Yakima County Development Association - What Does It Take To Be An Entrepreneur?

Jean Brown

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Jean Brown

Jean publishes a blog called the Enterprise Corner.  It features articles on entrepreneurship, local industry trends, manufacturing news and periodic ‘toolbox’ articles showcasing assistance, incentives and other resources for local businesses.

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What Does It Take To Be An  Entrepreneur?

What Does It Take To Be An Entrepreneur?

June 06, 2014

What does it take to not only start and manage a business, but also to make it a resounding success? That is a question asked by many people who set out with business plans in hand. One thing that distinguishes the successful entrepreneur from others is that the “level of commitment and willingness to buck convention often outweigh other factors in determining whether a business ultimately succeeds or fails.” Naysayers who predict failure actually fuel the business owner’s desire to succeed.

alt textHowever, being a risk taker should not be confused with being reckless. Those who successfully take risks analyze that risk, evaluate the pros and cons, and then trust their instincts and recognize and seize an opportunity to create their own business. Besides the willingness and ability to analyze and take risks, there are other common traits of successful entrepreneurs:

They trust their gut. Listening to intuition is a skill that can be developed and strengthened, and it is a skill that is particularly valuable in the most chaotic, fluid business environments. At times when high-pressure decisions must be made at a moment’s notice, intuition can often beat a thoughtful, rational analysis. By trusting their instincts, entrepreneurs are emboldened to carry out new, untested ideas and ventures, even when nobody else believes in them. The authors state, “It is about seeing the need for a product or new service and just knowing you can make it happen.”

They buck the conventional wisdom. They ignore those who say, “It will not work” or “It has never been done that way.” Successful entrepreneurs succeed in large part because they veer away from established formulas and ways of thinking. They do not blindly accept established best practices, looking at them instead with a hypercritical eye and dissecting them in order to contemplate different what-if scenarios.

They never let adversity or failure defeat them. They do not accept limits that others or circumstances place upon them. “The ranks of successful entrepreneurs are filled with men and women who refused to stop believing in themselves, despite the derision of others or breathtaking failures in their past.” People who venture out and start small businesses will undoubtedly experience stressful moments that will test their faith, especially in the beginning when establishing their business. These individuals must remember that “the antidotes to doubt are persistence and resiliency.”

They find an underserved niche that everyone else has failed to notice and failed to serve. Small businesses may have the edge over large multi-national businesses because small businesses can afford to serve those niches that larger corporations consider too small to be profitable.

They spot a new trend and pounce. Business owners are not always as sensitive to the shifts in cultural and economic trends as they should be, yet these shifts are often what create entrepreneurial opportunities.

They go where other businesses have not. The authors tell the story of baseball player “Wee Willie” Keeler who had a streak of eight seasons with 200 or more hits and attributed his success to hitting the ball in areas not covered by opposing players. Successful business owners study the landscape and know where the gaps for services and products are.

They just start their business. They trust their instinct that their business idea is a winner, and they take action. They understand that the perfect time for a business launch will never present itself. In fact, waiting will give competitors a chance to get there first.

They save money and get noticed without expensive advertising. Start ups are usually on a tight budget, and the authors believe that there are plenty of ways to get customers’ attention without spending money on advertising. They believe that successful business people make their business known in creative and unexpected ways.

They exploit their competitors’ weakness and make it their strength. Entrepreneurs who succeed are also observant of their customers’ habits and needs as well as of their competition. They do this by viewing the world from the perspective of their customers, which makes it easier to identify their competitors’ vulnerabilities and shortcomings. They then implement policies and practices that exploit the observed weakness.

They never stop reinventing their company. They are not complacent. Top-performing business people are not afraid to continue to take chances andto keep expanding their line of products and services. They keep pace with the marketplace.

If your thinking it's time to act, to take that next step.... contact me at 575-1140 or email jean@ycda.com

Jean Brown
Business Development Director


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"New Vision was instrumental in obtaining a large state workforce training grant that has been used for assistance and training of employees at all levels of our company. The training has been extremely beneficial as our company expands." - Jim Richmond, CubCrafters