“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week; but today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer. “
Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese’s
This is what entrepreneurship is all about. You need to have ‘fire in the belly’ to be a successful entrepreneur; the adamant urge to make your business ideas transform into reality, and successful. According to Peter Drucker, entrepreneurship is “a systematic innovation, which consists of the purposeful and organized search for changes, and it is the systematic analysis of opportunities such changes might offer for economic and social innovation.” It is the inherent ability to build and create something relevant and successful from practically nothing. On a broader outlook, entrepreneurship is an attitude; a quality to seek challenging opportunities, take only calculated risks, and drive the benefits in the way of setting up a profitable venture.
There are several roles that come with the quality of entrepreneurship, and most of these are aimed at a wider socio-economic development. Discussed herewith are the primary characteristics of an entrepreneur.
4 Characteristics of an Entrepreneur
1. Entrepreneur as Risk-Taker
According to Richard Cantillon, entrepreneurship is all about having the willingness and foresight of assuming risks, while taking calculated actions in making a profit, or loss. According to him, an entrepreneur has to be risk-taking, forward-looking, and efficiently alert if not innovative in true sense. The role of an entrepreneur involves two types of risks; measured and unmeasured. However, a successful entrepreneur is one who has the potential to foresee and assume the unmeasured risks in his business, transforming them into business opportunities for growth and profit.
2. Entrepreneur as Innovator
Entrepreneurship has a major role in assimilating knowledge, which is not in recent use and setting up new forms and functions of production to design, produce, and market new and innovative products. Joseph Schumpeter pointed out here that innovation does not mean that it has to be newly discovered. The quality of an entrepreneur lies in utilizing the existing knowledge that has never been used before in production. More from being an inventor, an entrepreneur needs to possess the potential of driving invention into lucrative commercial exploitation.
3. Entrepreneur as a Leader
This is one of the primary roles of entrepreneurship. According to Alfred Marshall, an entrepreneur “must be a natural leader of men who can choose assistants wisely but also exercise general control over everything and preserve order and unity in the main plan of the business.” He should be on the constant lookout for innovative methods that guarantee to be most effective with respect to the costs presently in use. He should possess the inherent quality of leading the business and workforce, towards a better socio-economic scenario from a broader perspective.
4. Entrepreneur as Restorer or Perceiver
John Bates Clark views entrepreneurship as the process responsible for maintaining coordination that helps in restoring the socio-economy to the position of effective equilibrium. Through a comprehensive “discovery process,” entrepreneurs identify new lucrative opportunities and risks, thus, driving the market towards equilibrium. The role of entrepreneurship lies in being alert to profitable business opportunities, and for this, the quality of perception is a primary trait of a successful entrepreneur.