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Do you have to own a business to be an entrepreneur?

Posted by Shivali Anand

December 1, 2021    |     4-minute read (677 words)

What does the term "entrepreneur" conjure up in your mind? Does it characterize someone who owns a business? Although this is true most of the time, just because someone owns (or wants to own) a business doesn’t necessarily mean they are an entrepreneur. Indeed, some say that the term "company owner" is merely a job title, whereas "entrepreneur" describes a mentality. So, what exactly does becoming an entrepreneur entail? And can you be one if you're not the founder or owner of a business?

A business owner may start a business because an opportunity presents itself, or because they don't want to work for others, or for another reason. On the other hand, an entrepreneur challenges the status quo and imagines a world without customer pain points. Take, for example, the Airbnb founders. They recognized a gap and devised a solution when they learned that a tech conference in San Francisco had urged delegates to make their own travel arrangements because all hotel rooms in the region were fully booked.

Because entrepreneurs are constantly thinking of new ways to solve issues, they tend to construct businesses that can continue without them in the future, either through successors or by automated processes such as timely deliveries, automatic recurring billing, regular improvements, and so on.

But anyone, including an employee, can be an entrepreneur. All you require is an entrepreneurial mindset, which is how you tackle mistakes and problems. It's about having an inner desire to better one's skill sets and to attempt again and again.

The entrepreneurial mindset

These are 10 common entrepreneurial characteristics, the most of which may apply to a range of contexts other than running a business:
  1. Entrepreneurs have a deep awareness of themselves and the world around them:

    Successful entrepreneurs are constantly working on themselves to acquire a deep understanding of who they are and to reinforce their beliefs in their talents and value to others. This enables individuals to become specialists in their chosen fields. They believe that people who appreciate and comprehend themselves are better able to value and understand others.

  2. They know what they want to do: 

    People that succeed in life are more concerned with their pathways than the average person. They concentrate on their lives, paying special attention to their goals and ambitions. They create mental representations to aid them in their travels. Many people go with the flow, but great entrepreneurs write out their mission, goals and vision.

  3. They know how to manage their time effectively: 

    Successful people organize their days, weeks, months and even years well ahead of time to prioritize and safeguard their time. They recognize that time is the most valuable resource someone possesses.

  4. They are outcome-oriented:

    Successful entrepreneurs persevere in the face of adversity because they know exactly what they want to achieve.

  5. They believe in facts: 

    Most people base their life and work decisions on assumptions and feelings. Successful people, on the other hand, attempt to make decisions based on data-driven fact-based thinking.

  6. They strive to provide value and service: 

    Successful entrepreneurs follow the Law of Reciprocity, which states, "If you do something kind for me, I will do something nice for you." Successful entrepreneurs work hard to make themselves valuable, which generates the kind of human connections that lead to more success.

  7. They are willing to learn: 

    Successful individuals are constantly gaining experience and educating themselves, which allows them to achieve the objectives they set for themselves. They understand the value of improving their skill sets, which boosts self-esteem and confidence.

  8. They are focused: 

    To utilize their resources, successful entrepreneurs can concentrate and focus, which are crucial attributes in both business and life.

  9. They understand how to succeed by association:

    Entrepreneurs recognize that other people can be a resource that helps them grow faster, and they make a habit of associating with such individuals.

  10. They are capable of taking personal responsibility:

    Successful individuals seldom blame others for their circumstances. They see all of life's struggles and tribulations as opportunities to learn. This allows people to remain in command of their lives.

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