When it comes to entrepreneurship, many words spring to mind. Innovation. Business acumen. Determination. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, entrepreneurship has grown by leaps and bounds. The global market is inundated with entrepreneurs and small businesses. In fact, terms like “unicorn” and “decacorn” seem to be on the tips of everybody’s tongues. According to Forbes, the Small Business Optimism Index was a whopping 99.7 points in July 2021. Furthermore, young organizations account for 20% of the employment in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. In short, entrepreneurship is going to be an integral career path in the future. But what is entrepreneurship and how to become an entrepreneur?
Essentially, entrepreneurship refers to an individual or a small group of individuals who set out to establish and grow their own business venture. An entrepreneur is an aspiring and persevering individual who stands to benefit the most from the success of their venture. Similarly, they also bear the highest amount of risk associated with the business.
Types of Entrepreneurs
The right kind of entrepreneur can take a business to heights never imagined before. Therefore, it’s crucial to identify the different personas associated with entrepreneurs, which helps one determine their style and kind of entrepreneurship.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology also known as MIT Sloan, identifies 5 types of entrepreneurs:
#1: The Curious Entrepreneur
Often seen as a starting point for entrepreneurship, this is someone who is interested in the nitty-gritty of starting a business venture. Such an individual may also branch out into an entirely different career path as well over time.
#2: The Joiner
They may have a business idea and be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Mostly, these are the people who are likely to join an existing startup.
#3: The Ready-to-go Entrepreneur
This type of entrepreneur has the team, the business strategy, and the technology in place but requires help launching the venture. Generally, they lack sufficient funding.
#4: The Corporate Entrepreneur
As the name suggests, corporate entrepreneurs do not work in a startup environment but rather in big companies. However, they have an entrepreneurial mindset and understand the benefits of innovative thinking. Such individuals tend to have excellent problem-solving skills.
#5: The Amplifier
This is an individual who supports and promotes entrepreneurship but may not establish a business venture themselves.
An Entrepreneurial Mindset
When we look at the types of entrepreneurs, a certain pattern seems to emerge. Entrepreneurs are go-getters whose instincts are to dream big and think flexibly. Put simply, they have an entrepreneurial mindset; that is to say, they possess certain personality traits that enable them to undertake such ventures. Entrepreneurs are most often:
- Flexible and adaptable
- Willing to learn
The success of an entrepreneur depends largely on their ability to harness such qualities to the maximum. Be it a growth-oriented start-up or a small business, many entrepreneurs are also motivated by the zeal to create a positive impact on their surroundings. In the words of Bill Aulet, Managing Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship,
“All humans are born entrepreneurs; we wouldn’t survive if we weren’t.”
A Typical Day in the Life of an Entrepreneur
Starting a business venture entails numerous tasks and decisions. Not only is it important to identify a business model suited to one’s needs, but factors such as the allocation and utilization of resources, implementing sustainable frameworks, and regularly examining one’s performance are key to launching a business. Considering how, as the founder, they juggle all of the above and more, a typical day in the life of an entrepreneur is far from predictable. Some may wake up at the crack of dawn and respond to emails while sipping on an espresso, while others use their mornings to spend time with family. However, for all entrepreneurs, the day begins with the motivation to get work done well.
#1: Time Management is Key
The important point to note is that the life of an entrepreneur is structured to utilize all the hours of the day. They are required to wear various hats, and time is measured in the amount of work done rather than the number of hours worked. One may meet clients for breakfast, attend an investor meeting for lunch, and spend the evening delegating work. Evidently, an entrepreneur is a salesperson, a founder, and an HR, all at the same time.
#2: Having Structure is Important
In order to succeed with a lifestyle such as this, it’s important to identify when one is at their most motivated and productive best. For some, meetings can be taxing and are best conducted in the morning, so that the rest of the day seems relaxing in comparison. According to Forbes, it is believed that intellectual work and critical decision-making are best done in the morning when one is fresh, and creative work is pursued once fatigue starts to set in.
#3: De-stressing is Vital
Incredibly passionate and motivated, entrepreneurs work round the clock because they love what they do. However, given the stress of an entrepreneurial lifestyle, quality time must be reserved for themselves. Reading, working out, relaxing, meditating, and spending time with family can all be included in a typical day in the life of an entrepreneur if they structure their tasks and follow a schedule.
Entrepreneurship Across Industries and Sectors
As entrepreneurs are highly skilled and have diverse talents, their demand continues to rise across industries. However, some sectors hold more promise compared to others, and therefore, it is important for aspiring entrepreneurs to identify such sectors, thereby increasing their chances of success. According to many experienced entrepreneurs, the following are the five industries where the importance of entrepreneurship is highly visible:
#1: Internet and Data Services
Unprecedented growth in technology, especially mobile technology, and the growing reliance on e-commerce continue to boost the growth of start-ups and small businesses around the world. The tech revolution, combined with the advancement in metrics and data analysis, offers a fertile ground for entrepreneurs.
#2: Software and Computer Systems
In the 21st century, data has become the new currency and software dominates every aspect of our lives. The interesting thing about software is that it creates the need for more software; for instance, e-commerce needs digital payments to survive and thrive. Such a scenario greatly fuels entrepreneurship and opens up opportunities for growth.
