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The Entrepreneur’s Knack

Background

Entrepreneurship is being touted as the magic pill for an ailing U.S. economy, almost every night some local of national news program is promoting that small businesses are the engines of economy growth. All the government has to do is untie the knots that are binding the hands of the entrepreneur and watch how quickly the economy will recover and more jobs will be created. These are all true statements and the United States was built by entrepreneurs such as Henry Ford, JP Morgan, and Thomas Edison and more recently by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. A look at China today and one can see the fingerprints of entrepreneurship and private business as a major factor to China’s growing economy (Yingqui Liu). As one looks back in history or reads about the wealth accumulated by yesterday’s entrepreneurs or observes lifestyle of today’s successful entrepreneurs they believe that the path to a successful life and life’s reward is to become an entrepreneur. The traits that make a private business entrepreneur successful can also be applied to individuals who work for others. Many organizations have recognized the need to retain innovation within their companies and this has led to the development of Intrapreneurship programs, where an individual is allowed the freedom to apply the entrepreneur traits within the company.

Objective

After this discussion and viewing the video you will:
Learn the traits of an entrepreneur
• Learn that these same traits can be applied to social issues
• Learn that change needs to be embraced
• Learn that the driving force of innovation is finding opportunities
• Learn that failure is not final.

Discussion:

The video discussion the traits, skill set and mindset of the Entrepreneur.

Dr. William LaCrourse attempts to differentiate between general and business skills from traits or characteristics that the entrepreneurs needs to possess. Many consider successful entrepreneurs as possessing certain attributes that others do not have, but the video points out that it is not a condition of a person’s DNA make-up but how they apply these traits. For many individuals entrepreneurship is not normally their initial career path, they just happen to stumble into entrepreneurship because they lost a job or their employer closed or relocated their operations. What these individual discovered and developed that led to their success as an entrepreneur was not their skill with an Excel spreadsheet, or their ability to develop a marketing plan but the application of the entrepreneurial traits that turn them into a successful entrepreneur.

Important Points

Entrepreneurship is derived from two French words that mean to undertake, a call to action, so to be an entrepreneur you must possess the ability to act, seize the situation and commit to it. Procrastinations is not part of the entrepreneurs make-up. The knack of entrepreneur is made of a mindset that embraces the willingness to be accountable, the ability to embrace and adapt to change and the ability to take failure, evaluate the causes and gain knowledge from that failure. Another important trait of the entrepreneur is the ability to recognize an opportunity, and then act to capitalize on the opportunity. Even though many entrepreneurs enjoy many of life’s perks most of their satisfaction comes from their desire to build and create.

Summary

Before developing the business plan and obtaining capital the would be entrepreneur should conduct a self analysis of their entrepreneur’s traits. This self-analysis then serves to prepare their mindset and provides a means of determining what traits they need to strengthen in order to improve their potential for success. Another goal should be to seek out successful entrepreneurs, attend conferences where entrepreneurs are present, develop networks that can aid in providing advice and direction. One of the important traits an entrepreneur must exhibit is to recognize when he or she does not know something, and is why every beginning entrepreneur should develop an advisory board to help guide and mentor them. Individuals can often be found who are willing to serve in this role can often be found through associations, such as the chamber of commerce or by contacting local college or universities. The success of the new entrepreneur is dependent of developing the entrepreneurs knack.

References
Yingui Liu, Development of Private Entrepreneurship in China, www.manspieldfdn.org/programs-pdf/ent_china.pda

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