Several readers have asked me to write in my column about what constitutes a successful entrepreneur.
So today, let me offer you a sketch of Mr Okanagan Entrepreneur —that mystical, magical human that perhaps many of us would gladly emulate given the right set of circumstances.
You will recall from previous articles how I invited you to embrace the notion that an entrepreneur is a person who looks at the world the same as you and I but thinks differently, a person who grasps a perceived opportunity when he or she sees it, analyzes it, evaluates it and arrives at that crescendo of faith: “I have it, now, I will do it”
So what is the right recipe for those who wan to be their own boss, run their own innovative enterprise but you are not sure you have the right qualifications.
What are the characteristics of an entrepreneur? Is your personal profile similar to that of a successful entrepreneur?
The simple truth is that the majority of us are not born leaders, but become entrepreneurial leaders through “who we are” and the actions we take.
So be willing to open your mind, your heart and your sense of reasoning as you consider whether these characteristics are part of your driving force.
In my research for today’s column, I reviewed my scholarly texts, the Internet and previous discussion papers I had authored and readily concluded the complementarity of characteristics across the research landscape.
Below are some distinguishing characteristics of effective entrepreneurial leadership:
• a global perspective —appreciates differences across cultures, learns from and finds a common ground
• an entrepreneurial spirit—is not afraid to try new ideas and puts a combinations of ideas together to make things happen
• an enterprise design capability—able to put deals together, structure alliances and relationships and build organizations
• a teacher—people in any organization need to learn new things by those leading them i.e. a teacher
• a fundamental value system—integrity, honesty, respect for the dignity of others and responsibility.
Test yourself with these other factors outline below:
• Drive and energy: The ability to work long hours for sustained periods with less than the normal amount of sleep (ouch).
Self-confidence: A genuine belief in yourself and your ability to achieve your determined goals as an aspiring entrepreneur.
• Setting challenging but realistic goals: The ability to set clear goals and objectives that are challenging, yet realistic and feasible are worthwhile attributes in any manner of behaviour
• Long term involvement: A strong commitment to projects and initiatives that may reach completion in multi-year targets.
• Using money as a performance measurement: Money, in the form of salaries, profits or capital gain ought to be viewed as a measure of how your enterprise is performing rather than as an end in itself.
Evidence-based literature tells us that money is not at the top of the entrepreneurs totem pole for success
• Persistent problem-solving: Must possess an intense and determined desire to solve problems toward completion of tasks—the core essence of entrepreneurial creation is seeking problems and finding solutions “
• Taking moderate risks: Success is generally the result of calculated risk-taking that provides a reasonable and challenging chance of success.
• Learning from failure: Understanding your role in a failure can be very beneficial in avoiding similar situations in the future and establish a clarity for your personal growth.
• Using criticism: You will need to be able to seek and use criticism of the style and substance of your performance; at times a bitter pill to swallow but acceptance of constructive criticism is acceptance of your willingness to grow and become a true entrepreneurial leader.
Successful entrepreneurs never give up. Having faith, trust, confidence and determination with some love thrown in the mix are the qualities needed
I believe we have shared with you a pretty solid recipe for personal growth and change and hopefully, the beginnings of your entrepreneurial spirit.