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10HOW DID I BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR

How did I become an Entrepreneur?

Introduction

Becoming an entrepreneur requires prospective entrepreneurs to evaluate their own characteristics to determine their strengths, besides identifying the areas where they require improvement. Most business people rely on their owner’s abilities, knowledge and skills in order for them to be successful. Creativity and innovation is the force behind entrepreneurship. This is because entrepreneurship is the procedure of establishing something valuable and new through investing effort and time, acknowledging risks and uncertainties and obtaining reward for effort and risk invested. An entrepreneur perceives novel business concepts and creates way on how to execute the ideas. A perceived business prospect can provide the required results only if only an entrepreneur has got the skills and creativity needed to convert the business opportunity into a successful business enterprise. The entrepreneur has to be innovative and creative and be ready to accept uncertainties and risks and makes sacrifices. This reflection focuses on describing the skills, qualities, knowledge and abilities required in order to be a successful entrepreneur.

The Skills, Qualities, Knowledge, Attributes Required To Be an Entrepreneur

Casson (2003) defines entrepreneurship as the willingness and capacity to take risks and establish, manage and organise a business enterprise in the evolving and competitive business environment. Entrepreneurship encompasses several themes that include creating value, the entrepreneurs, organisation creation, innovation, profit, uniqueness and creativity. The temperament of entrepreneurship is to establish a novel business idea, accept the risks and uncertainties linked to the business organise and manage the business appropriately in order to attain productivity. The skills, qualities, knowledge and attributes needed to be an entrepreneur include creativity, innovation and risk taking. Given that modern businesses are characterised by a high degree of risks and uncertainties, acceptance of risk is paramount because these risks and uncertainties present essential source of business ideas. Other skills and qualities essential in determining the success of entrepreneurial business include self-accomplishment, independence, flexibility, vision and self-confidence.

Becoming an entrepreneur in the contemporary business setting requires one to have conceptual, human and technical skills. I have learnt that mastering these skills is paramount. Successful entrepreneurs demonstrate methods of stimulating innovative and creative ideas. The techniques include brainstorming where the entrepreneurs establish concepts concerning a problem alongside the unprompted contributions from those involved. Other techniques for stimulating innovations and creative ideas include reverse brainstorming, checklist method, free association, collective notebook method, attribute listing , parameter analysis and big-dream approach ( Hisrich, 2014). Drawing from the different techniques, I believe that brainstorming is the most effective for idea generation and creative problem solving. This is in the view of the fact; brainstorming can generate concepts concerning a problem with a restrained time frame through unprompted participants’ contributions. Although reverse brainstorming is akin to brainstorming, this technique include criticism, hence care must be taken to ensure that the participants remain motivated. Free association is also effective because it facilitates creation of a chain of ideas that leads to the emergence of a novel product idea

Book Review

The book, One Simple Idea for Startups and Entrepreneurs, has played a great role in enlightening me with regard to entrepreneurship. The stories and case studies highlighted in the book have helped me to understand both the negative and the positive side of entrepreneurship. More so, the book has sharpened my skills with respect to the role and temperament of entrepreneurship. Drawing from the ideas in the book, teamwork is paramount in entrepreneurship. With the constant expansion of businesses, business owners realise that individual control over every aspect of the business may become complex thereby requiring team-based efforts. Although moving from individual management to team work can prove to be a hard transition, entrepreneurs can smooth the change through underscoring teamwork benefits. It might be stressful and tiresome to work alone especially when dealing with complex tasks. However, teamwork calls for effective leadership on the part of the entrepreneur. From the cases and my experience, I have learnt that managerial leadership via personal influence, actions and quality profoundly determines the success of an entrepreneurial business. The very essence of leadership role in entrepreneurship is established in the context to which a manager or leader can influence the behaviours of others people involved in the business. The influence is exercised for achievement of common goals. For entrepreneurs, leadership is not be a domain but a mutual association founded on reciprocity of the followers and leaders. A leader in entrepreneurship should influence others and be influenced by them. However, to facilitate attainment of common goals, entrepreneurs should define the common goals and make others in the team to understand them and reconcile the common objectives with their interests and objectives.

