What it takes to be an Entrepreneur
'ENTREPRENEUR'- It is a big word. It comes with equally big, and heavy responsibilities. But, can you handle that role and be an entrepreneur?
All throughout our lives we may hear people saying that 'Entrepreneurs are born' or that 'It is not easy to be an entrepreneur'. But who has the right to say that and indeed, what does that even mean?
If you have the courage and commitment, surely anyone can be an entrepreneur? Yes, being an entrepreneur has risks. It often involves taking calculated financial risks but in turn; your working hard to set yourself up for life. It is work. This is business.
Choices and decisions can go wrong. That does not make you a bad entrepreneur,
or a failure. You learn from every mistake and evolve with it. It is a simple process:
THINK-> PLAN-> EXECUTE -> EVOLVE -> GROW
Entrepreneurship can be seen by some as a doubtful subject matter. Why? Because, there is no fixed formula or safety route to follow. Entrepreneurship cannot be copied. I come across so many people every day, trying new things, new ventures. The truth is, entrepreneurship is about breaking norms, and setting your own goals. Again, it can be right or wrong.
Most of the entrepreneurs I meet are so passion driven. It’s infectious and inspirational. But equally, some may be closing down one venture and starting another. The interesting fact is- and perhaps a strong characteristic of an entrepreneur- they are not afraid. They don’t see a closure as failure. They see it as an attempt in learning. A lesson. Something to use in their personal growth. Entrepreneurship is about understanding when to step out or take the other path to something better. That does not mean failure.
So, we come back to the question- How to be an Entrepreneur?
I am not here to share a step by step process, but I can share a brief window into my perspective and opinion on how to be an entrepreneur. It's been over 23 years since I started my journey in tech as the co-owner of Active Digital and it has been a journey of sorts. There have been times I’ve questioned myself, my abilities, and capabilities. As a leader and entrepreneur, it was always about balancing people and personalities, along with myself. The company continues to grow and be successful but believe it or not, I still ask myself every day, if this is enough? Can I achieve more?
I have learnt so much from so many people; my team, my clients, my family and my network. I’ll always be grateful for the journey so far and I’ll always be excited for what’s ahead. To anyone out there still considering setting up their own venture: it’s never too late.
For years, many have argued that entrepreneurship is a young person’s game. However; according to an article in Forbes, a team of researchers led by Pierre Azoulay of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology investigated the connection between age and high-growth entrepreneurship. “Our primary finding is that successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged, not young,” state the researchers. “We find no evidence to suggest that founders in their 20’s are especially likely to succeed. Rather, all evidence points to founders being especially successful when starting businesses in middle age or beyond, while young founders appear disadvantaged.”
The researchers were able to compile records for over 2.5 million entrepreneurs who founded businesses in the United States (excluding sole proprietorships) since the 1970’s. Interestingly, across all ventures, they found the average entrepreneurial age to be 42.
The authors conclude, “The 1,700 founders of the fastest growing new ventures (the top 0.1%) in our universe of U.S. firms had an average age at founding of 45.0 (compared to 43.7 for the top 1% and 42.1 for the top 5%). Regardless of the measure of technology-intensiveness chosen, we see older founders as we move toward upper-tail performance, especially for the top 1 in 100 or top 1 in 1,000 firms, as well as for founders with successful exits. This evidence is at odds with the conventional wisdom that successful founders skew younger.” Perhaps 45 is the new 25!
Whatever your age, take the opportunity. See where it leads. And finally; never forget that FAIL stands for ‘first attempt in learning’. You knew that already...right?
Buckle up and enjoy the journey, wherever it takes you.