Entrepreneurship has to be seen as a journey, as an adventure. It starts when we have that special idea to do something on our own, to create a business, or to innovate. It follows with our action plan, defining what we want to do and start working on it. We create a strategy, we get team members (friends and relatives at the beginning) and we start developing our idea. This is why for me ‘Entrepreneurship’ is a journey and this is why I see entrepreneurs as today's adventurers.
Entrepreneurship has been defined in many ways. It is the result of a person with very interesting qualities: takes action, combines resources, helps people, takes risks, organizes, discovers, and creates. An entrepreneur, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money.” It then defines an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” What the entrepreneur really does with the idea or the dream he or she has, is to build a business that will make them grow and be successful, in whichever way you define success.
Entrepreneurship is not easy; however there is very interesting research that points that many more Americans and people around the world are willing to start and run their own business. In a survey made last year by the University of Phoenix, it was pointed out that 63% of the people in the US between the ages of 20 and 30 want to have their own business.
A very important report, issued in May 2013 by Babson and Baruch Colleges, starts by saying that:
“The year 2012 was marked by entrepreneurial optimism in the United States”.
This single fact ‘optimism’ points out the importance of entrepreneurship in all growing economies worldwide. With data since 1999, the Report indicated that the percentage of adults involved in startups in 2012 hit 13% – a record high since Babson began tracking entrepreneurship rates in 1999 (you can see a full article on the subject that was reported by Elaine Pofeldt on Forbes magazine here)
We see entrepreneurs in many countries. Latin America on one end is very active in this area, with Chile and Peru leading the way; and the United States ranked at the top of the innovation-driven economies during 2012 followed by Singapore. Can this trend continue? I would have to say yes, as it is the entrepreneur who energizes and grows, generating a more dynamic economy.
Governments in many parts of the world are continuously looking to entrepreneurs (both new and well established) in order to increase employment and generate new ideas so that their economies grow and the competitiveness of states and countries increases. Our job then, whether in the public or private sector, is to foster and create an atmosphere of growth, development and innovation in which entrepreneurs can grow and prosper. We see it in the small business that opened last week five blocks from our office, or the small shop that opened up around the corner or the new restaurant a couple kids started in the nearby mall. Many articles and reports show that record number of new businesses opened up in 2013 in the UK, India and Hong Kong, for example. And furthermore, the US Small Business Administration reported that “the small business sector is growing rapidly. While corporate America has been ‘downsizing’, the rate of small business ‘start-ups’ has grown, and the rate for small business failures has declined.
There are too many opportunities to succeed in business today that were not available years ago. For starters, you can create your company online; you can outsource many tasks (accounting, legal, tax) so that you can focus on developing your business; you can hire better qualified talent. But you need to get out of your comfort zone or if not your ideas and your business will not grow. You need to get started and learning along the way so that you will not fail. Long working hours will be the norm; cash flow and capital will be required; and you will need to become an expert deciphering what your client will need in this fast-paced environment. And this means that you need to get the necessary experience and guidance in order to succeed.
And entrepreneurs need to learn continuously. With the right attitude and the right mindset they can become better on their daily jobs, managing their teams and companies, and improving their results. There are many tools that will help you to manage your personal and your business performance. But there is a simple fact, that in order to use all of these tools you have to start taking action; you need to take that first step. There is a beautiful quote by Karen Lamb which says “a year from now you may wish you had started today.” And now the question is, what are you waiting for? What is that idea that does not let you sleep at night? When are you going to start?
Entrepreneurial intentions are rising, which is an excellent sign; and opportunities are present everywhere. New stores and companies are opened every day; some continue, some change, some close. But the entrepreneur never quits, he follows his dream until it becomes a reality and then dreams some more. This is why entrepreneurship is a journey. You start with your business idea; you present it to family and friends and then to other people who might be interested in your future products or services. You then embark on the learning journey to become an entrepreneur, and better yet, with the goal of becoming a very successful one. And you have been transformed into a never ending adventurer!
Luis Vicente Garcia is a business Consultant, FocalPoint Business Coach, a Best-selling Author and an International Speaker. He helps businesses and business owners reach higher levels of performance. You can follow Luis at @lvgarciag, visit his web site www.luisvicentegarcia.com or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org