ICT and Social Media

Several successful business enterprises use informational communication technology, especially, the social media platforms to provide information regarding their products or services and for marketing purpose. New channels of communication facilitate marketing of products or services. Evidently, people’s ability for focal attention is now spread across a broad range of communication channels. The greater accessibility of interactive technologies has established a growing communication landscape that hold developing prospects for information exchange, often propelled by proactive efforts of individuals in the market who seek information. Therefore, advancements in technology have established novel prospects for entrepreneurs and has helped them to become more accessible and visible to a broader market place (Patricia, 2012). For instance, social networking sites have offered great opportunities for businesses to market, advertise and sell their products. Entrepreneurs can even launch their businesses through social networking sites and attract people to review and comment about their products or services. Successful entrepreneurs use the opportunities offered through ICT to make their businesses known, attract customers and suppliers and market their products. Most successful business have developed websites where they provide information about their products or services.

Media Communication and Networking

Because successful entrepreneurial businesses call for the involvement of teams, the entrepreneur must ensure implementation of effective communication. Effective communication facilitates sharing and learning of creative ideas. Communication is key for start-ups at every stage of the business venture. It facilitates creativity and innovation besides solving of problems that may be affecting the business. Successful entrepreneurs build their own network. Based on the interviews and discussions I conducted with successful entrepreneurial business, I realised that building your own network is paramount. Although some leaders and managers in the firms I visited were not so generous with information, I gathered that entrepreneurs hold more widespread communication networks. Several funding sources that sustain businesses are linked to an extensive network that entrepreneurs build. The developed network entails programs, mentorships and practical support that hold up entrepreneurial ventures. Entrepreneurs always need assistance from other people in order to succeed. Entrepreneurial projects require funding, support and approval from other people and it is therefore important for entrepreneurs to establish their own network. Successful entrepreneurs have developed solid suppliers and customer network. Evidently, one can build business success by simply developing your own network. Successful development of network requires one to overcome the fear of being rejected through developing self-confidence (Zhou, 2015). Secondly, one must learn to work with other people in order to learn how they operate and thirdly, one must pull his/her weight.

Drawing from the interviews and discussions with managers and leaders of selected successive businesses, entrepreneurial success does not come instantly. Before one can start thinking of earning great amount of profits, one must work hard and establish his/her own network. Entrepreneurial success calls for dedication of a few months of incessant networking ( Nwankwo & Gbadamosi, 2010). Only after effective networking, that one is in a position to earn good profits from the business. As technology helps the communication landscape to evolve, so it does to businesses. For the most part, technology helps entrepreneurs to conduct research concerning their business ideas, assess the target market, develop products or services and market the products or services.

Creativity and Innovation

Creativity and innovation are among the major skills of successful entrepreneurs. As such, business owners exploit the opportunities offered by ICT to create strategies that are essential for business success. Through application of innovation and creativity, it is possible for entrepreneurs to solve problems facing their businesses and exploit the opportunities that are available to the business. Drawing from the interviews and discussions with successful entrepreneurs, I have learnt that business owners use opportunities created by ICT to win a competitive advantage. More essentially, a competitive advantage is attained through the process of innovating and developing novel services or products or enhancing existing one. I have learnt that the aptitude of an entrepreneur is mirrored in that fact that she/he utilises creativity to turn constraints and obstacles into advantages. In this regard, becoming an entrepreneur requires one to demonstrate a high level of knowledge of business and expertise besides demonstrating a high level of innovation and creativity. The project has allowed me to develop the capacity to innovate. Principally, I have developed the ability to innovate through developing ideas as well as by exploring the value of these ideas. I have also developed the need to control and direct, self-confidence, a sense of urgency, comprehensive awareness, superior conceptual ability and an objective approach to inter-personal relations.

Creativity is the capacity to create something valuable and new by the art of imagination. It entails the capacity to connect unconnected ideas or concepts to create something new. Creativity and innovation of entrepreneurs is paramount because it helps them in identifying novel business chances and opportunities that are eventually turned in a business venture. Creativity depends on personal motivations and characteristics, intellectual abilities and knowledge (Bessant & Tidd, 2011).However, the entrepreneur value is acknowledged through innovation and creativity concepts. In this regard, I have learnt that to become an entrepreneur, one has to have the ability to establish novelty, prepare creative ideas, use and initiate changes, and one has to be extremely talented. Conventionally, people believed that entrepreneurs were born, but in the contemporary business environment, entrepreneurs develop into professionals who depend very much on their intellectual abilities, education and knowledge.

