Can Everyone Become An Entrepreneur?
To effectively answer this question, we’ve got to go back to the very beginning; what is entrepreneurship? We need to understand the very meaning of the word –entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is derived from the French word ‘Entrepreneur’, dating as far back as 1723. It means an individual who undertakes, organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business with considerable initiative and risk.
In other words, entrepreneurship is simply the practice of being an entrepreneur – a person who takes the initiative and risk to start a new business venture.
Since this is so, then the next logical question should be this; is everyone capable of taking the initiative and risk to start a new business venture?
The keyword here is capable.
That is, do we all as humans possess the capabilities to become an entrepreneur?
The answer as you will soon find out is YES!
But don’t just take my word for it, let’s dig in deeper to unveil this mystery. To do that, we will be looking at the 3 major paths research has revealed people take to become an entrepreneur.
How To Become An Entrepreneur
According to Bill Aulet, the professor of entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Author of Disciplined Entrepreneurship; there are primarily 3 ways of starting a new business venture.
Meaning, there are basically 3 ways of becoming an entrepreneur;
You have a breakthrough technology
You have an idea
You have a passion
You Have A Breakthrough Technology
This is perhaps the most celebrated form of becoming an entrepreneur. Names of great inventors such as; Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Mark Zuckerberg of facebook, Elon Musk of Tesla, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and of course the legendary Steve Jobs all come to mind.
These are extraordinary people whose inventions have moved the world forward. They have literally changed the way the world works through their breakthrough technologies. Entrepreneurs in this category are the exceptionally gifted minds.
When people think of the word entrepreneurship, they are the very first kinds who come to mind, naturally. Permit me to say this; they are the standard when it comes to entrepreneurship. Their breakthrough inventions are not response to existing market needs. Rather, they just create new needs and new markets that absolutely never existed.
Their ability to invent breakthrough technologies often leaves the rest of us to wonder if we could ever become an entrepreneur. The impact they make in the world as a result of their breakthrough technologies, make the rest of us seem like we are just playing.
We cannot help it but to wonder if we could ever accomplish such feats in our life time. I don’t know about you, but I certainly ask myself this. I mean, this people are simply out of this world, they literally invent the future!
You Have an Idea
Closely following the people who become an entrepreneur by creating new business ventures from their breakthrough technologies are those with great business ideas.
They don’t invent any breakthrough technology, they simply think up breakthrough ideas that completely change the way a product or service or industry works. These breakthrough ideas are then translated into new business ventures.
As a matter of fact, their ideas are usually a radical improvement or alteration of an already existing business model. They literally turn the old on its head and come up with unusual ways of solving the same problem faster, better or cheaper than all the existing players in the market.
Their genius lies in thinking up new ways of combining different processes or approaches of solving a particular problem or creating a particular product or delivering a particular service.
Popular examples include; DELL, Fedex, eBay, Wal-Mart, McDonalds, CNN, SouthWest Airlines, Starbucks, Amazon, Spanx, etc.
These are the kind of ideas you call the million dollar idea. They are not your everyday ideas. They are not seen by the average Joes. They come only to those whose minds have been prepared for it!
You Have a Passion
The last, but certainly not the least way of becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business venture is by having a passion.
Of all 3 ways of becoming an entrepreneur, this is perhaps the easiest entry level for everyone. Anyone willing to take the initiative and risk entrepreneurship requires will do just fine with this 3rd option. This is the kind of entrepreneurship for the rest of us!
When compared to the other two options, it is far less intimidating to become an entrepreneur by starting a new business venture around your passion.
The first requires a great level of creative genius in a particular field.
The second requires a great level of insight and opportunity.
But starting a business around your passion doesn’t require any rare gift besides the ones you’ve already been given from birth. You don’t need to be a creative genius to have a passion. You don’t need insight and opportunity to have passion.
All you need to have passion is to be alive.
All living souls have passion. It is there whether you choose to admit it or not.
People who become an entrepreneur by starting a business around their passion are seemingly ordinary people who do what they do extra-ordinarily well.
The secret lies in their decision to do something significant with whatever they are passionate about. They simply take what they have been given from birth and consciously make up their minds to do something meaningful with it. They build businesses that matter!
It’s not so much about the invention, technology or idea, but fundamentally about their passion to solve a particular problem. Their secret is their passion to make a difference in a particular field, industry or society. They are driven by change and their passion is their only weapon for creating that change.
Think about successful entrepreneurs like; Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Tommy Hilfiger, Mohammad Yunus, Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki, Rupert Murdoch, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Brian Clark, etc.
They are not exceptionally gifted than the rest of us, they are just ordinary people who love what they do and do what they love extra-ordinarily well. They are simply using their God-given talents to create multi-million dollar businesses.
They are the entrepreneurs who want to make a difference using their passion to create unusual products/services for solving humanity’s problems. They don’t wait until they create a breakthrough technology, in fact, in most cases they can’t. Neither do they wait to strike a breakthrough business idea, in fact, in most cases, they don’t.
I belong to this category of entrepreneurs. For me, entrepreneurship is all about changing the world and profiting from purpose/passion. I created this site, naijapreneur to help as many out there who also belong to this category to discover entrepreneurship for the rest of us.
As you might have now realized, there isn’t anyone who can’t become an entrepreneur. The problem in most cases is trying to become a different kind of entrepreneur following a path you weren’t created to function.
Finding your own category of entrepreneurship is crucial to your entrepreneurial journey. You shouldn’t force your way into a category you don’t have what it takes to function, rather, flourish in your category.
Nevertheless, there’s no law that restricts you to any one of these 3 ways of becoming an entrepreneur. I wrote this unusual article to point out that there are other approaches to becoming an entrepreneur than you might be aware of.
What’s most important is that you know which one of them you started or is starting your entrepreneurial journey on. And make sure you enjoy the ride; after all, no one forced it on you!