This Is My House! Using Entrepreneur Characteristics to Improve Your Life

According to Wikepedia an Entrepreneur is a: “Type of personality who is willing to take upon himself/herself a new venture or enterprise and accepts full responsibility for the outcome.” The word comes from an Old French word entreprendre meaning “to undertake.”

There are two interesting facts about the term that seem to make women think it does not commonly describe us:

  • The term is normally capitalized – Entrepreneur – as if it is a title.
  • People typically think of a man when hearing the term; as a matter of fact many of the definitions use the words he, him andhimself and do not include any female pronouns.

Another reality is that Entrepreneurship always involves risk and many women do not give themselves credit for their courage to handle risk. This is ironic, because in certain circumstances a woman will, literally or figuratively, wade into a swamp full of alligators. If you doubt this, then do something to a member of our families. Or question our loyalty to an employer or a cause.

As a woman, getting comfortable with the Entrepreneur inside of you will help you improve all aspects of your life. Honing the Entrepreneur skills you already possess will make you more successful in anything you undertake.

Here are some of the key Entrepreneur characteristics that can enhance the various parts of your life:

Ownership – Whether it is your household, a project, a daily task, a campaign or a business, understand that it belongs to you. Treat it the way you treat anything that you own. Accept the risks, nurture it, protect it, make it look good, enjoy the positives and overcome the negatives. Ownership means you are invested in something and if you are invested you will work for success. If you do not feel that you own it, the outcome will be totally dependent on someone else.

Organized – Organization is in the eyes of the beholder. So use the methods and tools that work best for you and don’t worry if someone else tries to get you to do it their way. But it is vital that you are organized in a manner that helps you accomplish the desired end result and retain your sanity. Being organized usually involves having a plan, having appropriate information and/or tools and having a process that makes sense. For instance: if you are in charge of a silent auction, a process will maximize proceeds and minimize frustration; if you are hoping for a promotion a plan will make you proactive, which increases your chances.

Clearly Defined View of Success – Success is not the same for every person in every situation. An Entrepreneur goes into a venture with a clear definition of what success will be. If you can clearly describe what will be a successful project, day, event, assignment, negotiation, business, etc. you are more likely to attain that success and a sense of fulfillment. If you do not have a defined view of success you will not know it if hits you in the face.

Flexible & Creative – Although you have already been encouraged to be organized, be careful not to be obsessive. No matter how well you have planned and prepared, something outside your control will likely happen that will throw you off course or slow you down. Do not stubbornly stay with your plan or process if it stops working. We are often told to make lemonade when given lemons or to see obstacles as opportunities. That is not always easy. But if you incorporate flexibility and creativity into everyday life you can adapt any plan, process or situation to the current circumstances. Again, less frustration – more success.

Self Disciplined – An Entrepreneur business owner has no one else to blame, no one to make decisions, no one to save the day, no one to make sure she does her job. She can work in her pajamas, she has no boss, she is in charge. But if she has no self-discipline, she soon has no business. Self-discipline is equally important in anything you may undertake. If you are baking goodies for a bake sale you must exercise enough control not to sample too much or you will eat the profits and the evidence will show up on your thighs. When you are working on a project that has a deadline you must be disciplined enough to not wait until the last minute to complete tasks, because something unforeseen will happen.

Convincing – One of the primary philosophical characteristics of Entrepreneurs is belief – in yourself, your ideas, your business, your abilities, etc. The belief is the first step to convincing. Understanding your audience or target is the second step, because understanding means you can identify the benefits for them of participating, supporting, donating, purchasing, using, attending, etc. If you do the first two steps, then convincing will come easy. But convincing is enormously important to reaching a desired outcome.

Asks – A successful Entrepreneur asks. She may be afraid of the answer, but she realizes that she has to ask for the sale, promotion, assignment, donation, information or opportunity. This is one of those places where “no risk, no reward” applies. The response may be negative, but it is usually necessary to know that, if you are to complete something or move on to the next step. Not asking is equivalent to giving up or giving control to someone else. Remember from the original description that an Entrepreneur “accepts full responsibility for the outcome.”

