What is an entrepreneur really?
An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages an economic activity, assuming a financial risk: the so-called business risk .
According to data from the Census Bureau, from 1978 to 2012, there was a decrease of more than 44% in the birth of new enterprises, relative to total enterprises, in the United States. Still, the USA is the home of the American dream! This trend has been interpreted as the decline of entrepreneurship.
Despite this, our general interest in entrepreneurship is still alive and well around the world, according to Google Trends.
As evidence of this, a report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor revealed that, in 2015:
- 66% of adults surveyed worldwide see entrepreneurship as a good career choice
- over half of those of working age feel capable of starting a business.
This is probably due to the constant evolution of the definition of the entrepreneur category , based on new variants and forms of entrepreneurship, from para-entrepreneurs to info-entrepreneurs. Above all, the spirit of initiative in creating value emerges, which in turn creates revenue.
How technology has changed entrepreneurship
A 2015 survey of Inc magazine readers . com revealed that the biggest barriers perceived by aspiring entrepreneurs are as follows:
- “I don’t think I can find enough money” (48%)
- “I miss an idea” (40%)
- “I am discouraged by the high percentage of businesses that fail” (22%)
- “I don’t have the skills” (21%)
- “I’m worried about reconciling business and family” (18%)
- “I’m worried about taxes and regulations” (17%)
- “The competition is too high” (13%)
- “I don’t think I can hire people with the skills I need” (7%).
On closer inspection, however, many of these are, so to speak, “hereditary fears” concerning entrepreneurship. These fears are overcome, taking into account the technologies and platforms that allow us to launch activities, do things and set projects in motion in ways that were previously unthinkable.
A timeline of technology at the service of entrepreneurship
Over the past 20 years, we have seen the emergence of new software, tools and platforms that eliminate the fears and pain points associated with starting and running a business. And this, without taking into account all the additional opportunities offered by social networks and search engines.
These companies – these entrepreneurs who make entrepreneurship possible – are just a small handful of a larger group of businesses that have created a world where a business no longer needs to necessarily be tied to an office in a physical location, where many of them started from home or on a laptop from a coffee shop, or through a smartphone, with “employees” scattered around the globe.
How to become an entrepreneur today
With part-time entrepreneurship being more common today than it once was, you no longer have to give up your job to build a business.
Many Shopify store owners run their business part-time, working in the evenings or weekends. They can only switch to full-time if they wish. Some also have a physical store, while others only operate online.
Commercial activities, unlike in the past, can take many forms. Therefore, obviously, there are various reasons that can lead you to start your own business.
Build a business focused on selling products and demonstrating their value
Many entrepreneurs manage to identify an opportunity and invest in it. If there is demand, they become the only suppliers. Passion about the product helps, but it is by no means essential.
What matters is the passion for business, for competition and the ability to create a system that creates value. It doesn’t matter if it’s a side business, or something that replaces your full-time job.
Build a business based on information and empowerment
The info-entrepreneur is typically a teacher who sells information through courses, templates and other resources. Such resources are generally aimed at educating and empowering the public to free themselves through education and knowledge.
Create an audience and then build a business around it
Once upon a time, the only way for artists to survive was to get sponsored by a patron.
Today, authors – writers, video bloggers (so-called “vloggers”), musicians – build an audience thanks to their talent. And then they create a business around it, with merchandising, book sales, etc. Ultimately, their patron is the public themselves.
We don’t often see them in this light, but books are physical products and music downloads can be digital products. If we sell them, we are running a business.
Example: Wait But Why
Building a business with manual dexterity
The manufacturer applies a specific processing technique that he has refined to make physical products. With a hobby or pastime, he has learned to find a niche audience interested in owning what is created. This can be necklaces, handmade furniture, scented candles, etc.
This activity usually starts as a hobby, even before acquiring customers and becoming a real business.
Build a business that provides services
This typology includes agencies, consultants, freelancers, and people with the skills or experience that others need. You can start alone, earning only when you work, but then, if you want, you can expand.
Example: Shopify Partners
Building a business around a better way of doing things
There is always room for improvement. There are always needs and critical points awaiting answers. This is the story of many technology company founders, motivated by the intent to realize their vision of a better way of doing things. Everything can also revolve around a useful product or service that does not yet exist. Not yet.
Building a business with a focus on social responsibility
Some entrepreneurs use business as a means of achieving a sustainable way of life, improving the quality of life thanks to social enterprise. Aside from profit, they try to create value for those in need.
These are just some of the intrinsic motivations that lead to entrepreneurship. It can also be a combination of factors that inspire you to start a new business.
The reasons for becoming an entrepreneur may be different for everyone … but there are two qualities that all entrepreneurs have in common.
2 things all entrepreneurs have in common
The word entrepreneur comes from the Latin (composed of intra + prehendo ) literally “take inside”, therefore embrace something, get inside a business, start a long and demanding business. Despite the fact that the concept of entrepreneurship has changed over the years, this part has still remained completely intact.
Whatever our definition of an entrepreneur, it goes without saying that an entrepreneur is not an entrepreneur if he stays there waiting for validation.
Yes, because there are at least two things that all entrepreneurs have in common :
- courage to start.