Entrepreneurs are driven by the possibility of starting a new venture or business to create something new or novel from an innovative idea with the likelihood of making a lot of money or helping others.
There are many examples of entrepreneurs, from Bill Gates to Oprah Winfrey, who have recognised when an opportunity existed which allowed them to harvest substantial financial or personal rewards. However, the harvesting only comes through having the right attitude, attributes, research and resources.
Here are 5 ways you can think and work like an entrepreneur:
Think “outside the square” and have a “can do” attitude
Entrepreneur are opportunity obsessed. This means that they have an “always on” radar for good opportunities to enter into new markets or industries. Their “can do” attitude provides them with the will power to build something from nothing. This attitude also enables them to think “outside the square” when steering their new venture through ever present threats by planning, be prepared and being able to mitigate risk in unpredictable circumstances.
Work hard and watch the pennies
Entrepreneurs are renowned for being passionate, hard-working individuals. These traits ensure that their new venture gets off the ground, often with limited resources. This means that entrepreneurs are very resourceful by doing more with less, usually by using other people’s resources, and with little external financial support. This means being frugal with cash and other resources even when they get early wins, as they need to remain self-disciplined by remaining focussed on the long term value of their venture.
Think quick but think smart
At the start of the opportunity, the entrepreneur needs to make a quick assessment to determine whether the potential opportunity is worth investing their time and money. The characteristics of a good opportunity include determining whether the opportunity has a high return with good cash flow, and that it can be established with limited resources. The assessment also needs to also take into account whether the opportunity is happening at a window of time where change or discontinuity is ripe or chaos is happening, or where there are inconsistencies or gaps in the existing level of service or quality of the product which can be capitalised.
Work with others and share the success
Entrepreneurs knows they cannot realise an opportunity of their own. They need to form and lead a team which is results focussed. Entrepreneurs are also willing to reward success by sharing the wealth that the venture brings and promises with the team who has helped them to create this success, usually through share allocation or recognition. They also need to support honest failure and help their team learn quickly from that failure. This process comes through effective leadership skills and new business concepts such as creating a flat organisation built on a culture of change and chaos, and which is managed by semi-autonomous teams. The entrepreneur also builds heroes within their team to help them realise their vision.
Think organised, sustainably and be iterative
Entrepreneurs mitigates risk and communicate their mission or opportunity through a well researched business plan which explains the fits and gaps of the opportunity. The entrepreneur always ensures that their new venture is sustainable in terms of the environment, their community and societal impacts to ensure the long term sustainability of their venture. While described in a linear way, an entrepreneur’s actions are actually iterative in nature, where they are constantly and quickly learning and improving from mistakes and failures to ensure not too many resources are used if the opportunity does not work out.
Work and think like entrepreneur, Elon Musk of Space X, Tesla, SolarCity and OpenAI:
Elon Musk is a well-known entrepreneur who has accumulated US$14 Billion as a business magnate, investor, engineer and inventor. Elon is currently the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc, Chairman of SolarCity and Co-chairman of OpenAI.
Towards the start of the accumulation of Elon’s wealth, Elon co-founded X.com in 1999, an online financial services and e-mail payment company. In partnership with his brother, Elon recognised that there was a window of opportunity to provide these types of services as the internet has growing exponentially.
X.com then merged with Confinity which had the money transfer service, Paypal. Elon and his brother then spent their time and resources building a team to grow the PayPal service using viral marketing. To ensure they used limited resources, Elon rewarded his team through PayPal shares. Elon and his brother were able to communicate their vision for PayPal to their team and shareholders through their business plan. Elon and his brother also took into account PayPal’s impact on the environment, their community and society in general.
When eBay acquired PayPal in 2002 for US$1.5 billion in stock. Elon’s 10% share in PayPal netted him US$165 million. Throughout this entrepreneurial process, Elon was faced with many risks, including being ousted of his CEO role (but remained on the Board) when the PayPal Board did not want Elon to take the risk of moving PayPal’s Unix-based infrastructure to Microsoft Windows (Wikipedia, 2017).
Contact us now (email or [+61] 0400 732 270) to discuss how we can help you think and work more like an entrepreneur.