Delegates & Partners – Even though the definition of Entrepreneur is “one who takes responsibility for the outcome,” it would be ridiculous to think that one person can do everything. That can be a difficult acknowledgement for women. Learning when, where and how to delegate or partner is crucial to being successful. But the knowledge is only half the story, doing is the other half. Delegating and partnering provides success on many levels. Triumphantly completing a task, project, event, etc. is one level. Another is sharing the revenue, experience, praise or recognition with someone else. And contributing to the development of an employee, collaborator, child or organization is another. More successes likely to be realized by partnering and delegating are increasing your opportunities, productivity and efficiency. And last, but certainly not least, delegating and partnering helps you use your time, energy, money and brain power wisely and prudently. Entrepreneurs know when to lead and when to follow.

Researches – Knowledge is power. Background provides understanding. Other peoples’ triumphs and mistakes teach lessons. But you cannot benefit from any of these if you do not do research. Research avoids culture faux pas, minimizes costly mistakes, provides competitive ammunition, enhances your assets, strengthens your position and reduces wasted time. How many times have you made a purchase only to find out a few days later that you could have gotten it for less at a different store or website? Have you ever been embarrassed because you made an assumption instead or doing a little reading? Ever felt under or over dressed? A true Entrepreneur prepares to be successful by doing the appropriate research.

Finishes – Making it to the end and recognizing the end are important principles for entrepreneurial living. Our definition stated that an Entrepreneur “accepts full responsibility for the outcome.” Normally, outcome is perceived as the end. However, if you do not reach the end the outcome is likely not what you really wanted. And if you have not clearly identified the outcome you may go past it, thus wasting time, energy, money and maybe reputation. Although this is an important trait, not all people classified as Entrepreneurs are good at finishing. Most of those who rarely finish were placed in the Entrepreneur category by default. These are the individuals who keep starting something new because they have short attention spans, did not think things through before they started or do not deal well with obstacles. They did not function well when working for others, so they became “Entrepreneurs” and started businesses or organizations. Chronically not finishing things is extremely unsatisfying, which may explain their wanderlust and, also, may be the reason for the failure of many businesses and organizations.

Persistent – Sometimes women are not comfortable with persistence because they are afraid they will be called pushy or other uncomplimentary terms. But persistence, and often consistency, is necessary. Everyone has their own agenda; we all have demands on our time, energy and money. So if you are to accomplish your agenda and respond to the demands on you, you must persistently ask, remind, propose, cajole, beg, follow-up and insist. Take this lesson to heart: Just because someone should, doesn’t mean they will. The entrepreneurial way is to take responsibility for the outcome and the responsibility likely includes persistent action.

So look inside and draw out your Entrepreneur characteristics. Nurture and develop them. Apply them to the things you do – big or small. And enjoy the improvement in all the areas of your life.

Entrepreneur News- 3 Ways To Get Your Reconnaissance

As an entrepreneur, information is the base of all profits. Knowing how to get the right information about your projects and doing it quietly is like money in the bank.

1) Networking is number one on the list. A good working relationship with a selection of peers can really help in finding and assessing projects. It takes time to develop a good network of hand picked people that you commonly keep contact with. Trust is a big issue but more importantly quality of positioning is more of an issue. By positioning I mean how that person fits within the relationship of the type of project you do and where they fit within that scheme. For example a rich source of contacts is the humble sales person or broker. They are easy to meet and very willing to do business with you even if you aren’t buying anything from them initially. Real estate agents, Car dealer principles and Marine brokers all fit in this group. It depends on your market, your niche of course.

Experts and valuers are also excellent quality positioning candidates for your network. Finally your competition. Other entrepreneurs that deal prolifically in your market. This last one might seem counter intuitive, but entrepreneurs often “hunt” in groups and help each other. There are only so many projects you can take on at any one time, however your network will continue to keep filling your Hopper with fresh leads and contacts. These can be traded or exchanged for favours later on or Joint Venture’s could be formed with other entrepreneurs. Usually there are two elements that stop you from taking every acceptable project that arrives on your door step, they are time and money. You may be over extended financially but have lots of time up your sleeve with the way your current project is structured. So you can often trade off with another entrepreneur who has funds, but is over committed time wise. And vice versa.

