It takes a certain type of person to be an entrepreneur, yet there are no specific rules about the kind of venture they can turn their attention to and be successful at.
From sole traders to self-employed owners of SMEs to the founders and figureheads of the biggest companies in the world, entrepreneurs can be found in every industry at every level.
Think like an entrepreneur
Thinking like an entrepreneur can create plenty of opportunities to make your CV really stand out, not to mention impress the people who matter in your current job. If there are no rules, there are no tried and tested formulas and if there are no tried and tested formulas, there are no limitations. So what are you waiting for?
Creativity, imagination, vision and passion – curiosity and the ability to spot gaps in the market, or niche opportunities, are key traits of all entrepreneurs. Ideas don’t have to be groundbreaking, original or particularly innovative, they just have to provide solutions and gain your undivided attention in making them work.
Practical mind-set – logic, reasoning and an understanding of processes are all essential entrepreneurial attributes. There’s no need to have all the answers or an abundance of direct experience, but the ability to assess the resources at your disposal – and make them work as effectively as possible - is essential.
Preparation and planning
Strategic and tactical thinking – seeing the bigger picture, devising plans and deploying them swiftly will yield great results no matter which stage of your career you’re at, or what sort of project you’re working on. Being able to take a step back from the detail is key, as is the ability to delegate once you’ve done so.
Attract the right team
People skills and influence – not all successful entrepreneurs are overachieving, hyper-organised, extrovert workaholics. The ability to work well with people at all levels, across a wide range of disciplines, is something all entrepreneurs should be able to do. Have the tenacity and judgement to seek out people you trust and can spark off - it may be a bit of a cliché, but being likeable can influence a project’s success and could therefore impact your career.
Develop a thick skin
Ability to tolerate risk and live with ambiguity – accepting you don’t have all the answers, even when tasked with large-scale projects or substantial budgets, isn’t something many workers are comfortable with, yet for the entrepreneur it’s par for the course. Time will see your avant-garde methods become the norm, but in the meantime embrace change and challenge accepted wisdom and methodologies without fear.
Trust your instinct
Self-belief and gut instinct – having the courage of your convictions when venturing into the unknown is the only way entrepreneurs can successfully navigate unchartered waters. Whether you’re just starting out in your career or are already well-established, listening to your inner voice will always pay dividends.
Stay motivated and disciplined – being an entrepreneur is as much hard work as everything else. Keep sight of your longer term goals, whether you have your eye on internal promotion or a career move elsewhere.
Adapt and evolve
Remain adaptable and responsive – employers value workers who can react to changing market, team and organisational conditions. Such entrepreneurial thinking will also serve you well should you decide to broach a new career direction or find and pursue different in-roads.