How To Make an Entrepreneur

With all the talk of a collapsing economy, political reform, and the frightening prospect of socialism hot on our heels, the biggest question raised has been the impact on the entrepreneur. The term “entrepreneur”, however, is one that is easily employed by many, yet not so easily defined. So, with that said, what exactly is an entrepreneur?

The entrepreneur is one that recognizes value. Wherever he or she goes, they are able to see the inherent potential within things. With this said, the next point highlights the fact that all entrepreneurs are future-oriented. In order to recognize hidden value, entrepreneurs must have their eyes on the prize. They can see the potential for a concept, product, or idea and the necessary steps to bring them to fruition.

Before I go any further, I’d like to point out that before you classify “entrepreneurs” based on this criteria, there is one prerequisite: they must have an ideology that supports their efforts. You’ve all heard of countless success stories of people such as Michael Dell or Bill Gates or even – to cite a recent example – Mark Zuckerberg; the underlying commonality between these three is that they all possess a burning passion or desire for what they do. This concept is absolutely central to understanding the entrepreneur. He or she loves what they do, and this is what allows them to successfully accomplish their objectives.

Thirdly, the entrepreneur must be self-reliant and resourceful. Many entrepreneurial ventures transcend preexisting norms and trains of thought. The skeptical backlash entrepreneurs receive is a harsh deterrent because the majority of people do not share their vision. Entrepreneurs must be steadfast in their beliefs and forge on, despite criticism. Additionally, they must be resourceful because that is the nature of their endeavors. Their ideas are sexy, timely, innovative, and threatening; the entrepreneur goes where few dare to venture.

This brings me to my last point: profit. Profit is a tool entrepreneurs utilize to determine progress and improvement. Entrepreneurs are successful because they have monetary limitations; therefore, to maximize output, they must fully understand their customers. Successful entrepreneurial ventures are profitable because they cater to the needs of the consumer. This is the leading indicator/tool entrepreneurs use to measure progress and determine improvement. It is reassuring to know – as a consumer – that entrepreneurs have me in mind as they’re creating new products and marketing ideas. The entrepreneur is, in many ways, more customer focused than his competitors, because it is “do or die”.  His or her product idea, production costs, and marketing strategy, must be better, lower, and more effective than the other guy’s; it must be the best.

Where is the entrepreneur hiding in you?


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One thought on “How To Make an Entrepreneur

  1. I was speaking to a former professor at Grove City about this topic over the Summer in Colorado and he encouraged me to check out the entrepreneurship program at Grove City and put in my thoughts on the subject.

    Starting and operating businesses is something that I have done since the age of 17, (30yrs of experience) and a subject that I am questioned on quite often. Having been through several businesses and currently running several online businesses, I have people ask me where I learned to be an entrepreneur?

    My answer is that I had an opportunity arise and I jumped into it. I was raised in an entrepreneurial household and we learned how to jump into opportunities from our father who was, is, and always will be an entrepreneur. He, however, didn’t learn it from his father. How did he learn to be and entrepreneur? He learned the way that most of us do and that is by opportunity. You hit on this subject in your blog, “Wherever he or she goes, they are able to see the inherent potential within things.” That is almost a universal truth in the quest to start and run a business. We all have the ability to see a need in the marketplace or more specifically, a need that requires a more specific answer or niche.

    The entrepreneur though, runs those scenarios through their head in a bid to see if they are feasible. I know that I do that almost unconsciously when I look at the world around me. I am constantly running those scenarios in my head and find that it has become second nature for me and most of the people in my family. We have made it a normal part of our behavior to evaluate ideas and to balance the pros and cons of those ideas before even giving them any type of consideration. Some people talk sports, we talk business as if it is some kind of game.

    The ideology that you mentioned is an important piece of the puzzle. It is a learned trait and takes practice. That practice becomes second nature to some people over time. I learned that “ideology” from the time that I was a child much like a child would learn a second language. As someone who has trained sales representatives, animators, public speakers and even medical professionals, the ability to recognize a need and to find a solution to that problem or need is easily learned for most people.

    The difficult side to learning to be an entrepreneur arises when you have been trained to depend on a company, government, or anybody else for support. A person who is not independent by nature may have a difficult time making the break into being self reliant. That can be overcome by building a business slowly or as a side venture until it becomes profitable enough to support either your needs or the needs of an employee but it is still a struggle for many people.

    Can you successfully teach somebody to be and entrepreneur? Absolutely! We do it daily. It is exciting to see this track being taught on a university level because our economy relies on bright, self motivated people who are willing to take the risk, jump in and make a businesses work.

    I think that a class on the “Tools and Tricks of the Trade” would be in order for many students. It would focus on the reality of marketing, logistics and finance for the small business.

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