2) Expert authors are an excellent source of inspiration and information. By seeking out authors that deal with topics that you yourself are engaged in you leverage your knowledge. By reading a lot you save time and money by avoiding problems and being opened up to seeing things in different ways. Authors often are old hands looking for a less strenuous way of moving in some income and their own insight is often worth the cents per dollar you pay for their information.

3) Current people you are doing business with. Making a profit is seen as a shameful thing. Well not quite, but we tend to deal with the people that are directly responsible for our profits with guarded care. This is a reasonable attitude, however it need not be so guarded. If they are happy with the deal they made, there is no reason why you should feel concerned about their having remorse. Its not your concern, you are an entrepreneur not a nurse maid. With this in mind, often a chatty attitude will uncover all sorts of insights from the people you do business with. Maybe they know somebody else who is in precisely the same position they were in and you could repeat your deal with their acquaintance. Possibly the biggest reconnaissance you can get from people you have done business with is to be able to identify your own strengths and weaknesses through their eyes. What this does is give you valuable insights into how you operate and how you can improve that core business of yours…..doing deals.

Martin Thomas (c)2005

The Meaning That Defines an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Defined Explained

Among the world of business today the people that are at the centre are known as entrepreneurs other names they can be recognized for are businessmen, they are the sole owners who run the business however the meaning of a real entrepreneur varies.

Entrepreneurs are very much interlinked to the American business world, if you look back in history you will find that the term entrepreneur has been recognized as the adamant part involved in the economy since the mid 1970s so depending on the concept with each various meaning comes from the understanding of today’s society.

Webster’s revised dictionary defined that back in 1913 entrepreneurs were the people who make products for a beneficial purpose only, so it would seem that over the years this term has successfully evolved from back in the 1913s, in today’s world though this definition would seem quite blurred.

You may ask yourself how a person can be known as an entrepreneur when all he seems to do is produce a product. What then is a person recognised as that takes and labels some other persons product and makes a success from them? Would they not be named as an entrepreneur as well? According to the Webster’s dictionary an entrepreneur is a person who organizes, manages and takes on all the risks that are relevant to that business this definition is richer in content compared to the one above the risks they face are the ones that most businesses face with their investments in the market.

Social entrepreneurs are people who start up a new line of business within the health, educational and many other subjects that they feel they can promote within the social change, a definition that was put forward by Ashoka refer to the entrepreneur as a person that organizes society that promotes social change.

Those people who lead the innovations within the world of commerce is better known as a business entrepreneur where as those who are known are social entrepreneurs are the marketers that drive social change to society. To sum all this together such definition points out that a business entrepreneur can not only start and promote any type of business but they can also promote change within this industry, one entrepreneur defines the term as a person who decides to take hold of his own future and becomes a self employed person earning his own income from the products he wishes to promote creating his own business, he can also joint venture becoming part of a team such as multi level marketing.

For a person to be called an entrepreneur he needs to be daring by taking risks he needs to accept the challenges of either winning or losing in the business world and keep an open mind to the possibilities with the results from that business,

What skills do you require to become an entrepreneur?

There are a few pointers that need to be addressed before you venture into the business of entrepreneurship the following list can help you prepare:

Plan and organize: This is part of the setting up and specifying that goal that you wish to commit to keeping to the work schedule that you put in place.

Working with people: socializing with people is always needed in an entrepreneur for if you cannot interact or influence people chances are you will not succeed.

Handling money: Your budget is important your business needs to be carefully worked out, all financial transactions have to be recorded such as loans and other costs you may encounter while you are setting up your business; the entrepreneur has to be an expert in this field.

Selling products and ideas: The entrepreneur needs to know the correct way of selling, it does not matter whether it is the form of information or a material product you will still need to know the correct method to selling as this is the only way you are going to make a profit.

