• Nicholas Bing

What is Entrepreneurship?

Updated: Aug 16, 2020

To understand “entrepreneurship” you must first separate the word “Entrepreneur” from the term. You often hear the word “entrepreneur” as a founder or director of a company that turned an idea into reality years ago. For example, we call, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk entrepreneurs because they are not only building new capabilities for humankind but are generating immense value for society. While this is true, the wider concept of an entrepreneur is much more encompassing. Entrepreneurship is a function of the individual, mindset, and the environment they are in.

Let’s dive into what each item is and means for you and see if you have what it takes to be a true entrepreneur (not indicating you are not). First let’s dive into what being an entrepreneur is not.

“Entrepreneurs are people who focus on business and money” – Not necessarily. Although we know entrepreneurs as extravagantly rich individuals today does not mean they started their venture based on the idea of being rich and famous. This is a false misconception people have as wealth is merely an outcome seen after all their work. If you start a venture thinking, you’ll be rich and wealthy then Goodluck! We explore why under the mindset.

“Entrepreneurs exploit others for personal gain” – Although sometimes this happens, it’s not widely accepted with true entrepreneurs. Yes, there is “hustle”, but entrepreneurs don’t generally inspire to devalue and exploit others for their own agenda. There’s a line of having people support your journey and misusing them. Not every entrepreneur is the Wolf of Wallstreet and sadly this is more relating to the nature and greed of business.

“Entrepreneurship” is a mindset not an activity. – I believe and lay it upon 3 aspects, there is the person, but what’s equally important is what the person is thinking (mindset) and what they do in with what resources they have (the environment). The following article is a mixture of experience, stories I have heard, academic research and every source I can think of, feel free to contribute and grow this knowledge bank.

Individual

Entrepreneurs are both leaders and drivers for their vision and company. Like every leader, a sense of purpose and direction is crucial for success.


Purpose

  • Every successful entrepreneur that I’ve met have a vision and goal that is often much more than themselves. Being selfless is a key attribute possessed by an entrepreneur as it’s not all about yourself but what you can give. Entrepreneurs create and sell products or services which go onto change systems, processes or lives.

  • Is making money a strong enough purpose? I would argue not really… This is because it’s a “nice to have” rather than a must. For example, Elon Musk isn’t interested in the Billions he can make from Tesla, but rather the drive to change the world with electric vehicles. Elon’s case highlights his need and desire as an individual – he could have easily stopped and lived his best life after selling Paypal but instead with that capital, he invested into Solar City, Tesla and Open AI.

  • Why is purpose important? As a entrepreneur, the motivation for setting out to create something is often overwhelming and unrewarding at the start, this leads into a spiral of self-doubt and drive to actually bring your idea into fruition. What ties many entrepreneurs is their purpose, their why and them believing that if they don’t do this… then it will not happen.

  • Ask yourself “If not me, then who”

Leadership

  • Entrepreneurs are leaders. They often don’t look to follow the pathway that is most followed but seek to create their own path. I believe that leadership is a set of skills and experience that positions you to bring people on your journey. Leaders aren’t the boss, they are the catalyst for collaboration, vision and direction.

  • Leadership on its own is a wide concept and therefore its relevance to entrepreneurship are so closely aligned. Just imagine everything associated with leadership is often overlapped with entrepreneurship. The most important aspects that is worth exploring is empathy and self-awareness.

  • Nothing is more powerful for a leader/entrepreneur when you can identify your own strengths and weaknesses and be open to teamwork from this perspective. Leadership for me isn’t about setting the agenda, but more so for having to work and leverage team members in building your vision/purpose.

Mindset

The entrepreneurial mindset is crucial, it doesn't necessarily makes you an entrepreneur, but, it is able to be conditioned into anyone despite background, experience or history. Therefore opening you up to the spirit of entrepreneurship.


Values

  • The entrepreneurial mindset is a range of thought and attitude that entrepreneurs have. It’s not just one aspect but a multitude of values, this is where academia normally plays around trying to “categorise” what is an entrepreneurial mindset.

  • Many people agree upon the general idea that entrepreneurs are…

  • Positive thinkers and see opportunity where others see problems.

  • Creative and don’t just stick to one approach every single time.

  • People who Persevere through challenges and don’t take the easy path.

  • Self-motivated and self-reliant, to the point where you can throw them in an unknown environment, and they will likely do well.

  • Takes risks with chances that aren’t always in their favour.

  • Open to view and understand other perspectives to figure out the best approach.

  • Discipline and are willing to do the hard work when push comes to shove.

  • There’s a lot more regarding the values and mindset of an entrepreneur which is difficult to describe as most of the learning and doing is part of the job and is done in action.

  • To explore yourself, I’d recommend doing a personality test.


Grind

  • Endless hours, waking up early and going sleep early are all part of the entrepreneurial “hustle” or “grind”. For many entrepreneurs, it takes a lot of unseen behind the scene work which eventually hopes to pay off.

  • As part of it, it is about being willing to do the work that others would hate to do. The idea is that the sacrifice now will 10x over in the future.

Environment

Entrepreneurs are people like you and me, what they choose to do however and the actions they take defines them.


RNG

  • Not everything is calculated, nor should it be. Most entrepreneurs have no idea what they are getting themselves into and that’s the skill of it. What makes you an entrepreneur is to take what your life throws at you, look at the positives and build from what you have. RNG is a gaming concept I like to refer to. It is essentially translated into “Random Number Generator” and is used in games as a way to keep things exciting. For example, a simple game like Tetris randomly gives you a shape and it’s up to the player to place it in the best possible shape to achieve a full line.

  • When assessing life like RNG, it’s up to you as the entrepreneur to make whatever the odds you have favourable for your own position. The easiest way to highlight this is thinking about the stereotype of what family you are brought up in. It is simply by chance you are either in a working-class family, rich family or living below the means. However, in whatever scenario you are placed at either makes it easier or harder for you to achieve what you want to do. The question you should ask yourself is “If I did this… Will it equal getting me closer to my {vision}”. The trick is that you stop leaving life up to RNG and instead start doing things that either pre-emptive construct/protect you from your path.


Doors and opening

  • Do you see a glass half full or half empty? Aligning with the correct mindset will often lead you to the best outcome in any opportunity. Entrepreneurship is about being the right person for the right opportunity and making the most out of it.

  • Most people don’t take the opportunity when it is thrown at them, Ask yourself “Do you want to be like most people?"

I am more than happy to discuss these points in person or have a chat in your thoughts and views!