Risk-Taking

There is no venture that can succeed without taking risks. According to Haran (2006), risk taking is a major concept in entrepreneurship. It is a prime function and a characteristic of entrepreneurship. Other characteristics that are essential for becoming a successful entrepreneur include functional risk preference, flexibility and personality constructs of creativity. More so, entrepreneurs must demonstrate the capacity to identify their major issues as being internal to their firm (Zhou, 2015). I am convinced that I have the capacity to demonstrate the desired qualities of an entrepreneur. Particularly, I have learnt to take risks and prefer to address new problems as they create further opportunities that are essential for the growth of a business. I have come to realise that entrepreneurs encounter a number of challenges when trying to execute novel ideas and solve the resulting problems. I believe that I have developed the ability to solve problem resulting from the implementing of novel business ideas. In addition, I have developed the need for achievement in the business environment. With respect to achievement theory, entrepreneurs develop persistence towards the future. Achievement is mirrored in the desire for attaining challenging goals (Mohanty, 2005). Given my desire for achievement, I can make a good entrepreneur with the control over the outcome toward feedback and behaviour about the progress towards attainment of business goals. The need for achievement requires one to completely dedicate his/her personal time, energy and effort. Once an entrepreneur desires to attain business goals, it is his/her duty to drive new services or products and promote innovation and creativity. My entrepreneurial experience shows that one is required to work harder and when faced with challenges and mistakes, what matters is how you overcome and address the challenges and mistakes. Mistakes and challenges in business help one to learn to solve intricate issues and avoid them in future.

Social & Ethical Responsibility

Based on my project and extensive consultations, establishing a policy for ethical responsibility is an intricate task, entrepreneurs need to assess the ethical consciousness of their organisation, the structure and process devised to promote ethical actions, and their commitment towards attainment of ethical objectives. Drawing from experience and the course unit, promoting the moral climate of a business enterprise helps entrepreneurial business to win the confidence of public. As an entrepreneur, I have learnt that improving services or products through ethical processes and upholding social responsibility is essential for the success of a business venture. This is because people in the contemporary world question the ethical and moral integrity of businesses. I have learnt that it is important for entrepreneurs to work hard to attain the moral objectives in order to ensure attainment of the objectives of a given business venture. Notwithstanding the need to be successful, entrepreneurs must ensure that their business practices and actions are ethical. It is important that entrepreneurs ensure that their business practices do not cause ethical challenges. Entrepreneurs must also ensure that their business uphold social responsibility. They should evaluate the social and environmental impact of their business practices and work ethically with all the stakeholders in the business.

Conclusion

Not everyone can become a successful entrepreneur. This is because successful entrepreneurship calls for specific skills, qualities, knowledge and attributes. I believe have developed enough of the characteristics that are needed in order to be a successful entrepreneur. I am convinced that I can demonstrate a good level of innovation and creativity, self-accomplishment, acceptance of risk, ethical responsibility and vision. However, I need to work on improvement of self-confidence because I believe that I am over-confidence. I have realised that I tend to believe that my knowledge, abilities and predictions are superior especially when am faced with challenges. Although cognitive bias differs across people, it is the nature of entrepreneurial founders to exhibit increased levels of overconfidence. The reason why I need to work on the confidence bit is because overconfidence hold the ability to trigger entrepreneurs to pursue dubious business ventures, seek reduced resources than the ones require to ensure the success of a business venture, engage in restrained effort to establish venture legitimacy and allocate accessible resources in narrow-minded ways. I have come to realise that that being over-confident can blur decision-making, which in turn impedes organisational success. In addition, being over confident can jeopardise ethical principles that may make one engage in practices that are not socially responsible. Drawing from the project and cases, entrepreneurs must observe their ethical path and uphold ethical responsibility to all the stakeholders. This is because, in the contemporary world, businesses that prosper focus not on creating profits only, but also on benefitting the society.

References

Bessant, J., & Tidd, J.(2011). Innovation and entrepreneurship. UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Casson, M.(2003). The Entrepreneur: An economic theory. UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Haran, A.K .(2006). Corporate entrepreneurship: Strategic imperative for growth. UK: ICFAI Books.

Hisrich, R.(2014). Advanced introduction to entrepreneurship. UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Mohanty, S.K.(2005). Fundamentals of entrepreneurship. UK: PHI Learning Pvt.Ltd.

Nwankwo, S., & Gbadamosi, T.(2010). Entrepreneurship marketing: Principles and practice of SME marketing. UK: Routledge.

Patricia, O.P.(2012). Business, technology, and knowledge management in Asia: Trends and innovations. India: IGI Global.

Zhou, J.(2015). The oxford handbook of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. UK: Oxford University Press.