There have never been more resources available for people interested in starting a new business venture, from low-cost tools for marketing and design to website and ecommerce solutions to crowdfunding platforms. Maybe that’s one of the reasons entrepreneurship is on the rise.
Entrepreneurship isn’t simply about being self-employed or having a great business idea. In this article, we’ll define entrepreneurship and discuss what it takes to become a successful one in today’s world.
Table of Contents
What is entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of creating, managing, and scaling a business by taking calculated risks, and being innovative. Entrepreneurship involves combining resources, skills, and vision to bring forth new products, services, or solutions that meet market demands and create value.
Entrepreneurship is now a popular college major, with a focus on studying ideation, new venture creation, and profit driven models.
What is an entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is someone who has an idea and who works to create a product or service that people will buy, as well as an organization to support that effort. An entrepreneur takes on most of the risk and initiative for their new business and is often seen as a visionary or innovator.
Entrepreneurs are as diverse as they are dynamic. There are many different types of entrepreneurs—including small business owners, content creators, startup founders, and anyone who has the ambition to build a business and work for themselves.
Common traits for entrepreneurs include:
- Enjoy freedom and flexibility
- Are inventive
- Are goal orientated and ambitious
- Think creatively
- Are fearless
- Problem solvers
- High self initiative
- Understand basic finance principles
Pros and cons of entrepreneurship
While aspiring entrepreneurs have the potential to earn massive fame and fortune by starting a successful business, entrepreneurship isn’t without its challenges. Here are some of the pros and cons.
Pros of entrepreneurship
- Work flexibility. Entrepreneurship means self-employment, which comes with the ability to set your own schedule and work where you want.
- Ability to follow your passion. If your innovative idea is related to your passions or hobbies, entrepreneurship enables you to make a career out of what you love.
- Total control. Because they own their own businesses, entrepreneurs have complete control of their entrepreneurial ventures, with the ability to make decisions quickly.
- Creativity. Without the burdens of bureaucracy common in large, mature companies, entrepreneurs can solve problems creatively and experiment often.
- Unlimited earning potential. As famous entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates show, a startup entrepreneur with a successful business idea can make millions or even billions of dollars.
Cons of entrepreneurship
- Financial risk. Becoming an entrepreneur means putting money on the line for your idea. If it doesn't work out, you'll be responsible for dealing with disappointed investors and outstanding bank loans.
- Long hours. Between brainstorming new ideas, wooing potential investors, and managing the day-to-day operations of their businesses, many entrepreneurs work long and hard to make their dream a reality.
- Greater responsibility. As the leader of your own business, everyone will be looking to you for vision and direction, which can cause tremendous personal stress.
- High competition. Just because your business idea is innovative doesn't mean you won't face stiff competition, whether from established firms in your industry or other entrepreneurs looking to beat you to the finish line.
- Unreliable income. While successful entrepreneurs may see a big payday, it won't happen overnight. In the meantime, expect lean times as you invest all of your income into growing your business.
What is the entrepreneurial mindset?
Becoming a successful entrepreneur starts with bringing an entrepreneurial mindset to your business venture. The entrepreneurial mindset is a set of skills, beliefs, and thought processes you can bring to the task of building a new business. The main elements of this mindset are:
- Curiosity. An effective entrepreneur questions everything, learns all they can, and is open to new and radical ideas, even if they contradict your most basic assumptions.
- Independence. There's no precise roadmap to success as an entrepreneur. Turning a new idea into a successful business requires risk taking and an ability to plan your next move without hand-holding from others.
- Resiliency. Succeeding as an entrepreneur means not only enduring pressure and failure, but also learning and growing from those experiences.
- Persuasiveness. To raise money and grow their team, an aspiring entrepreneur needs to be able to confidently sell their business idea to what is often a skeptical audience.
- Focus on helping others. Entrepreneurs create value by solving problems for the people around them. The best entrepreneurs are focused on creating a positive impact, rather than making money.
Common entrepreneurship requirements
Beginning a start-up as an aspiring entrepreneur generally requires:
- A business concept or idea involving a product, service, process, or new technology
- People to support the work, whether as employees, vendors, or advisors
- A process by which the product or service will be delivered, or the technology will be developed
- Enough funding to support the development of the idea to the point that it generates revenue
- A peer reviewed business plan
In considering what kind of business to start, assess:
- Your interests: Are any of your passions, hobbies, or interests ripe for innovation?
- Your background and experiences: How has your personal history prepared you for the challenges of being an entrepreneur?
- Your financial resources: Can you gather the necessary resources to get a given business idea off the ground?
- Unmet market needs: What business opportunities exist in your chosen industry or field?
- Problems you can solve: What challenges do your skills and knowledge prepare you to address in your external environment?
- Your network and connections: Which people in your professional network can help you along in your entrepreneurship journey?
How to become an entrepreneur
Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and there are plenty of resources and inspiration all around you. You might read books about entrepreneurship, take a course to study it, or dive in head first and learn as you go. There’s no wrong way to go about it!
Learn more: The Grown-up Wisdom of 8 Kid Entrepreneurs
Move forward with your entrepreneurial venture
Whether you’re looking to open an online store or change the world through social entrepreneurship, there are tons of ways to get started on your entrepreneurship journey. Begin by establishing a digital presence through building your website on a platform like Shopify.