What is Entrepreneurship?
The basic entrepreneurship definition is the act of creating a business or businesses while building and scaling it to generate a profit. However, entrepreneurship is also about transforming the world by solving big problems. Like initiating social change, creating an innovative product or presenting a new life changing solution. It can even help lower unemployment rates through job creation to help reduce poverty. Entrepreneurship is what people do to take their career and dreams into their hands and lead it in the direction of their own choice. It’s about building a life on your own terms. No bosses. No restricting schedules. And no one holding you back. Entrepreneurs are able to take the first step into making the world a better place, for everyone in it.
What is an Entrepreneur? Entrepreneur Definition
The most basic entrepreneur definition is a person who sets up a business. An entrepreneur can be a person who set up their first online store on the side or a freelancer just starting out. The reason why they’re considered entrepreneurs, though some disagree, is because where you start out isn’t where you’ll end up. The entrepreneur who starts a side hustle can eventually create a full-time, sustainable business with employees. Same with the freelancer. If you’re focused on creating a profitable business, you fit the entrepreneur definition.
However, an entrepreneur is much more than a business or job creator. They’re some of the world’s most powerful transformers. From Elon Musk sending people to Mars to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs making computers part of every household, entrepreneurs imagine the world differently. Entrepreneurs see possibilities and solutions where the average person only sees annoyances and problems.
Entrepreneur Meaning from Real Entrepreneurs
“It’s all about doing something better than it’s been done before. Making something simpler, cheaper, more enjoyable. We live in world where creating ‘brand new’ products is difficult, but perfecting and improving a product, service, or delivery of product is easier to do.” – Adam Pearce, Director of Marketing and Management at Blend Commerce.
“If you think it’s in you, just start. Building your own business is not for everyone. You need to really ask yourself if you are ready to dedicate and sacrifice everything around you for what you hope to build.” Parker Burr, founder of Feat Socks.
“I think in today’s business climate being an entrepreneur is as it’s base level creating something of your own. It can start as something small, but having your own source of income that you create directly is easier to do that ever with so any tools. From there you can test, see what is scalable and then go all in.” – Travis Nagle, cofounder of Stem.
Importance of Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs are often superhumans. They’re smart, creative, and ambitious. An entrepreneur is the person who sees a problem in the world and immediately focuses on creating the solution. They’re the leaders that strike out on their own to make the world a better place. Whether they’re creating jobs or a new product, they constantly take action to ensure world progress.
- Entrepreneurs create jobs: Without entrepreneurs, jobs wouldn’t exist. Entrepreneurs take on the risk to employ themselves. Their ambition to continue their business’ growth eventually leads to the creation of new jobs. As their business continues to grow, even more jobs are created. Thus, lowering unemployment rates while helping people feed their families.
- Entrepreneurs create change: Entrepreneurs dream big so naturally some of their ideas will change the world. They might create a new product that solves a burning problem or take on the challenge to explore something never explored before. Many believe in making the world a better place with their products, ideas or businesses.
- Entrepreneurs give to society: While some have this notion of the rich being evil and greedy, they often do more for the greater good than the average person. They make more money and thus pay more in taxes which helps fund social services. Entrepreneurs are some of the biggest donors to charities and nonprofits for various causes. Some seek to invest their money in creating solutions to help poorer communities have access to things we take for granted like clean drinking water and good health care.
Why Do People Become Entrepreneurs
With over 400 million entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship has an international appeal. Every entrepreneur has their own ‘why’ that drove them to dive into being their own boss. Whether entrepreneurs need more freedom or to make the world a better place, they all take control of their life by living life on their own terms. Here are a few of the reasons why people become entrepreneurs:
- To change the world: Many entrepreneurs strive to change the world. Whether entrepreneurs believe in space exploration, eliminating poverty or creating a practical but game changing product, they ultimately build a business in service of others. Some entrepreneurs use their business as a way to raise capital quickly to funnel into their noble causes. To social entrepreneurs, building a business is about creating a better world for everyone.
- They don’t want a boss: Entrepreneurs often struggle with having a boss. They often feel suffocated, restricted and held back. Some entrepreneurs may feel that they have a more effective way of doing things. Others may dislike the lack of creative freedom. Ultimately, they become attracted to entrepreneurship to succeed on their own terms. Being the boss can be more fulfilling than having one.
- They want flexible hours: Entrepreneurship is often popular around those who need flexible hours. Many people with disabilities often enjoy entrepreneurship as it allows them to work when they’re able to. Parents with young children might also prefer entrepreneurship as it allows them to raise young children at home or pick them up from school without having to feel guilty about it. Students may also like the flexibility of entrepreneurship as their course workload might not allow them to work standard office hours.
- They’re risk-takers: Calculated risk taking and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. Entrepreneurs don’t apply to jobs, they create them. With that comes risk. Whether it’s the financial risk of starting your first business or the risk from not knowing what to expect, business is risky. Entrepreneurs are often taking risks by trying things the average person won’t, to do things the average person can’t.
- They can’t get a job: Many stumble into entrepreneurship when they can’t get a job. Getting fired, a lack of experience or a criminal record can prevent the average person from getting a job when they’re desperate. Instead of being defeated by their situation, they create new opportunities for themselves. A new graduate might start an online store the summer after graduation to build up their resume. A parent who is seasonally laid off each winter might start a business to ensure they can continue feeding their family while keeping a roof over their heads.
