Entrepreneurship is receiving lots of attention now as technology startup companies disrupt traditional industries, from education to transportation and food production to sustainable construction.
While the main way people see entrepreneurship today is through startup companies, entrepreneurs can also start small businesses and other organisations, such as social enterprises. Broadly understood, an entrepreneur can also mean someone who is 'enterprising', or ready to undertake a bold or difficult activity.
All sorts of people become entrepreneurs. You have to have a good idea for a business and be determined to do everything you possibly can to make that business succeed.
Thankfully, the path to entrepreneurship doesn't require a magic key.
'... the path to entrepreneurship doesn't require a magic key.'
Ultimately, you need to be creative, resourceful and good at communicating. And you need to be someone who is prepared to take risks in order to accomplish their goals.
Most entrepreneurs are renowned for their creativity. Being creative helps you to respond flexibly to the changes and challenges of running an enterprise.
There are two types of creative thinking that entrepreneurs use:
- evaluating, analysing and selecting the best of a range of ideas (convergent thinking)
- having new, diverse and complex ideas (divergent thinking).
If you're not sure of your creative abilities, here are some ideas to help you improve them.
- Find out about successful entrepreneurs. Search the internet using words like 'famous entrepreneurs'.
- Take on a new challenge with short, medium and long-term goals.
- Look for new ideas and experiences: watch a movie that's not your usual style, listen to new music, read different types of books and magazines, visit galleries and even try new food.
- Keep a journal: write in it each morning for about ten minutes. Write down your ideas, problems and thoughts. Add to it during the day.
Being resourceful means you can use your skills and knowledge creatively to sort out problems in your workplace. You will need experience in getting information and knowing what to do with it. Here are some ways to do this.
- Work in a team where you can use different skills and knowledge.
- Join an entrepreneur meetup or online discussion group.
- Look for courses that might help you.
- Join a professional association.
- Subscribe to professional magazines.
Entrepreneurs need to be good communicators. If you aren't a strong communicator, you might need to find ways to feel more comfortable when you interact with other people.
Communication is not just about talking. Good listening skills are also very important for an entrepreneur. You can learn to be a good listener.
Good communication can help you:
- get your ideas across, and take in other people's ideas
- solve problems
- improve the way you get on with other people
- encourage the people around you to share their ideas
- choose the right employees and make sure they understand what their job will be.
You can learn to be a good communicator. If you want to improve your listening or speaking skills you could ask for help from your home teacher or school counsellor (if you're still at school) or go to a communication course. These people can help you with communication strategies you might not have thought about.