Developing an Entrepreneurial Spirit

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Entrepreneurs Known When To Take Action

Entrepreneurs Take Action

Developing an entrepreneurial spirit is a key element in starting and running a successful business. Without this key, you may be a businessperson, but you are just as likely to be trapped into working in your business rather than working on your business. Entrepreneurs know when to start, when to pause and rethink, and when to stop.

What Defines An Entrepreneurial Spirit?

To define an entrepreneurial spirit, you have to look carefully at the guiding characteristics behind this mindset. Many people are business leaders, managers, and officers in a company. What makes an entrepreneur different?

  • Entrepreneurs are long-term strategists. Many business owners and company executives get caught up in the short-term. You work so hard on meeting your present goals that you fail to look to the future. You miss the "big picture."
  • Being an entrepreneur means taking risks. If you define your goals for your company by existing systems, goals, and criteria, you fail to look beyond the immediate necessity to the areas you need to adapt in to survive. If you can't change in response to outside factors, even if it means moving beyond your comfort zone (strategically, monetarily, or in your processes and systems), then you will fail to adapt, and that eventually leads to the stagnation and death of your organization.
  • Creativity is a mainstay of entrepreneurs. Thinking outside the box, as it were, goes hand in hand with strategies and risks. Your creativity will help create the opportunities for change that can lead to positive adaptation. Reinventing yourself and your business on a regular basis leads to long-term health.
  • Learning from your mistakes, and the mistakes of others, is critical to success. They say that those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat its mistakes in the future. Being a student of history - business history, world history, and the history of leaders - helps you to gain the knowledge of and perspective on decisions made over the years, decades, and centuries of leaders before you. History may not have called them entrepreneurs, but exceptional leaders usually have many similar characteristics. And they make mistakes, too. Learn from them.
  • Entrepreneurs cultivate the ability to manage people and organize systems. A key element to success as a leaders is the ability to manage others, help them to learn, set them free to excel, and delegate to them. Develop systems that help them to leverage your knowledge and expertise. You don't want to create clones of yourself, with all of your faults. You want to tap into their talents and harness the multiplying effect of teamwork.

Now you may be thinking at this point that these points don't apply to you because you are a one-man or small business. Teams can be built outside the employee relationship. In fact, your teams may be more professional and personally-accountable that way.

So, I suppose you are wondering now if you are an entrepreneur. How do you measure up?

Am I an Entrepreneur?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself. Considering the points above, think about yourself on these topics:

  1. Are you detail-oriented or a "big picture" person? When confronted with a problem, do you focus on the immediate issue, or do you consider the long-term issues involved?
  2. Do you get extremely nervous when investing or utilizing larger-than-usual sums of money in your business, even when you know it can fund growth? Do you worry a lot when you contemplate a change to your "tried-and-true" systems that you use in your business?
  3. Do you have a hard time with creativity or do you feel you are good at thinking up new ideas and ways of approaching things? Do you find it hard to break out of your normal way of doing things to consider the new and unusual? When you're trying to be creative, do you feel like you're going round and round and getting nowhere?
  4. Are you stubborn? Are you willing to take the advice of others, even if you don't consider them an expert? Do you spend a regular amount of time each day/week/month/year learning new things and researching how people before you tackled problems? Even if the problems are different, the methods and ideas often spur solutions.
  5. Do you have trouble dealing with people effectively? Do you have trouble delegating? Do you know how to monitor, mentor, and manage a process without having to do it all yourself? Are you good at designing efficient ways of doing things?

These questions are some of the things you can ask yourself to evaluate your potential as an entrepreneur. Maybe you're right up there on it. Maybe you're not. The key is improvement, and there is always room for it, even at the top. Adapt or die.

Are there other elements of being an entrepreneur that you consider important? We'd love to hear from you in a comment below.