- They don’t fit in the corporate environment: Entrepreneurs don’t often thrive in corporate environments. It’s often very restricting for their growth. They may dislike the lack of control they have in their role or the office politics. In general, you can spot an entrepreneur in a corporate environment as they’re usually trying to gain more control in their role and learning their coworkers responsibilities to better understand how everything fits together.
- They’re curious: Entrepreneurs love finding out the answer to the question, ‘what will happen if…’ They’re experimental. Entrepreneurs love learning. So naturally, entrepreneurship appeals to them because doing allows them to learn the most in the shortest amount of time. Their curiosity allows their continued growth.
- They need a creative outlet: Entrepreneurship piques the interest of the creative type. Whether it’s deciding how to market your brand or how to design your website, there are countless opportunities for creativity. Running a business challenges entrepreneurs to think of unique solutions to complex problems. Channelling your creativity into something profitable allows you to pay the bills while having fun.
- They’re ambitious: Those who love reaching difficult goals and milestones are made to be entrepreneurs. There’s no limit to how much an entrepreneur can make and so they can always work to achieve higher levels of greatness. Since there’s no limit to what they can achieve, entrepreneurs constantly find themselves growing and achieving more than they ever imagined. When obstacles get presented in front of them, they find the workaround to their goal. Entrepreneurs are unstoppable.
Examples of Entrepreneurs
Walt Disney cofounded the Walt Disney Company one of the leading motion picture studios. He was also the visionary of Disney theme parks like Disneyland and Walt Disney World. His brand started with the creation of the Mickey Mouse character and eventually expanded to include characters like Snow White, Cinderella and more. As an entrepreneur, he had to overcome adversity with challenges such as people stealing his work, commercial failures and more. However, he kept pushing through staying committed to his vision.
Mark Zuckerberg created several products before building Facebook. He created an instant messaging tool that his father used in his dentistry practice to communicate with his receptionist. Zuckerberg also created music software that Microsoft and AOL were interested in buying even though he was only a teenager. Within the year he first founded Facebook, he had already had 1 million users. Today, Mark Zuckerberg has a networth of $68.3 billion.
Sara Blakely first started her Spanx brand in 1998. She was one of the first creators of women’s leggings. Her brand specializes in shapewear and also includes bras, panties, hosiery and more. She’s also the inventor of arm tights which allows women to wear their summer clothing year round. At one point, Blakely was the youngest self made female billionaire.
Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
“Being a successful entrepreneur does not mean being impulsive with your risks. Always be strategic, plan excessively and run your ideas by trusted people. Measure measure measure! Look at what you’re doing, observe what you see is working and tailor your strategy often (monthly at least). Stay sane—Entrepreneurs live and breath work. It’s important to take time for self-care.” – Daffnee Cohen, founder of Daffnee’s Boutique
“My best advice for an entrepreneur, always start small and build every day. Start off as a side hustle and build your company to the point where it is successful enough to support you and your family and then go all in! Put in the long hours, join clubs and groups and make connections. Listen to other people’s advice that have been in your shoes and benefit from their advice. A great mindset for an entrepreneur is that you can take over the world on your own, but as your company gets larger this mentality will hurt you more than it will help you. If you want to grow your company you need to let people help you. Your company can only grow so much with one person doing all the work.” – Chris Gronkowski, CEO of Ice Shaker
“Collaborative is the new competitive. Some level of competition is healthy, but when you’re goal is to beat out another company by being faster or cheaper, you’ll run yourself into the ground. Instead, figure out ways you can align yourself with businesses in a collaborative and mutually beneficial way.” – Jess Ekstrom, founder of Headbands of Hope.
“Do shit. Don’t think anything is going to drop in your lap. Sometimes it seems like nothing is moving and all the effort you’re putting in isn’t working. But if you truly believe in what you’re doing, a spark will come. Put the pedal down to the floor!” – Ari Banayan, founder of Habit Nest.
“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” – Peter Drucker
“From my very first day as an entrepreneur, I’ve felt the only mission worth pursuing in business is to make people’s lives better.” – Richard Branson
“A person who sees a problem is a human being; a person who finds a solution is visionary; and the person who goes out and does something about it is an entrepreneur.” – Naveen Jain
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” — Student (unidentified) of Warren G. Tracy
“An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.” — Reid Hoffman
“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” – Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance.
“There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” – Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote.
“Being an entrepreneur is a mindset. You have to see things as opportunities all the time. I like to do interviews. I like to push people on certain topics. I like to dig into the stories where there’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer.” – Soledad O’Brien
A startup entrepreneur can build almost any type of business. Here are a few business ideas to get you started:
- Ecommerce store owner
- Freelancer (writer, accountant, designer)
- App creator (chatbots, social media apps)
- Service based business (food delivery, cleaning, dog walking)
- Consultant based business (wedding planner, life coach)
- Marketing businesses (PR firms, influencers, SEO brands)
- Affiliate marketers (Amazon, Clickbank, etc)
- Blogger (Product reviews, niche blog, magazine)
- Vlogger (YouTube, Twitch)
- Flipper (domain name, website, house)
- Real estate agent (condos, houses, commercial)
- Photographer (taking photos for clients, sell photos)
- Stock Broker (buying and selling stocks)
What first attracted you to entrepreneurship? Let us know why you became an entrepreneur in the comments below.