Entrepreneurship – What it takes to be an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship – What it takes to be an Entrepreneur

A Few years ago almost any one could have been an entrepreneur; all you needed was a hot –or even lukewarm idea. Billions of dollars went into ventures hatched by fresh-faced youngsters with, at most, a couple of years of experience at pricey consultancies or high-tech companies under their belts. So they had a little business experience? No problem; they could always find a grown-up, like eBay CEO Meg Whitman, to handle the operations. Not surprisingly, many young people came to believe entrepreneurship was a safe career choice. More than a few of their elders, too, underestimated the risks involved in financing start-ups and ended up pouring millions of dollars into doomed ventures.

The economic downturn has shattered those illusions.  Now as we sift through the debris of hundreds of failed internet companies, it’s a good time to ask the hard questions that many would-be entrepreneurs – and those who bankrolled them – overlooked in the heady days of the boom: what really makes an entrepreneur? What characteristics set successful entrepreneur apart, enabling them to venture against all odds and keep them alive even in the worst or times? Do you have those characteristics, and if you don’t, can you develop them?

The truth is, real entrepreneurship is a far cry from managing an established business and farther still from the sanitized model that became popular during the late 1990s. the research says there are intriguing similarities in the way that successful entrepreneurs behave, similarities that hold true no matter the country or industry involved. Winning entrepreneurs feel comfortable striking the boundaries of property. They are passionate enough about their idea to assume enormous personal risks – powerful enemies, bankruptcy, even jail – to realize their dreams. However grand their vision they are ready to start small and patiently scrabble in the mud for any idea they can swing. Profoundly opportunistic, they will do what ever it takes to win the confidence of their customers and investors, knowing that simply staying in the business is the only thing that matters.   

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