In this video, SmartBusinessPlan CEO Johannes Pankoke gives us an in depth view on what it takes to be an entrepreneur and why you should or shouldn’t become one.
You can either watch the video or read the article below.
Having contact with a vast number of entrepreneurs all over the world, we are sometimes not sure if all of them are ready to enter the business sector. So today, we are going on a journey to discover what it takes to be an entrepreneur. It will not be about money, contacts or a product, but about the mind-set, one needs to be successful in entrepreneurship.
In this first segment, we are going to talk about the basic skills everyone needs to become a successful businessperson. There are three basic set of skills that you need:
Expertise: Being an expert in your field is great. It enables you to work closely with your team and allows you to understand technical speech. The danger here lies in trying to control everything yourself. Delegation is the key not to overload yourself. Even the biggest experts need to learn to delegate.
Innovation: Being the innovator in your startup, you come up with new concepts and spot new opportunities. While this is an important skill to have as an entrepreneur, be sure to also listen to the surrounding people. They might offer different perspectives you haven’t even thought of.
Management: Everywhere where people work together, there has to be someone to manage and lead. Clearly defined processes help to make this particular job easier. Next to the hard facts, it is also important to have an open ear for your employees when they come to you with problems or ideas. However, don’t try to micromanage every little process in your enterprise. Even though it is your baby, you have to distance yourself from being overprotective. It would only annoy yourself and your team members.
Every entrepreneur needs these three skills. The problem is, you can’t be a pro in all three. That would make you a unicorn, and they are quite rare. Most entrepreneurs will have varying levels in the three departments. Commonly you will succeed in two of the three. So, you could be a grade “A” innovator and an expert in your field. Great, but you lack management abilities. Alternatively, you are both a manager and an expert, but lack the vision that drives advancement. You are not going to achieve all three and that’s okay. You need to delegate at least one of these tasks to an employee or business partner to excel at the others. You can’t do everything by yourself.
The second chapter will take a look at the character traits that could help you succeed in entrepreneurship. These attributes will also help survive the harsh experience that is starting your own enterprise.
Endurance: Starting your business is a long and hard process. You are not in for a sprint – it is a marathon. Be aware of that before you begin the journey because it is going to be a long-term commitment. Ask yourself: Am I prepared to put the hard work in for such a long time? More importantly: Do I have the energy to work on this for the next 5 or 10 years? Because you might not get a moment to catch your breath before that.
Ambition: Nobody starts an enterprise without ambition. To be successful, your drive and motivation will let you spot and realize opportunities to grow your business. Showing this dedication to the project will motivate your team to work as hard as you do. You will project confidence and ambition to your environment and in turn convince your team, your partners and your customers, that you are going to be successful. Don’t be afraid to show how driven you are.
Balance: As was said before, starting your company is a long-term commitment. You are going to live of restricted funds for the duration. That’s why you want to be as efficient as possible. Balancing your departments is a necessity. Keep asking yourself: Am I doing too much marketing? Or too little? What about sales? If done right, every department should have the funds and time they need. Work-life balance is another big issue. You need it to stay healthy and bring your “A” game as an entrepreneur. Working your 50 hour weeks isn’t the issue here. Taking time for yourself is what you need to learn. Spend that time with family, outside or on vacation. It will allow you to recharge. Balance both your startup and your personal life because one cannot exist without the other.
Now that we know what you need to bring to the table, let’s find out why you want the table. There are several reasons why people want to be entrepreneurs. These three are the most common plans:
Market Domination: Basically, you want to be better than everybody else is. To achieve that, you will need to be a unicorn. Being a unicorn is rare, but not unheard of. Your skill set and insight will allow you to beat every competitor on the market. For a big portion of entrepreneurs, this is a good goal to work towards but not one you necessarily need to reach.
Steady Success: This is where most startup founders will and should land. By sustainably grow your business, you allow it to advance in a much more natural way. You generate enough profit to live comfortably, while still having enough time to focus on additional enterprises.
Exit: You build it, to sell it. By using all resources to grow your company, you try to make it as big and appealing as possible for potential buyers. Unfortunately, this means anything but a sustainable company growth and the sole monetary focus is a bad driver for a success story.
We would recommend you opt for option number two, as it is been the most sustainable of the goals. When spending 5-10 years on getting your company to a successful position, you want it to stay that way. This does not mean you should groom all the generations to come, to succeed you as the CEO of the same company. Instead, build a company with a natural life cycle. If somebody comes along and shows interest in buying your company, you can make that decision when it arises. Don’t set it as your goal.
These were the aspects we, at SmartBusinessPlan, think are vital for every successful entrepreneur. Actually becoming one and deciding how and why, is up to you. Don’t forget: It’s fun to have your own company and can be one of the most rewarding things you do in life. It will just take hard work and dedication to get there. So really, ask yourself: Do I want to be an entrepreneur? Why?