Thanks to David Newton from Entrepreneurs Sydney for this lowdown on what it means to be an entrepreneur.

With so much talk about entrepreneurs in the news each day – I feel its best that we know what or who an entrepreneur actually is?

You see when I was in my 20′s during the 1980′s the term entrepreneurs took a bad rap from the media. Just because a few of them who were high profiled got dusted after the stockmarket crash of 1987.

In reality, there are lots of types of entrepreneurs today. Some of these are “Social Entrepreneurs” who work at changing things in our everyday world. Others in the workplace can be “Change Masters” who develop entrepreneurial change within companies to make them run better and discover hidden opportunities inside big organizations. And yet some are “Business Entrepreneurs” who create new businesses from scratch and with little money to begin with.

It’s a fair point to add that not all entrepreneurs are arm waving swashbuckling eccentrics. Often you may even see entrepreneurs at their place of work without ever giving any hint of acknowledgement to the fact they are one.

True that “some” entrepreneurs are a bit ‘out on a limb’ to the rest of the world. But they are a tiny percentage of what’s above a huge iceberg of “unknown individuals’ below the public eye.

Let me ask you this:

Have you ever step out from the common line and said; “Hey guys, I can do such and such better, here’s my own answer to this problem, come over here and take a look?”

That alone would indicate you have some type of entrepreneurial outlook. Even if it’s a small kind of way you expressed it.

Just like inventors find a problem and try to solve it, entrepreneurs do a fairly similar thing. They use innovation, multi-track thinking, able to pull resources from the four corners of the earth and they are able to mobilize action with others and themselves to make things happen.

Why do we need entrepreneurs?

I think we need them, as most of us are plain lazy!

We are the ones who accept the “status quo” and entrepreneurs are willing to challenge it.

We are often the ones who complain about such and such going on, where as an entrepreneur will be the one to gallantly get of the bottom and do something about it. So I say good job! And they should be well rewarded for it. They took a risk, when we didn’t, its only fair.

In short here’s what I call the basics of an entrepreneur:

1. They see the world from a different perspective – and are open to new ideas, they read a lot from many sources, even info they disagree with in order to find ideas they can utilize
2. They are creative people – often using the creativity in whatever form to brew new ideas, and challenge their own beliefs about a topic to find answers
3. They are willing to take risks – quite notably big risks. The risks they take in their mind are known as “calculated risks” because they see things that take the risk elements from most decisions
4. They make lots of decisions often faster than we do – as they get good at taking risks in the process
5. They are good with people and love networking with others, they love being able to inspire others into action or to get behind an idea
6. They are self-starters – a lot of entrepreneurs are “driven” to succeed and listen to their own drum beat, rather than following the crowd
7. They are goal or outcome motivated – most entrepreneurs want their business goals to succeed and as such they will move heaven and earth to bring it about
8. They make bad employees – meaning that they find it hard (themselves) to hold down a regular job, being in control of their own world is paramount so if they do take a job its for a very temporary reason, before going back to their next business idea
9. They take failure on the chin – a true entrepreneur will not be put off easily, they have optimism oozing out of their skins and hanging around them tends to “infect” their mates with the same possibility thinking processes. Which is why you’ll see entrepreneurs ‘back in the saddle’ after a relatively short period of time
10. They are willing to give back to the community at large – in a way, they also work their “social entrepreneurship” to the advantage of the general community by setting up training schools, mentoring people within theirs or other industry groups, they like fostering new duplicates of themselves doing so

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. And it can start at any age, there are no barriers age, gender, height, languages, abilities etc are not things that hold back the creation of new entrepreneurs rising to the surface.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to learn from others who are already there. Plus you need to be willing to take action and make things happen. These two elements are they way to get ahead and reach your own dreams, whatever they are, you can attain them.

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