Tuesday, March 9, 2010

An Entrepreneur is:

I've realized that I've been using the word entrepreneur often recently and it isn't something they really teach in any school I've been in so I will tell people what it means. I'm going to try and describe different qualities of an entrepreneur. First the definition from the Apple Inc. Dictionary application 2.0.3 on my computer:
entrepreneur |ˌäntrəprəˈnoŏr; -ˈnər|nouna person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.a promoter in the entertainment industry.
ORIGIN early 19th cent. (denoting the director of a musical institution):from French, from entreprendre undertake(see enterprise ).

To be honest, that is a very lacking definition. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject:
  • Scrappy. An entrepreneur will do what it take to survive. He or she will do unpleasant things to stay afloat. For example: "Call who? You've got to be kidding. I can't do that!"
  • Desperate. Whatever it takes to make the sale will be considered.
  • Terrified. This is one that separates those who do and those who do not. To make it as an entrepreneur you have to wake up terrified about what you have to do, then do it anyway. Many people delay their life because they are afraid. I am working on this one...
  • Committed. There is no half effort in starting a venture like a company. It's all or nothing.
  • Passionate. Who else would work around the clock on some project just to get paid in sweat equity (ownership in a company based on work put in instead of money invested) and intellectual property?
  • Stingy. Somehow money just seems to always disappear...
  • Brave. Facing fears on a daily basis changes the nature of risk. What might once have seemed like a huge risk is now even less scary than driving in Boston.
  • Helpless. While many entrepreneurs start with the intention of doing everything on their own most quickly learn they can't do everything. In fact many find that there aren't too many things that they do well.
  • Curious. Of the successful start up companies that I know of most of the owners thought 'why can't I/we do it better?' There is a certain interest to attempting something with an uncertain end.
  • Resourceful. An entrepreneur doesn't have to be a true renaissance man but he or she does have to get things done that are outside of his or her formal training.
  • Energetic. I think this word fits better than optimistic or hopeful. The idea is that an entrepreneur is excited to go to work and be there all day long.
That's what I can think of. I thought about innovative for a while but I think that an entrepreneur honestly does not have be terribly innovative. I think that often times it involves applying a proven method to a different location or market such as franchising.

If you have any additional thoughts post them blow.

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