Management: some say if you do not have management skills that you should not be an entrepreneur, I disagree with this in some respects somewhere inside each of us is the skill to manage ourselves you decide what is the right or wrong way to do things if you are working with a budget you know how much you need to put aside for business expenses, everyone is a manager of his own life in some way or another, If you truly desire to become an entrepreneur then you will.

Risk taking: Like any business venture risks are there, winning is not always possible there are two possibilities one is winning the other is losing, whichever one confronts you anyone with good business sense will know how to handle the problem.

Good luck with your future

As an Entrepreneur, You Will Face Many Fears

As a new entrepreneur, we are often racked by fear and end up putting important steps off, or giving up too early. I know, as I have faced these fears in the past.

Here are 10 fears that entrepreneurs can face and how to deal with them. Four that I have experienced myself and six more that I have learned about from other entrepreneurs.

Fear is often called False Evidence Appearing Real I.e we think something bad is going to happen but it is unlikely as there is nothing pointing to that thing that we fear eventuating… or in my words fear could stand for Focus Everything At Reality. Don’t stress over what you think might happen, but be willing to learn, make mistakes, get up again and face your actual situation head on.

Entrepreneurs must take risks and do some things that they have never done before. Maybe even take steps that no one has taken before. When you are an employee, your boss and your company provides the product, the direction, the place it will be sold, the marketing and sets the prices – and also takes all the risks. You are paid for the hours you put in, so there need be no fear… unless you are not delivering what is expected of you… then you might fear being laid off one day.

When you are setting up a business on your own, wanting to become a successful entrepreneur, you will invest some capital (money) and put in a lot of your time before you see results. And yes, you will take risks… and all this can cause you stress and cause the blanket of fear to settle on your shoulders.

Entrepreneurs often have plenty of time, but not enough money, especially in the beginning – so lack of money can be a fear.

I spent 30 years as an employee in financial services and had few, if any fears. Granted I studied, worked hard and rose to the top and was CEO for the final 10 years of my career, but now that I am on the entrepreneurial path, I have faced a number of fears. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of being in the wrong place, the wrong niche, at the wrong time, fear of maybe focussing on the wrong things… all these things, these fears, have rattled through my head from time to time.

Fear can lead to paralysis (I must admit here that I have been known to procrastinate at times), and so fear can invite us to look for reasons not to do what we know we need to do, in order to make progress.

Here are some of the fears that I have faced as I embarked on my journey from employee to entrepreneur.

1. What if I get no customers? When I was a restaurant owner, that was my biggest fear. I had the rent to pay, staff on duty, we had done all the prep and paid for all the provisions… but what if no-one came to my restaurant? Of course, this fear was often unwarranted, as we provided great value and offered a really friendly atmosphere, in a good location. But that fear was still there. In any enterprise, you will need customers, but if you follow through with a good product, good communication and great service, your customers will come.

2. What if I can’t feed my family? This is a follow on from the first fear. A new entrepreneur will often wonder what will happen if he or she doesn’t earn enough revenue to cover costs and leave something over for themselves. This is often the case in the early years, when the entrepreneur can’t pay themselves a decent wage from the enterprise as the business is in the early growth phase. In fact, the fear of not having enough capital to put into the business until it is up and established is often enough to cause one to give up. But a good system, that is followed consistently, will usually get you to a break-even and then a profitable point in the not-too-distant future. In the end, this lack of strong revenue growth led me to sell my restaurant, as the overheads were just too high for the level of revenue we received, thus leaving me with little for my efforts at the end of the day.

3. What if the worst happens? What can be worse than no customers and hence no money for the family? Well, some disaster could wreck the joint – I had some strong winds blow in my restaurant’s front wall to ceiling glass doors on two occasions – and could not open for a few days each time. But luckily I had insurance. Many times we think the worst and worry for no reason. So we need to stay positive, make allowances for if some disaster does strike, but not dwell on that fear.