#3: Accounting Services
With the implementation of new financial and banking regulations, accounting and auditing services have seen a sharp rise in demand. This is especially true of private accounting firms and startups that are certain to see enormous expansion.
#4: Business Consulting
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across the globe have undergone a transformation, with many re-evaluating and adapting their strategy to suit the changing needs of the times. This, coupled with advanced manufacturing, results in an increasing need for management and technical consultants. This can be for various aspects, such as business strategy, marketing, and budgets which, in turn, propels the growth of businesses in the consulting sector.
#5: Home and Health Care
The growing health consciousness within households, along with a focus on holistic healthcare, further encourages the proliferation of entrepreneurship. The advent of e-retail is closely bound with this phenomenon. It also serves as a catalyst for startups and business ventures. Furthermore, the aging population presents budding entrepreneurs with ample opportunity for growth.
Apart from the aforementioned sectors, the food and retail industries continue to see a rise in the demand for entrepreneurship.
How to Become an Entrepreneur in 2022
By now, it must be clear that entrepreneurship relies more on personality traits rather than technical skills and educational qualifications. Anybody can be an entrepreneur given that they have what it takes to not only launch a venture but to take complete responsibility for its growth. They must also possess the ability to excel in a variety of roles, such as that of a leader, a human resource specialist, a marketing expert, and a salesperson. In 2018, 15.6% of the US adult population were entrepreneurs and these numbers continue to grow in 2022. Also, 68% of the world’s richest people are self-made entrepreneurs.
In addition to having an entrepreneurial mindset as described previously in the article, in order to become an entrepreneur, one must be a risk-taker and possess excellent time-management, leadership, decision-making, and negotiation skills. Also, along with dedication and passion, an aspiring entrepreneur ought to be a visionary and have the power to persuade others, plan strategically, and build relationships.
Although no qualifications are a prerequisite, certain educational programs can greatly sharpen one’s entrepreneurial skills. These include business management, finance, and human resources. However, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, a successful entrepreneur is one who never backs down and always has the bigger picture in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions About Entrepreneurship
#1: Can an entrepreneur work from home?
This depends on the industry that the business venture is a part of. In industries such as manufacturing and hospitality, on-site work is mandatory even for the founder. Entrepreneurship also requires brainstorming sessions and frequent client meetings. Thanks to applications like Zoom and Skype, this is easily achievable from the comfort of one’s home. However, given the high stakes involved in a growing business, personal interaction can go a long way.
During the initial stages, most startups choose to not spend on infrastructure (especially rent). Some of the world’s biggest companies started in garages.
#2: Are analytics and coding necessary for entrepreneurship?
If a venture falls in the tech sector or a category that relies on these skills, then yes, they are necessary. When the need arises, entrepreneurs can choose to get the right help too.
#3: Is entrepreneurship on the rise or is it a declining trend?
Evidently, and especially since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, entrepreneurship has seen infinite growth across industries and sectors. With advancements in technology, specifically communications and social media, anybody can become an entrepreneur in 2022.
Common Misconceptions About Entrepreneurship
In this era of entrepreneurship taking on a nearly cult-like status, myths about the field abound. Here’s a list of some of the most common misconceptions surrounding entrepreneurship.
#1: Entrepreneurs cannot succeed without large funding
If venture capital funding was the only way to go, most business ventures would never see the light of day. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs often bootstrap their way to prosperity, thanks to their grit, interpersonal skills, and vision.
#2: Entrepreneurship is lonely and involves an one-man team
While it’s true that entrepreneurs don many hats, a crucial aspect of the job is delegation of work. It takes an immense number of skills to assemble the correct team and surround oneself with the right people. Doing everything by themselves could potentially be a route to burnout and failure.
#3: Successful entrepreneurs are well-connected and privileged
If recent entrepreneurship trends are anything to go by, anybody can be an entrepreneur, connections notwithstanding. Knowing the right people always helps but it’s the ability to forge long-term relationships and add real value, that takes businesses to great heights.
#4: Entrepreneurs are their own bosses
On paper, this is absolutely true. However, successful entrepreneurship entails a strong sense of accountability. Once a venture accepts VC funding, the founder is answerable to investors. In the case of a co-owned business, there must be a consensus among all the co-founders.
If you feel you have ideas to solve real-world problems, and are wondering how to become an entrepreneur, educating yourself on the ways of entrepreneurship is a good place to start. Moreover, with the rate at which the world of business is evolving, education can also help develop domain and subject expertise. Become an Entrepreneur in 2022 with the help of Emeritus’ online courses. We cater to entry-level professionals, executives, and leaders across domains and languages.
Entrepreneurship is one of our most sought-after courses as the courses in the portfolio guide the learner from the get-go and at every step of their journey. Starting with coming up with the right business model, and implementing sustainable structures and strategies, Emeritus helps one examine their own performance as an entrepreneur and take the necessary steps to improve.
Want the lowdown on how to become an entrepreneur? Check out the selection of online entrepreneurship courses offered by Emeritus!
By Deyasini Chatterjee
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