By Goke Ilesanmi
Contrary to the academic notion that successful entrepreneurship begins with possession of viable and innovative ideas, it logically starts with having entrepreneurial or millionaire mentality, followed by having a core desire and identifying one’s specific entrepreneurial personality before considering possession of viable ideas.
In short, new research also confirms that as opposed to the traditional belief that entrepreneurial success is achievable through perfect timing reinforced with brilliant ideas, those who succeed entrepreneurially do so as a result of exhibiting certain personal skills tagged “soft skills”, which can also be learnt and developed, especially early in life, and further developed throughout the entrepreneurial career.
Commitment to goal
One of the critical skills of entrepreneurial-minded people is commitment to their goal. That is, they always energetically focus their efforts on meeting a set target. Bill J. Bonnstetter, chairman of Target Training International Ltd says it is important that entrepreneurs have a strong sense of what their goal is, because their product or service depends on it. Identifying and articulating the goal allows them to influence others and gain their support.
Another skill for successful entrepreneurship is effective leadership. Good leaders have enviable vision for the future. In the words of Bonnstetter, “For people with an entrepreneurial mind-set, their strength of vision is usually tied to a product or service that provides solutions to challenges, even when the general public is not aware the challenge exists.”
Entrepreneurial-minded people also display personal accountability. They are always willing to take responsibility for their actions. The new research shows that people who are personally accountable look at obstacles as a part of the process and, rather than give up, they are motivated by them (the obstacles). This is due to the entrepreneurial or millionaire mentality earlier mentioned in the introduction. We can therefore conclude that individuals who unjustifiably blame others for their failure display extreme lack of personal accountability and this habit can impede their entrepreneurial success.
Persuasion and interpersonal relationship
Another quality critical to successful entrepreneurship is persuasion. This refers to the ability to convince others to see things your own way. Bonnstetter says entrepreneurs definitely need to excel at persuasion, whether to recruit a team or get buy-in from investors and stakeholders.
Like persuasion, effective interpersonal relationship is also a skill required for successful entrepreneurship. It is about effectively communicating, building rapport, and relating well with all people. Without interpersonal relationship, an entrepreneur would be limited to relating only with those who share their exact communication style, thus restricting his or her ability to convey his or her vision and goals.
New trend of entrepreneurship
There is a new trend regarding entrepreneurship today, and this is called idea entrepreneurship. The idea entrepreneur is a content expert whose main goal is to make a difference, to change the world in some way. Research shows that idea entrepreneurs are springing up everywhere. They play multiple roles and are often creative generalists. That is, they are managers, teachers, motivators, entertainers and coaches, all in one.
They create a platform of expressions and generate revenue to support their social activities. Idea entrepreneurs are exceptionally good at expressing their ideas, and usually do so in many forms. They give private talks and major speeches, write books, articles, etc., and participate in activities that can generate revenue (sometimes in considerable amounts), through a combination of fees, sale of their expressions and so on.
John Butman, author of “Breaking Out: How to Build Influence in a World of Competing Ideas” educates that examples of idea entrepreneurs are people like Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of “Lean In”, who is advocating a big new idea from within an organisation; Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and author of “The Start-Up of You”; Daniel Pink, author of “Drive”; Kiran Bedi, leader of a worldwide movement to transform prisons and root out corruption in India; Jim Collins, who has created a long-lasting enterprise supported by the sale of books and media, as well as fees for consulting, speaking engagements and workshops. Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, who has created an unconventional business model also falls within this category.
Challenges and Solutions
Naturally, entrepreneurs are supposed to be very happy people having decided to control their destiny through self-employment. However, entrepreneurship involves a lot of challenges. Research confirms that entrepreneurs are negatively affected by payment delay and last-minute withdrawal of commitments by customers.
To be able to surmount these challenges, entrepreneurs must be determined. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor at Harvard Business School and author of “Confidence and SuperCorp” says entrepreneurs must own a big idea to be able to overcome challenges.They must stand for something important, even if they cannot execute fully yet. After all, it takes as much effort to dream small as to dream big. A big idea with a noble purpose also helps people to think beyond the current turmoil to imagine a more appealing future. This keeps an entrepreneur going during challenging times. Another solution for the challenge of entrepreneurship is to go into partnership. Some things that are hard to do alone can be easier if small-sized groups can pool their resources.
Career life is not all about looking for jobs but also about self-employment. So entrepreneurship is a must for anybody that wants to achieve long-lasting success. Adopt a creative approach to entrepreneurship today and become highly successful.
PS: For those making inquiries about our Public Speaking, Business Presentation and Professional Writing Skills programme, please visit the website indicated on this page for details. Till we meet on Wednesday.
GOKE ILESANMI, Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Certified Public Speaker/MC, Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker and Career Management Coach. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant.
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