How to be an entrepreneur

Bill Gates was a career entrepreneur from the age of 13, selling his first computer program to a school for about US$4,000. While at Harvard, Bill Gates and Paul Allen formed Microsoft which specialized in computer software in 1976.

They saw huge potential in the personal computer industry and thought Microsoft could write the necessary software to run personal computers. They were right. The company made its first big strike in 1980, when IBM agreed to let Microsoft write the operating system for its new personal computer. From here, Gates grew to become the most successful businessman in computer industry. He is now worth $100 billion.

Becoming an entrepreneur can seem like a very difficult challenge for some people. For others, it is just a matter of instinct and luck. What do we need to become an entrepreneur? Is one brilliant idea enough to get your business off the ground? Does it take a genius to start a successful business?

Becoming an entrepreneur requires more than just an idea. You need to be creative, resourceful and a good communicator. You might decide that you are more inclined towards management than entrepreneurship, or maybe both. Ask yourself the following questions: How can I become more creative? How can I become more resourceful? And, how can I be a good communicator?

How can I be more creative?Successful entrepreneurs are creative. Creativity helps you respond to changes and challenges you will inevitably face as you set up and run your enterprise. Entrepreneurs tend to be either convergent or divergent thinkers. Convergent thinkers evaluate, analyse and select the best of a range of ideas. Divergent thinkers can generate diverse and complex ideas. Everyone can be creative. If you would like to be more creative, here are some ideas to help you.

First, adopt a role model. Find out about successful entrepreneurs on the Internet. Use a search engine and the search keywords ‘famous entrepreneurs’ or the name of a particular entrepreneur that you know of. Reading their life stories is often very inspiring and you can learn a great deal about how they become successful and the challenges that they have overcome.

Second, take on a new challenge. Set your goals; for example, to work on the solution to a new problem you face each week. This will force you to be innovative and find ingenious solutions. Moreover, you can experience sense of achievement when you reach that goal.

Third, develop thinking techniques that will help you think clearly and solve problems in a structured way. Some examples include: concept mapping, associational thinking, creative visualization, relaxation and meditation.

Having an inquisitive mind also helps expand our creativity and prepare us for facing the daily challenge of being an entrepreneur, so browse the website or relevant literature to find out more about these techniques.

Successful entrepreneurs are always searching for new ideas and inspiration. New ideas can spark from experiencing new stimulus and looking at things from a fresh perspective.

Watching a movie that’s not your preference, listening to new music, reading different types of books and magazines, visiting galleries, people-watching in a park or café or trying new food can help to spark new idea.

Some entrepreneurs like to journal their experiences and write new ideas. Keep your five senses open to new experiences as well. Listen, watch, smell, taste and see new things.

How can I become more resourceful? Successful entrepreneurs are resourceful. They have skills and knowledge to find solutions to challenges that arise in their business. Learning to obtain and analyze information will increase your resourcefulness. Work in a team to utilize different skills, knowledge and abilities; join online entrepreneur forums and discussion groups; look for educational resources; and join professional associations. These strategies will help you become more resourceful. You will have more skills and knowledge that help you thrive as an entrepreneur. You will also build networks that will be invaluable for your success.How can I be a good communicator? Successful entrepreneurs are good communicators. If you want to hire an employee, good communication skills will help you pick the right person and make sure they know what the job involves.Good communication can help you: get your ideas across, and be receptive to other people’s ideas; solve problems; build and improve your relationships with other people; encourage the people around you to be creative.Good communication isn’t simply talking. Good listening skills are important, too. Listening is a valuable entrepreneurial skill. It can be improved with practice.

Creative, resourceful entrepreneurs need to be able to communicate their ideas clearly and effectively. If you have difficulties communicating with other people, this doesn’t mean your ideas are no good, or you can’t start your own business. But it may mean you need to find strategies to help you feel comfortable and effective when you interact with others.

Great leaders are often known for their excellent communication skills. Good communication skills are a key ingredient in leadership skills. Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of determination, hard work and initiative. Nevertheless, the reward of running a successful business is worth the risk and hard work. Start equipping yourself with more creativity, resources and communication skills. As David Rockefeller says, “Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.”

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