07 Oct To be or not to be an Entrepreneur
I am an Entrepreneur!
So I guess your first reflex reading this was to go see my LinkedIn profile to find out what my business was all about. And I guess your second reaction was something like “Hum… No you’re not!” Well I just proved you that I am. I just sold you the first business I have ever owned: Me!
I am an Entrepreneur and I have always been. But please don’t take my word for it. Let’s look into this a little closer, shall we?
What is an Entrepreneur?
What qualifies a person as being an Entrepreneur? As per Thesaurus’s definition, an Entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.” As per this description, an Entrepreneur does not need to own a business but rather “organize and manage any enterprise”. So now let’s look at Thesaurus’s definition of “Enterprise” which is “a project undertaken or to be undertaken, especially one that is important or difficult or that requires boldness or energy”
Based on this, I tend to say that an Entrepreneur is a person who drives and undertake or aims to undertake a project that requires considerable initiative and risk. This person has entrepreneurial spirit. The entrepreneur has a passion to build its future, a will to change its situation or the situation at the company he/she works for. And yes, among them, some actually want to go beyond being an Entrepreneur in spirit and start their very own business.
The most seeked type of employees
Contrarily to what one would think, the entrepreneurial type of individual, is, according to latest poles, the most seeked candidates. Businesses owners are looking for individuals that will run their department, teams and project as if they were running their own business. On the flip side, however, one should expect that some of these amazing business drivers will go on and open a business on their own. The step for them is sometimes not that far away. It’s a risk however that many employers are willing to take as they need the drive and the innovative thinking that these individuals bring to their company.
Transitioning from Entrepreneur to Business Owner
According to the recent study, « Indice entrepreneurial québécois 2016 », produced in partnership with the Institut d’entrepreneuriat Banque Nationale, HEC Montréal (IEBN) and the research firm Léger, 42.2% of the active population aged between 18-34, 26.5% of 36-49 years old and 9.5% of 50-64 years old, have the intention of actually starting a business. And that is great news. The overall rate of people intending to start a business tripled, going from 7.0 % in 2009 to 21.0 % in 2016.
15.1%, 15.3% and 5.3% of respectively the 18-34, 36-49 and 50-64 age ranges actually move to the next step of seeking information and beginning the process of creating a business.
How many actually open their own business? According to that same study, only 5.2% of the active population aged 18-34, 12.2% of 36-49 years old and 9.5% of 50-64 years old do it. Overall, from intending to start a business to opening a business, the rate drops from 21.0% to 7.8%!
The Entrepreneurship Show Stopper
The biggest obstacle most encounter when wishing to create their own business is financing. Obtaining finance counts for 58.1% of the cases with 32.4% not having enough personal money aside to access the type of credit they would need to start. Personal finance concerns 35.8% of women and 29.9% of men, with 40,1 % of the 35-49 years old range versus 24,6 % of the younger 18-34 years old generation.
Another reality that often breaks the intention of starting your own business is the lack of knowledge and support. As an entrepreneur, you are faced with many tactical decisions to make, never really knowing if it’s the best decision to take. Some entrepreneur also does not benefit from the personal support of their close entourage leaving them with not many people they trust to bounce back their thoughts and ideas.
Its understandable that with these obstacles, one can easily feel overwhelmed and simply give up. But what if you could benefit from that personal support you are missing?
Seeking Help Through a Mentor
First thing first, what is a mentor? What is the difference between a mentor, an advisor, a coach and a consultant? Simply said, advisors, coaches and consultant all focus on the knowledge gain and the “knowing how”. Some categorize further by saying that advisers offer guidance, coaches help develop your skills and consultants make recommendations. And a Mentor? I believe that Shawn Hitchcock said it well in one of his famous quotes: “A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future and believe it can be obtained” In other words, through a strong business acumen, his business wisdom and experience, a mentor can help entrepreneurs find answers not only by helping them developing the “knowing how” but also the “knowing how to be” that will drive them to a successful start-up.
As an aspiring company builder, you “Don’t know what you don’t know”. Acknowledging that “you don’t know” is the first step to creating something, and seeking the support of a mentor is the second best step you can make to help you move forward and redefine your skills.
Now back to my initial statement… Am I an Entrepreneur? Yes, I definitely am. I have started and owned two small businesses in the recent past and currently run the Marketing department in an IT company. I also have the joy of mentoring young entrepreneurs through Futurpreneur and ReseauM which keep my entrepreneurial spirit well alive and act as a Global Ambassador for Rare Birds. It is a true pleasure to exchange with individuals who have that same passion of creating and building something of their own. It feeds me and provides me with the opportunity to give back.
Back to you. If you do choose to move from an Entrepreneur to a business owner, please remember these two things: First, it often takes many trials to succeed as a business owner. Most business owners have started a company more than once before becoming successful, 2.3 trials in average according to some studies. And Point 2, there is help out there! Financial help and empowerment support. There is no shame to seek either. Do benefit from the various financial programs available and do seek the support of someone who has gone through it all before you.
So to all the Entrepreneurs out there, get on that bike!
Don’t waste that drive – worst you could say is I tried!
Indice entrepreneurial québécois 2016 Study http://www.entrepreneurship.qc.ca/sites/default/files/images/mentorat/IEQ2016_complet_FINAL_161026.pdf
Author: Suzie Beaudoin
Please tell me what you think – Would be happy to hear from you and exchange! J