The world needs you: you as a business starter-upper, or you as an entrepreneurial spirit. Your role models range from teenagers to those in their mid-90s.
Besides their new ideas, initiative, experimental natures, and ongoing direct connection with customers, entrepreneurs share several qualities in common (big bucks not necessary). But, before discussing their personality traits, let’s clarify the difference between the self-employed and the entrepreneur.
Self-employed individuals generally offer services on a contract basis for clients. They do the work themselves and frequently collaborate with complementary, self-employed colleagues. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, build a system (including employees) and business assets for the marketplace that can work and continue without them. So, bottom line: entrepreneurs are “self-employed,” but not all self-employed pros are entrepreneurs.
In a blog post, Jason Browser, discusses “8 traits of successful entrepreneurs – Do you have what it takes? Jason explains that successful entrepreneurs possess similar qualities and asks if you share at least half of these http://www.mbda.gov/node/337:
- Strong leadership qualities
- Highly self-motivated
- Strong sense of basic ethics and integrity
- Willingness to fail
- Serial innovators
- Know what you don’t know
- Competitive spirit
- Understand the value of a strong peer network
All of these traits are important, but, as inspiration, most experts would agree that “willingness to fail” is a key to success. No “fear of failure” here; “learning from mistakes and moving on” is critical.
Older & Younger Entrepreneurs
We need more entrepreneurs offering innovation, fresh ideas and potential hiring opportunities for sluggish economies. Younger people, especially those in their 20s and 30s, are being encouraged to start their own businesses. We do, of course, know quite a few outstanding young entrepreneurs who have made mega-bucks by initially developing and introducing new products and services from their garages and kitchens or making high-tech tools more techie and user-friendly.
But, statistically, as two of the many articles discussing entrepreneurial spirits of all ages note, older entrepreneurs (generally, 40s through 60s) have the edge.
As Chris Farrell explains in a Business Week article, “Older Entrepreneurs Start Companies Too,” most studies show that “older people with experience have an entrepreneurial edge in a knowledge-based economy.” Furthermore, the U.S.“could be on the cusp of an entrepreneurship boom—not in spite of an aging population but because of it.” http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-30/older-entrepreneurs-start-companies-too
Annie Lowrey’s article in Slate, “Grown-Up Startups,” discusses the importance and relevance of initiatives that encourage young entrepreneurs. However, older ones are “starting more and more new companies and might outpace younger entrepreneurs.” Their advantage comes from work and personal experience, leadership skills, possibly better credit histories and financial resources, and marketplace knowledge. http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2010/12/grownup_startups.html
Never too young
Whatever our age, we’re never too young or old to consider our potential. Thus, here are “10 Ways to Spark the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Your Child” [or yourself] from Babysitters blog.
- Encourage her ideas.
- Never tell him something won’t work.
- Expose your child to other entrepreneurial kids.
- Help with a lemonade stand.
- Let your child make mistakes.
- Teach your child about cost versus profit.
- Figure out what she is good at.
- Challenge him to make something.
- Allow her to sell what she has made.
- Let him enjoy the extra spending money he makes.
If you want to spark your own entrepreneurial spirit, you will find more and always relevant information for each point at: http://www.babysitters.net/blog/10-ways-to-spark-the-entrepreneurial-spirit-in-your-child/
If you want to share your entrepreneurial experiences, let’s feature you on 1st Person PR….whatever your age.