4. Fear of what your family and friends will think. This is a big one when we go into a venture that we feel our family may disapprove of – oftentimes because they lack the knowledge. Network marketing is one such example and when I joined a network company in my early years, I tried not to talk to my family or friends about this, in case they would disapprove, or even laugh at me. But as I realised more and more that most successful businesses are done via building up networks of customers and suppliers, and marketing to them, I soon realised that this fear was baseless. In fact just the opposite – the bigger your network, the easier the marketing.

All these fears are there with many new business owners, but all have solutions. And one solution to these fears is to make sure you follow a good system, and that you have good and ongoing support, from a mentor if you are new to the industry.

But remember, with the risks that an entrepreneur must take, come opportunities. And it is these opportunities that will eventually lead you to that point of success, when you can stand back and say to yourself, “It was hard, it took longer than I planned, but it was fun, I made some great friends and WooHoo! I am now a successful entrepreneur.”

These next six fears have been shared with me by other entrepreneurs.

1. Not being clear on where to start – if you don’t know where to begin the journey, or when you feel you lack enough information to make a good go if it, then you will be more fearful of taking that first step, or even falter at the first hurdle and consider giving up. I’ve been there. If you follow a good system, with good leadership, this will help you clarify where you want to go, to understand your WHY, what you want to achieve and how best to do it. So spend some time with your mentor, before you start implementing your business plan, to make sure these things are clear in your mind, and that you know where you can go for answers.

2. Not having enough information – lack of knowledge, or information, is often the reason for our hesitancy and cause us to procrastinate. With the technology driven information era that we are in, as mentioned in my earlier article, we should never be short of information on what to do next. Google and YouTube are just two sources of valuable information that you can access to find a way out of your dilemma. And if you are in the right business, your leadership will be able to point you to training and information that others before you have proven will work.

3. Not being committed to your goal– This is a big fear for those who are working full time (an employee) but setting out on the entrepreneurial path on a part time basis. What if I can’t put in enough time, or get distracted by my job? If you want to be successful, you can’t just do the entrepreneur stuff now and then, when you have some spare time. Even when it is a part time business, or a side gig, as Mel calls it, you still need to make it ‘full time’ by focussing on it regularly and systematically. Even one or two hours of an evening, after dinner, can be enough to get a business established and growing consistently. Again, by following a good system and learning from those who have gone before you, together with your focus and commitment, you can create the value you are looking for.

4. Not taking the necessary action – This is a follow on from point 3, well, on all the points so far, as in the end, thinking, planning and strategising are not enough. You need to do something, take action, to move your enterprise along. Most of the problems in small businesses result from bad decisions (not enough thought as to the right steps) and poor execution (not doing the right thing well enough). It is often at this point that people freeze and the fear of failure paralyses them. “What if I do something wrong?” But remember, taking risks is all about learning from your mistakes. Many of today’s successful entrepreneurs have made many mistakes along the way. Again, by following a sound proven system, and doing what your leaders have done before you with good results, can increase your chance of success. So take action and consistently execute your plan.

5. Not having the right support – on occasions in my past I have tried to do things my way, pooh-poohing the advice of others. And these have often not worked out well. So, you will not only want to find some professional support for your venture, such as a bookkeeper and maybe a lawyer, but you will also need moral support, from family and team members. Team? Well, yes, oftentimes, there are opportunities to build a team around you who can help you with your new business venture. Involve these people in your mission and explain to them why you are doing what you have set out to do. And if you do find a good mentor, communicate with them regularly, as they are there to help you when you come across a hurdle, as you inevitably will.

6. Not having a back-up plan – things don’t always go to plan and so now and then, having an alternative approach will be useful. Don’t change your target, your goal or your destination, but often there may be a different route that you can take. So keep your destination the same, while having a number of ways that you can reach it.

WOW! with so many things to fear, you might well be wondering if it is all worth it. Well, as I mentioned a few times, having a good system and following it, together with strong leadership and mentoring, can reduce and even eliminate the fears that will arise from time to time. The system I am following has helped me address all 10 fears mentioned in this article.

I invite you to have a look at my system on my website – see below- and see how it can help you on your path to becoming a successful entrepreneur and also help to reduce or eliminate many of the fears you will face.

I would love to help you on your journey.