Did you know that the word entrepreneur comes from the French word “entreprendre” which means “to undertake? If you want to get more analytical and you speak French, you might think it comes from combining two verbs “entre” and “prendre.” “Entrer” means “to enter” and “prendre” means “to take” so combined they would mean “to enter to take.” That works too because a person following a business startup idea who enters markets to take advantage of opportunities for profits by assuming the risks is, by definition, an entrepreneur.
Let’s look at some interesting facts about entrepreneurs:
People who become entrepreneurs either seek out an entrepreneurial life or they fall into it. Not everyone who becomes an entrepreneur grew up thinking that it was their dream to become a business owner.
Entrepreneurs fall into different entrepreneurial personality types–the professional, expert or pragmatist, and the inventor. Maybe as a small business owner, you have not given much thought as to the type of entrepreneur you are. You were too busy focusing on getting your business operating and profitable and not so much on what kind of entrepreneur you are.
Those entrepreneurs that are referred to as professional entrepreneurs start one business, and another, and another. They are very good at establishing a business and making it very successful in a relatively short period of time. Sometimes if luck would have it, the first business does well, and they sell it. Soon they start another business because now being an entrepreneur is in their blood, and they can’t go to work for someone else, so they start another business.
Did you think that every person who becomes an entrepreneur set out to be one? Sometimes an entrepreneur comes looking for someone who is an expert in a particular field that is needed for their business, such as accounting, finance, marketing, or sales. It can also be that they need an expert in a particular industry such as software, pharmaceuticals, or cosmetics. Then they go looking for someone who has that knowledge and asks them to join their venture by making them a partner. Voila! They are now an entrepreneur.
The expert entrepreneurs are often well-educated and become experienced in their trade by working in a corporate setting for a number of years. There they hone their skills, creating the expertise that makes them so valuable as an entrepreneur.
The third type is the inventor. Bill Gates is an inventor type entrepreneur that has made this type very well known. This type of entrepreneur may have a distinguished inventor personality. You know the “absent-minded professor” who gets so caught up in his technology and invention that they do not function well in a fully functioning business setting. As a result, they cannot function as a leader of a company because they have much too narrow a focus.
Instead, to become a success as an entrepreneur, they compensate for their shortcomings by surrounding themselves with experts that can provide the business expertise that they lack. In fact, they may hire the “professional” entrepreneur as a partner to focus on the growth aspects of the company so that they can continue in the inventor capacity, which they do best.
There are blends of these three entrepreneurial types. It is possible to find a professional-inventor type who is fortunate enough to have both skills at their disposal. They can become super-creative geniuses who can invent and start businesses that do extremely well and become very profitable, taking full advantage of their creative and business potential. They can become billionaires!
The blend pragmatist-professional entrepreneur is one that takes a combination expert who also understands the operation of a business. They use their expertise to develop an idea for a business that will lead to a very profitable business idea and set about hiring all the talent they need in every area to make it extremely successful. For example, someone who knows the pharmaceutical business very well comes up with an idea for marketing and managing pharmaceuticals in a new and more efficient way. His expertise as a professional entrepreneur allowed him to dig in and help with the startup process of the business while supervising the development of the pharmaceutical end of it.
Another interesting fact is that certain entrepreneurial personality types go better with specific types of businesses. You increase your chances of success if you choose a business that matches your entrepreneurial type. Often when you are thinking of starting a business, you do not give any thought to what kind of entrepreneur you are. Success often depends on your knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and your ability to find people that complement you.