Starting Your Own Entrepreneurship – Passion, Grit, Vision


In one of my recent posts the question of entrepreneurship was discussed from a standpoint of definition; and although the definition may differ slightly from person to person, entrepreneurship is about a set of principles and values that are seldom found in other areas of life. The way an individual approaches his/her own livelihood and the support of family and lifestyle provides the answer to whether or not that individual is an entrepreneur capable of operating an entrepreneurship.

The Definition

Entrepreneurship is the process of creating or seizing an opportunity, and pursuing it regardless of the resources currently in one’s control. According to Wikipedia entrepreneurship is defined as “the act of being an entrepreneur, which can be defined as ‘one who undertakes innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods’. This may result in new organizations or may be part of revitalizing mature organizations in response to a perceived opportunity”.
Dictionary.com defines entrepreneur as “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk”.

The Characteristics

Must you be the rebel–mouthy and opinionated? Do you like the thrill of change, always eager for the next new venture? Is your idea of security to never be the victim of a corporation’s downsizing or reengineering? Are you a fiercely independent risk-taker who can comfortably handle the uncertainty of being responsible for your own paycheck? Do you have to possess these characteristics to be an entrepreneur?

Answering “yes” to these questions (except the last one) can put you firmly at the helm of your own entrepreneurship; But the answer to that last question need not be yes for you to qualify to run your own entrepreneurship because you can be, for example, less “mouthy and opinionated” and still be a successrful entrepreneur, live a happy, rich life and be in control of your life and career.

The Bare Essentials

If you start your entrepreneurship on the Web, you could begin operatiing with as little as $100 in seed money and your experience in your position at your current job and/or past experience. It is reasonable to assume that you’re putting in the required hours, if not more, at your current job, so you may have to work part-time from your home computer for a period of time before your business gains enough momentum that you could quit your day job. And obviously you can continue to work from home until your business income reaches levels of success that affords you some time to relax or do what other successful people do.

All this can be done if you have the passion, commitment and intuitive vision for running your own entrepreneurship. But somewhere along your road to successful entrepreneurship, you’re going to need a secret formula or USP (Unique Sales Proposal). Yes you need a passion for the thrill and independence of being an entrepreneur, but you also must have the commitment to follow through on that passion. Here’s are a few ideas which you can use as your success formula to help you get on your way.

The Research

First you have to know where you’re going, so research your chosen industry. Identify types of businesses that match your passionate vision and aptitude. Explore areas that show growth potential and, using your experience and insight, look for a need not presently being filled.

Find a successful company similar to the one you envision owning, and study how it started and how it grew. Learn as much as possible about the entrepreneur behind it. Devour books and publications related to your business concept. Talk to other entrepreneurs to discover their best practices.

The Vision

As an entrepreneur-in-training, you’ll need to build basic and advanced leadership skills. A successful entrepreneur is a bold visionary, seeing what others cannot and willing to follow that vision despite naysayers. Many entrepreneurs never finished college, but that hasn’t stopped them from owning large companies like Dell Computer and small companies like neighborhood restaurants and consulting firms. They relied heavily on their visions, not on MBA programs.

Entrepreneurs handle ambiguity with ease. They get a thrill out of leading the way into unfamiliar territory and thumb their noses at failure. Fearless pacesetters, they are usually mystified to find they’re weak at operations and management.


That’s okay. Other people can manage for you, but you must be the guiding force that inspires your managers and staff to follow your vision. You’ll shoulder responsibility and hold yourself personally accountable for the outcome. As a leader you have to focus on the big picture and trust others to focus on the details. People who do it all are self-employed but not entrepreneurial.

The Action

You must also be an actor. You act and get things done by delegating, subcontracting and leveraging other people’s talents. You’re innovative and unwaveringly determined, willing to put in fast-moving 16-hour days to reap the rewards of independence, creative freedom and unlimited financial gain.

Learn to be a marketing genius. Everything is marketing, from the way you say “good morning” to the contacts you make. You sell ideas, products and services to potential purchasers by getting inside their minds and creatively communicating benefits.

Above all you must grow your enterprise and make a profit. People who say, “I love it so much I’d do it for free,” are not entrepreneurs–they’re volunteers. Most entrepreneurs are willing to start small and grow slowly, but they fully expect to make money. There is nothing noble about being poor or failing financially.

The Strategy

When you know where you’re going and have the courage to act, the only thing missing is the strategy for getting you there – but this is no small thing. Jumping into business without a strategic plan is like jumping in the ocean without knowing how to swim. To create the strategic plan, envision your enterprise exactly as you want it to be. Then write down your goals and objectives for achieving that vision. For each goal, create a strategy and a target date for achieving it.

