Donald Trump eat your heart out

Have you got what it takes to be a world class entrepreneur? Or would you be better off as a senior executive in the corporate world?

In a recent White Paper on Competitiveness, the UK Government said “Entreprenuership and innovation are central to the creative processes in the economy, to promoting growth, increasing productivity and creating jobs. Entrepreneurs sense opportunities and take risks in the face of uncertainty to open new markets, design new products and develop innovative processes. In the knowledge-driven economy this process is critical in large and small businesses alike.”

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, a useful starting point would be to assess your own competencies. Ask yourself: how do I measure up against the best entrepreneurs in the world?

A study of 17 successful entrepreneurs identified 9 competencies that can predict, with about 80% accuracy, which individuals have the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs of the future.

This study showed the entrepreneurs to be people who are driven and focused, with a huge capacity for work. They also demonstrated high levels of integrity and consistency when dealing with individuals and a particularly generous approach to sharing the rewards of success. They had an eye for developing a business that would stand the test of time and that would contribute to their local community.

What stands out amongst these individuals is the passion they have for what they are doing. That passion feeds their success and drives them forward.

Dr David McClelland, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership and motivation, proved that entreprenueiral behaviours can be developed and that once these behaviours are developed, business performance improves.

If it is possible to develop these entrepreneurial behaviours, how do you do it?

Firstly, make sure your chosen field is something that really grabs you, something you believe in completely and can talk about confidently. Remember you will have to convince others it’s a good idea and there will be some risk-taking involved! Know your stuff, know your market, know your limitations, and then go beyond them.

Take the initiative – if you don’t do it no one else will! Or if it is a really good idea, if you don’t take the initiative someone else might! Take the lead on issues and set a good example for any employees you might have and also to the investors.

Set targets for your people and monitor performance against these. When performance is good remember to reward your employees but only when they do well.

Be honest with yourself about how well things are going. Communicate closely with your employees and tell them if they’re not up to scratch. They can either shape up or ship out. The line Donald Trump liked to deliver – “You’re fired” from The Apprentice TV show springs to mind.

Take care of yourself psychologically. You are the visionary, the leader. When things go right, make the most of it, feel good about it and use that to move on to the next challenge. Beyond the competencies, there are practical skills that the entrepreneur needs to develop. There are thousands of things to think about when setting up a new business – how to secure funding, how to sell the new product/concept, how to deal with the day to day running of the business.

Above all, individuals must respect the huge amount of personal sacrifices successful entrepreneurs have made along the way and also recognise that success owes a lot to hard graft, determination and long hours as well as drive, commitment and a brilliant business concept.

Copyright (c) 2007 WealthBeing