Most often throughout my work, I am asked; what are the most important or most critical factors for entrepreneurial success?
Well, my answer is twofold. First I would like to clear up a misconception many people have on the very nature of entrepreneurship. Although the conventional perception is that any person who starts or runs a business, (a small business, for the most part) is an entrepreneur. My observation is very different. True entrepreneurs are by nature very savvy business people that understand the fundamentals of business from the inside out. To put it another way, people with a natural ability a “neck” for the game of business. Although the business world consists of many personality types, the majority of successful entrepreneurs, by societal standards, at least that I have worked with, seem to Dominate Driver or Ego Expressive characteristics. These are aggressive, often demanding, and socially active people.
There is a very distinct difference between a Conventional Business Owner and an Entrepreneur. Which are you?
Conventional Business owners:
Business owners for the most part are busy running their business focusing on the operational and the financial side of the business. They want to learn and be good at every aspect of their business, as they are the only one that can do it, and believe that they can do it better than anyone else. They personally manage their expenses and spend precious time doing what can be delegated to others. They are risk-averse and very calculated when it comes to spending. They view most business activities as an expense and look at their business’s current reality for what they can or can’t do. They tend to isolate themselves in their own world and they worry a lot. They live in the world of probability.
Spending most of their time expending and building the vision and the future of their business, they are not concerned with knowing everything; they know that they can assimilate the parts to accomplish that objective. They know that they can “buy” or higher skills and knowledge. They tend to give away the operation side of the business to others and spend their time out and about selling and promoting, the key elements to business growth. They are not the best managers. They are charismatic and enrolling. They view problems and breakdowns as opportunities. Their tolerance for risk is very high. They live in the world of possibility.
“Conventional business owners see the glass half empty, Entrepreneurs see the glass half full”
So let me ask you: What is the most important or critical element for entrepreneurial success?
Being a successful entrepreneur is a function of two things and two things only (at least from my point of view):
- Know who you are inside and out and be complete with the way that you are, and the way that you are not.
- Know and understand the market inside and out.
In conclusion, entrepreneurship is not necessarily about knowing finance, operation, product development, technology, etc… Although it is a plus if you have all of that, and most true entrepreneurs do, it is about understanding the market, i.e. people habits, trends, social evolution, the political landscape, and human nature. To have the ability to discover hidden needs and desires, to see a picture not yet crystallized before someone else, and then turn it into a reality.