Assess your strengths. You already possess knowledge, skills and experience your enterprise will draw on. List all your strengths that apply to your enterprise. Then appraise your challenges. They might involve market penetration, profitability, expertise, competition or location. Challenges change as your enterprise changes. How will your challenges impact your goals?

Finally, act like a CEO. Create an income and spending plan. Know where your money is going, question every expenditure and keep the cash flow positive. That means taking in more money than you pay out, plain and simple. Make a budget and stick to it. A CEO gets things done through delegation, so create a framework of people who can help you achieve your entrepreneurial vision. Even if you work solo, you can benefit from a myriad of talented consultants, vendors and subcontractors.

If you stick to it and don’t quit on your dream, you’ll look back years from when you started with that small investment and a vision fro your own entrepreneurship, and you’ll probably smile. But whether the smile comes or not you’ll feel a burst of pride within you. That comes as a result of all your hard work, long hours and sheer determination that was necessary to make it happen. You might utter these words: “I did it”!

How Is Entrepreneurship Defined?


In discussing entrepreneurship and writing articles on the subject, it seems logical to me – or sensible anyway – to begin the discussion by agreeing on exactly what the word or term means to us as participants in the discussion.

Entrepreneurship is the process of creating or seizing an opportunity, and pursuing it regardless of the resources currently in one’s control. According to Wikipedia entrepreneurship is defined as “the act of being an entrepreneur, which can be defined as ‘one who undertakes innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods’. This may result in new organizations or may be part of revitalizing mature organizations in response to a perceived opportunity”.
Dictionary.com defines entrepreneur as “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk”.

These are rather abstract concepts for a person just beginning to consider whether s/he ought to start a business rather than take a job, or leave a secure job for a chance at greater self-fulfillment. Let us try to refine our understanding of entrepreneurship by asking some more specific questions.

Is everyone who runs a business an entrepreneur? Many would not consider the newspaper carrier, shoeshine person, and grass cutter entrepreneurs, though these are often the youthful pursuits of those with an entrepreneurial characteristics, if not aspirations. In fact, lawn manicurists today are managers of well-managed businesses.

Does it matter whether the endeavor is merely part-time? Whereas some part-time activities are basically hobbies, or undertaken to supplement income – similar to certain jobs and types of employment – some entrepreneurial ventures can be tested in the marketplace on a part-time basis.

The path to an entrepreneurial venture might begin by earning a salary in the business you expect to enter, while learning more about it, and waiting for the opportune time to go out on your own. This time can be used to develop a support network – professional and personal – and generate ideas to “bounce off” people whose opinions you respect.

At what scope does self-employment become a venture? The primary objective of many self-employed people is merely to employ themselves (and others if necessary) at a moderate to good rate of pay (or salary); some are even willing to eke out a living to do what they enjoy. This approach is often referred to as a “lifestyle” business, and is generally accompanied by little, if any, plan for growth.

These questions are intended, not to develop a precise definition of entrepreneurship, but to develop a better understanding of our attitude toward its many forms of expression. We may each answer these questions differently, yet we all answer them appropriately within our own frames of reference.

Entrepreneurship is more an attitude than a skill or a profession. Some of us may prefer employment in a corporate or public service field, but many would choose an entrepreneurial opportunity that “feels right.”

Would you consider a person who inherits a business an entrepreneur? From the point of inheritance on, it is their own money and financial security at risk. They could possibly sell the business, invest the proceeds in blue-chip stocks, and live off dividends. Some might consider managing a personal stock portfolio for a living as an entrepreneurial venture.

Would a person who inherited a small or marginal business, then took it to new dimensions be considered an entrepreneur? The inheritor could have tried merely to keep it going, or even to pace the business’ decline to just carry them to retirement. In a family-held business, long-term success is often a central goal.

Are franchise owners entrepreneurs? Many feel that, for those who have access to the large up-front investment, franchises are sure things. For many, operating a franchise is similar to investing in “blue chips,” a relatively sure thing with generally unexciting returns.

So whether you’re inclined to work in an atmosphere where you call your own shots, take your own risks and take your destiny into your own hands; Or you prefer the guaranteed salary, set hours and safe (free of risks) circumstances offered by a job, it is good to have a clear understanding of both kinds of work before pursuing either. And since most people have a relatively good understanding of a salaried job (or position as the case may be), I hope we’ve defined entrepreneurship in a way that is easy to understand.