What makes an entrepreneur tick?


Entrepreneurs visualize.

They can see the solution to a problem that isn't in the realm of accepted practices. They can look a problem and take a different approach to solving it. This is what sets them apart and different from the “normal” person that thinks the thing to do is go to a “JOB”, do the job as it has always been done, turn in his hourly time, go home, then return the next day to do the same thing.

We are, or have become, a culture of Attention Deficit junkies. What do I mean? And can we profit from and exploit this trend in building better networks in Markethive?

 Markethive’s focus is on the entrepreneurial mindset. So perhaps we need to make a simple definition of that mindset before we develop this dissertation:

“Individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets are often drawn to opportunities, innovation and new value creation. Characteristics include the ability to take calculated risks and accept the realities of change and uncertainty.” Financial Times

“When we choose to embark on a path not chartered, we are engaging in a “small act of entrepreneurship.” Being entrepreneurial is essentially about thinking and doing something that we have not done before, in order to achieve a desirable goal or outcome. When we think innovatively and act on that innovation, we are entrepreneurs.” Forbes

Entrepreneurs take action.

Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and co-star of TV’s Shark Tank, says people who have a concept but not necessarily a detailed strategy are more likely to have that entrepreneurial je ne sais quoi. “I hate entrepreneurs with beautiful business plans,” she says.

Corcoran’s recommendation? “Invent as [you] go,” rather than spending time writing a plan at your desk. In fact, she believes that those who study business may be prone to over-analyzing situations rather than taking action.

Entrepreneurs scared.

“Many entrepreneurs judged as ambitious are really insecure underneath,” Corcoran says. When evaluating potential investments, she adds, “I want someone who is scared to death.” Those who are nervous about failing can become hyper-focused and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. If you feel insecure, use that emotion to drive you to achieve your business goals.

Entrepreneurs are resourceful.

“One of my favorite TV shows growing up was MacGyver,” confides Tony Hsieh, lifelong entrepreneur and CEO of Las Vegas-based Zappos, “because he never had exactly the resources he needed but would somehow figure out how to make everything work out. Ultimately, I think that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about.” It’s not about having enough resources, he explains, but being resourceful with what you do have.

Entrepreneurs obsess over cash flow.

Prior to founding Brainshark, a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of sales productivity software, Joe Gustafson bootstrapped a venture called Relational Courseware. “All I ever thought about was cash flow and liquidity,” he admits. “There were seven times in [the company’s] eight-year history when I was days or hours away from payroll and didn’t have enough cash to make it.” How did he respond? “In the early days, you could step up and put expenses on your personal credit card, but that can only go so far,” he says. “You need cash.”

Entrepreneurs don’t ask for permission.

Stephane Bourque, founder and CEO of Vancouver, British Columbia-based Incognito Software, says true entrepreneurial types are more likely to ask for forgiveness than permission, forging ahead to address the opportunities or issues they recognize.

“Entrepreneurs are never satisfied with the status quo,” says Bourque, who discovered he was not destined for the corporate world when his new and better ways of doing things were interpreted as unwanted criticism by his bosses. Now, he says, “I wish my employees would get into more trouble,” because it shows they are on the lookout for opportunities to improve themselves or company operations.

Entrepreneurs are fearless.

Where most avoid risk, entrepreneurs see potential, says Robert Irvine, chef and host of Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible. True ’treps are not afraid to leverage their houses and run up their credit card balances to amass the funds they need to create a new venture. In some ways, he says, they are the ultimate optimists, because they believe that their investments of time and money will eventually pay off.

Entrepreneurs welcome change.

“If you have only one acceptable outcome in mind, your chances of making it are slim,” cautions Rosemary Camposano, president and CEO of Silicon Valley chain Halo Blow Dry Bars. She says that if you are willing to listen, your clients will show you which of your products or services provide the most value.

Her original vision for Halo was part blow-dry bar, part gift shop, “to help busy women multitask,” she explains. But she quickly learned that the gift shop was causing confusion about the nature of her business, so she took it out and replaced it with an extra blow-dry chair, and things took off. Smart entrepreneurs constantly evolve, tweaking their business concepts in response to market feedback.

Entrepreneurs consider themselves outsiders.

Entrepreneurs aren’t always accepted, says Vincent Petryk, founder of J.P. Licks, a Boston chain of ice-cream shops. They may be seen as opinionated, quirky and demanding—but that is not necessarily a bad thing. “They are often rejected for being different in some way, and that just makes them work harder,” Petryk says. Case in point: Rather than copying what most other ice-cream shops were doing, including buying from the same well-known suppliers, Petryk forged his own path for J.P. Licks, developing made-from-scratch desserts in bold flavors.

Entrepreneurs recover quickly.

It’s a popular notion that successful entrepreneurs fail fast and fail often. For Corcoran, the trick is in the speed of recovery: If you fail, resist the urge to mope or feel sorry for yourself. Don’t wallow; move on to the next big thing immediately.

Entrepreneurs listen.

Actress Jessica Alba, co-founder and president of Santa Monica, Calif.-based The Honest Company, which sells baby, home and personal-care products, notes that “it’s important to surround yourself with people smarter than you and to listen to ideas that aren’t yours. I’m open to ideas that aren’t mine and people that know what I don’t, because I think success takes communication, collaboration and, sometimes, failure.”

Origional article by: Thomas Prendergast

Dennis Roeder


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