WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR?

Which characteristics makes an entrepreneur, I am asking, and what qualities does it take to be a successful company founder?

Is it a lack of abil­i­ty to sub­or­di­nate one’s per­son­al­i­ty to with­in the nar­row cocoon of depen­dent employ­ment? Alter­na­tive­ly, you might find sim­i­lar­ly capa­ble, cre­ative and clever minds and leave the com­pla­cent com­pa­ny. Maybe even before try­ing to per­suade deci­sion-mak­ers to do some­thing new and inno­v­a­tive, to leave their com­fort zone and to com­mit to an idea that they could­n’t have had in their dreams. A cor­po­ra­tion offers a lot of posi­tions that promise reg­u­lar work­ing hours and a guar­an­teed salary pay­ment at the end of the month, while requir­ing only mod­er­ate com­mit­ment. How­ev­er, it also fea­tures many obstruc­tions and pit­falls, bureau­cra­cy and a lot of perseverance.

It is the cre­ative spir­it and the absolute desire to rethink inno­va­tion, to change the world, to accom­plish, to gain recog­ni­tion, respect, appre­ci­a­tion and con­fir­ma­tion for one­self? Thus, it is also achieved for oth­ers, and it is all about pow­er and mon­ey and even­tu­al­ly and ulti­mate­ly it is about part­ner­ship and love. At least Ernest Hem­ing­way would have agreed to this fun­da­men­tal assess­ment of the mean­ing of all striv­ing, to what life is all about.

Being a start-up founder or a small busi­ness own­er, is that it? Nobody wants to remain “small”, how­ev­er, the think­ing is big, lim­it­less oppor­tu­ni­ties, new hori­zons are at the focus, the view­point is direct­ed to infi­nite pos­si­bil­i­ties. Is this notion viable every­where? Not all loca­tions are said to yield unlim­it­ed oppor­tu­ni­ties, and the degree of igno­rance and nar­row-mind­ed­ness varies sig­nif­i­cant­ly, wher­ev­er you are.

Intel­lec­tu­als solve prob­lems and issues that they are set to work on. Genius­es solve prob­lems, the exis­tence of which has nev­er even dawned on any­body, and they invent new prod­ucts or rein­vent prod­ucts anew, i.e. a new added val­ue, a clever ser­vice or an unex­pect­ed ben­e­fit that, from then on, no one wants to do without.

Once you have suc­cess­ful­ly gath­ered your team­mates behind you, since a good and moti­vat­ed team is essen­tial, the next step is to over­come the fear­ful­ness of the financiers. Empa­thy, com­mit­ment and per­sua­sive­ness are also qual­i­ties that a suc­cess­ful entre­pre­neur must possess.

The real entre­pre­neur needs to be a work­horse, haunt­ed and ambi­tious, at least part­ly. At the same time, he needs to bring suf­fi­cient self-con­fi­dence and self-respect to not per­ma­nent­ly exceed his sus­tain­able work­load. He needs to care for his health and to engage in ade­quate relax­ation and men­tal stim­u­la­tion. “Beware of the bar­ren­ness of a busy life!” was thus the ear­ly warn­ing of the ancient philoso­pher, Socrates.

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