Entrepreneurs often display a business-savvy spirit long before they officially set up their first enterprise. From Sir. Alan Sugar, who started selling factory discards to the rag and bone man when he was just 11-years-old, to Sir. Richard Branson, who successfully launched a magazine at the age of 16, the entrepreneurial spirit shone through early on.
The common link between entrepreneurs like these are they don’t recognize a capital constraint on their business. I subscribe to that premise completely. You are only constrained in business and life by your skills. And over time I will evidence that here on this blog. If I don’t keep that promise there’s no need to return.
I have a good life, but I see the opportunities and through here you can journey with me as I pay forward. I’m lucky and so I don’t want to be a hog.
I also started off young, launching my first business (money making idea) from family visits to New York where I scoured record shops for vinyl that had a scarcity in the U.K. Kerching! But what is it that gives an entrepreneur that X-factor, the special ingredient that allows them to turn their grand idea into a reality?
While there might not be an entrepreneurial gene in our DNA, entrepreneurs do have a certain spirit in common: a gut instinct for business and a thirst for success. There are five key characteristics hardwired into entrepreneurs that set them apart from the crowd: ambition, self-confidence, passion, motivation and adaptability.
Many come up with great ideas and solutions that could manifest into brilliant businesses. But if the entrepreneurial spirit isn’t there to drive these ideas forward, nothing will ever come from that initial concept. Successful entrepreneurs have the ambition to actively want to make a difference, then have the confidence, passion and motivation to see it through. When things go wrong, they adapt to the situation, find an alternative way of doing things and never lose faith in their vision.
Being born with entrepreneurial spirit is a great start, but to optimise what comes naturally to entrepreneurs, these traits need to be nurtured. I was born into a family of hard grafters, so from an early age I was surrounded by people who nurtured my enterprising instincts and pushed me to devise new ways of making money. They showed me that hard work and tenacity are a powerful combination.
However, all too often, people find themselves funnelled down the university route or into corporate roles, and dissuaded from taking the risks necessary to set up by themselves. Undoubtedly, the advice of family and friends can be valuable, but there are many other places for entrepreneurs to turn to for expert advice, for example, online forums and networks.
Budding tycoons can enter forums to get advice and support from mentors with start-up experience. With the start-up scene booming in London, incubators are popping up all over the capital. These provide fledgling business leaders with office space to work, as well as collaboration, learning and networking opportunities with like-minded people. They provide the supportive environments and connections needed to grow ideas and nurture natural talents.
It’s imperative that entrepreneurs become an expert in the industry to which they’ve chosen to dedicate their business life, and know the issues and pains inside out. This requires in-depth insight into myriad things: whether there’s a market for the new venture; if there’s already a market, who’s the competition? In addition: where have others gone wrong and if it hasn’t launched yet, why not? Entrepreneurs will only find themselves on the road to success once they can confidently answer each of these questions.
Ultimately, to be a success, entrepreneurs must balance their gut instincts with the quirks of their industry and the requirements of their business. Successful entrepreneurs embody the five foundations of the entrepreneurial spirit mentioned above, they’re surrounded by people who support their initiative, and they’re nothing short of experts on their industry.