can Entrpreneuers be Made? Find out

Can you make — or “make over” — an entrepreneur? It’s a question that came up a lot as my co-authors and I researched our new book, Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck. Those are the four traits we deemed crucial to entrepreneurial and business-building success. We even came up an Entrepreneurial Aptitude Test to measure how company founders and business builders stacked up in the different traits, and to help you identify where you’re strongest.

But are people simply born with a certain combination of these traits, like DNA, or can Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck be taught, nurtured and developed? We believe it’s the latter, although of course it varies by person and by trait.

Luck is to a certain extent just plain luck, of course, but as I’ve written before, you can cultivate Luck by being open and humble, by having the right attitude and approach toward relationships and by building Lucky Networks. Smarts are of course something we all try to develop and hone — although the kind built through experience may often be more valuable than those learned in books. In this sense Smarts is mostly about pattern recognition, a capability that definitely can be practiced and improved.

Heart — e.g. inner passion and purpose — is the strongest and most important trait among the business founders we surveyed. To a large extent it’s something you’re born with. But following your Heart is an explicit decision. To ponder more deeply what you naturally feel is your greatest passion is your greatest opportunity for, well greatness. And to act on it, that takes Guts.

Lack of Guts is perhaps the most common barrier to entrepreneurial success. There are always risks associated with anything non-traditional and absolutely with anything ballsy — concerns about financial security, reputation, or knowledge gaps, to name just a few. It takes Guts to get past those worries, to persevere when the going gets tough, and to adapt when circumstances demand it.

Guts are about having the courage to initiate, endure, and evolve around an idea. This trait can absolutely influenced, amplified or acquired over time — and building up Guts may thus be the most important way in which entrepreneurs can be developed. Three Guts-building approaches in particular stand out: early childhood experiences; training for risk; and, not least, peer support and accountability.

1)Early Childhood Ventures, and Salesmanship. Having had a proverbial paper route, lemonade stand, or other childhood enterprise helps strengthen the Guts trait. Eighty percent of the entrepreneurs we surveyed who identified as Guts-dominant had a venture early on in life that thickened their skin. Any type of publicly exposed role or activity, even later in life, that requires salesmanship or where rejection is commonplace, can be part of an entrepreneur’s “makeover.” There are few successful entrepreneurs who have not had to put themselves on the line both early in life and throughout their entrepreneurial journeys.

2)Training for Risky Outcomes. For our book, we interviewed Steve Callahan, who was lost at sea alone for 76 days and survived. How? One reason was that he had read and absorbed numerous survival guides that helped guide some critical decision-making. Business schools, books, and coaches that case-study methods and crisis response tactics can mitigate risks inherent in any situation. This is especially true during the first phases of any critical business situation — a lawsuit, say, or an unplanned succession, downsizing, or the merger or sale of a company. Knowing what to expect in these and other situations creates a baseline of preparedness that can give someone heightened confidence, willingness and capacity to take on more risks because the risks are calculated and mitigated. In fact, many entrepreneurs described their “Guts” as less risk taking than risk mitigation.

3)Peer Support and Accountability. It’s easier to be brave when somebody’s got your back. Also, the most effective way to enable positive behavior change is via peer-based support. Through my venture capital firm’s investment in an employee wellness company, ShapeUp, we found that people typically make better choices about their health in an environment of social support and accountability. A surrounding ecosystem of peer-based support and accountability can make people really push the envelope and make change happen.

Entrepreneurs start from that place we call Heart, inner passion and desire that is not easily malleable. We are what we feel. But turning that passion into a business reality obviously requires executing on it. It requires Guts. Unimaginable amounts of potential lie dormant because people don’t have that minimum threshold of Guts to just initiate and not overthink it.

People therefore often suppress their Heart, and conflate not having the Guts to start with not having the right idea. These would-be entrepreneurs require a makeover in attitude and mindset towards reflecting on what is really holding them back. Perhaps the better question than whether or not you can make or make over an entrepreneur is whether you can encourage more people to realize their passion, purpose, and potential. We think so
blog post by Anthony K. Tjan culled from Havard Business Review


Mistakes Entrepreneuers make, Dont make same

As an expert in Entrepreneurship I have always watched with Disdain how startups crumble upon starting to know how to run the business from the beginning, keep these below ideas on what not to do and what to do in mind, because for any startup if you fail to plan then it is obvious you have also planned to fail,” this is a complete mutually inclusive event”

Ticking with one—and only one—idea for too long

While a single idea may be your catalyst to entering a market, don’t be afraid to continue to explore new ideas and options. Remain open-minded, and explore new ideas to see which ones will pan out into feasible market opportunities.

1)- Being product-driven, not customer-driven

In the world of capitalism, the customer is king. Even if your product is faster, better, or stronger than the competition’s, if it isn’t what your customers want, then they won’t buy it. It’s that simple. And to know what your customers want, ask them! Understanding what your customer wants and needs should be your number one priority.

2)- Thinking legal problems can be solved later on

Many important legal decisions must be made early on. Neglecting to deal with these issues during the appropriate stage can cripple a business. It’s important to hire a competent lawyer with experience in working with entrepreneurs. He/she can advise you on the next steps to take as you are growing your business. It can be much more costly and time consuming to fix the legal blunders you made unknowingly early on than to take care of them at the outset.

3)- Spending money before you make it

Cash is key in the early stages of a business. Money owed to you only forecasts future cash flows. While you may have a booming business with many customers, you cannot pay your bills and staff without cash.

4)- Not having a clear focus

Write a business plan early on, even if it is only for your benefit. Set both short- and long-term goals for the business, so you can check your progress along the way. Without a clear vision of where your company is heading, your great idea can get muddled along the way.

5)- Catching key customer syndrome

Having that one large customer in the beginning may be just what you need to get your business started. But don’t rest on your laurels. Use that edge up to work on acquiring more customers—large and small. Having one customer who generates more than 50 percent of the revenues can be a recipe for disaster if that customer goes out of business or stops buying from you for some reason.

6)- Performing inadequate market research

Entrepreneurs often overestimate the size of their potential market. So be careful about defining your market segment too broadly, and make sure to conduct sufficient research on potential and exiting competitors. Ask relevant questions, such as: What are potential customers buying now? What is their incentive to switch to buying a new product? Is there enough market demand to support the introduction of a new product?

7)- Having too much overhead

Many startups fail due to overspending on overhead. The best entrepreneurs know how to use their cash for business-building processes, such as product research and development. Think carefully before spending and remain focused on the bottom line.

8)-Lacking experience

Your lack of experience in the industry you are trying to enter can lead to many costly mistakes. Before trying to launch a startup, gain experience in the field through an internship or a related job. On-the-job experience is the best way to learn about a business.

9)- Maintaining equal partnerships

When starting a business, it can be tempting to divide ownership equally among the partners and attempt to make all decisions via consensus. But while partners may agree in the early stages, disagreements will inevitably arise. Partners also often have different ideas about how much time to put into the business. Ensure that there is a defined leader with adequate authority to make final decisions and sufficient compensation to remain motivated. I am personally involved in getting businesses off the ground with Partners specifically because the percieved partner is a friend, school mate or just an acquaintance, what I believe is evidently true in setting up businesses is making sure Partners or co-owners have active stake in also bringing in very important ideas and intellectual knowledge, aside from physically helping in these regard then bringing in money should be best option.

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