ethos, I came across many useful and diverse points of view, some of which are listed for further reading in the Other References section. Kelly Spors, a staff writer for the Wall Street, in a 2009 edition of the WSJ (notice the start of the Great Recession), asks prospective entrepreneurs ten interrogative and advisory key questions in “So, You Want to Be an Entrepreneur”:

1. Are you willing and able to bear great financial risk?

2. Are you willing to sacrifice your life style for potentially many years?

3. Is your significant other on board?

4. Do you like all aspects of running a business?

5. Are you comfortable making decisions on the fly with no playbook?

6. What’s your track record of executing your ideas?

7. How persuasive and well-spoken are you?

8. Do you have a concept you are passionate about?

9. Are you a self-starter?

10. Do you have a business partner?

For her full article and the content of those questions, click on:  So, You Want to Be an Entrepreneur

For those who took or are ready to take the entrepreneurial plunge, Mike Michalowicz in his American Express’ Open Forum article “The 7 Most Common Money Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make”, warns them in this order:

1. Overhead investments

2. Underestimating miscellaneous expenses

3. Not testing before investing

4. Purchasing extravagance

5. Tax avoidance

6. Spending on do-it-yourself projects

7. Hiring before you can afford it 

To read the full article, click on: The 7 Most Common Money Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make

Finally, the following is an abridged version of a recent article by Bill J. Bonnstetter, which addresses the skills and performance of entrepreneurs from a useful statistical point of view:

“After assessing the subjects on their personal skills and comparing their performance against a control group, we found a certain set of skills were the most predictive of an entrepreneurial mindset. In fact, by examining these five distinct personal skills alone, we were able to predict with over 90 percent accuracy people who would become serial entrepreneurs.  HBR ChartThe quality serial entrepreneurs displayed above others were persuasion, or the ability to convince others to change the way they think, believe or behave. Persuasion for this study was defined as the ability to persuade others to join the mission. In the study, this was uncovered by ranking on a scale of 1 to 6 prompts such as: “I have been recognized for my ability to get others to say yes,” or “I have a reputation for delivering powerful presentations.” Unquestionably entrepreneurs need to excel at persuasion, whether to recruit a team or get buy-in from investors and stakeholders.”

To read the full article, click on:  New Research: The Skills That Make an Entrepreneur

Further Reading:

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