I often hear people talk about having an entrepreneurial spirit, but I think the term is widely misused. As an entrepreneur myself, I know a thing or two about what it takes to be a successful independent business owner, and I don’t think it’s the qualities that most people talk about. What is an entrepreneur? Well, to most, it’s someone who has the desire to start and grow a business. Pretty simple. But if you asked me the same question, what is an entrepreneur, my answer is a little more extensive.
What Makes an Entrepreneur?
What is an entrepreneur? To me, it’s someone who first and foremost has passion. They use that passion, along with a special gift, skill or craft that brings them joy, to meet a need and serve a purpose. It’s the unique value that coupling those two things together brings. In the space where passion and skill meet lays true entrepreneurial success. It may sound like I’m describing an artist rather than a business owner, but I consider the two to be very close. The skills are vastly different, but the drive to succeed and the tenacity it takes to see an idea or dream through are the same.
The skill is just the start
When people see entrepreneurs, and specifically consultants, and consider what is an entrepreneur, they often think of them and their success in terms of skill. For instance, many think that my skill and experience in the HR and recruiting world is what has gotten me where I am. It’s true that those things were necessary for me to step down this path and that they have opened numerous doors for me, but it’s my drive and passion that carried me the rest of the way. After all, any consultant could take their skills to a corporate environment and find employment. It’s the desire for independent success and wanting to meet a need that makes us entrepreneurs. Whatever the skill – from knowledge of accounting, to a love of hiring to an interest in marketing – passion is key.
That passion that entrepreneurs have is like a fire in their belly. You probably know firsthand what I mean when I say it propels you to take risks, throw away your business plan and make your own path. It truly is what sets us apart. However, not all passion is the same. Some derive their passion from simply doing what they love, some from the ability to do it the way they want, some from the fact that they are meeting others’ needs and some from just being successful. There is no lesser or greater passion, but all these types have the same end result: they move us to be great.
A different approach
Besides the drive that passion gives us, it also brings another gift with it: the ability to see, feel, understand and approach the world differently. It’s not that every entrepreneur is walking on clouds 24 hours a day, but you do have the ability to see past the struggle. Challenging situations present themselves as opportunities and you see possibility and ideas where others see nothing. It’s really one of the best side effects of being a passionate entrepreneur because you’re constantly seeing ways you can become bigger and better, which is the type of person every business needs at the helm.
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