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what is an entrepreneur

What is an entrepreneur

So what is an entrepreneur? Well, you may not know it, but you’ve already had some experience in entrepreneurship. Every time you start a new project on your own, or taken a keen interest in something new, that is an act of entrepreneurship.

The French defined entrepreneurship through the French verb entreprendre which means “to undertake” or “to dare.” In other words, entrepreneurs are those who dare to try something new in order to achieve their goals.

Why is everybody an entrepreneur these days?

It seems like everybody is an entrepreneur these days!

Whilst there are many different types of entrepreneurship – including social entrepreneurs and those who want to create a business – fundamentally all aspiring entrepreneurs prefer to be their own boss, to be in control of their own future, rather than work for someone else.

Instead, they want to take a business idea and start as soon as possible and use their creativity, self-motivation and optimism for their own success.

But what about those who are still wondering and waiting? Unfortunately, that is also most people.

Those who have great ideas but don’t know how or where to begin. Or the ones that have been sitting on the sideline watching everyone else take risks and do things they never thought possible before? And how about the people who are just trying to figure out what it is that will make them happy in life and what direction they should go in next?

By reading this article we hope you too will be inspired to become an entrepreneur.

What is the definition on an entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship can be defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business.

An entrepreneur in an individual who works to identify and develop opportunities for a new business venture. They initiate and assume the risk for an endeavour with an uncertain outcome. And they are creative risk-takers who aren’t afraid to venture into uncharted territory.

Entrepreneurs try new things to create something of value. They must be determined, resourceful and persistent under adversity. They also must have excellent leadership skills to motivate others and to inspire confidence in their ideas. These qualities make for a strong leader both inside or outside of the business they start and lead.

What does an entrepreneur do

While it can vary greatly, in general entrepreneurs do the following 7 actions and activities:

  1. An entrepreneur is someone who has the vision and the will to turn that vision into reality through innovation and hard work
  2. Entrepreneurs have a keen eye for spotting market trends early on before they become popular which helps them stay ahead of their competition
  3. Entrepreneurs are people who have a new business idea and want to create and run their own businesses
  4. An entrepreneur is someone who can make quick decisions and take risks that come with running their own business
  5. They can motivate themselves and those around them despite challenges and take on the risk of starting a business to pursue their own aspirations and goals, not someone else’s
  6. Entrepreneurship is about being resourceful, finding opportunities in problems, and creating something of value for others

In short, entrepreneurs can take an idea from scratch and develop it into a successful business. They are the type of person with an innate ability to lead people and inspire them to think bigger than they would on their own.

It takes courage and determination to keep going when things get tough and challenging – this is what separates entrepreneurs from everyone else!

What education do you need to become an entrepreneur

You can certainly get up and running without formal university-based training. In fact, this type of training is often a hindrance to some of the key aspects that set entrepreneurs apart – their creativity and willingness to challenge ideas and outcomes, think on their feet, and have no hesitation troubleshooting any roadblock to their success.

Many of today’s successful entrepreneurs had no formal business education when they started their own company. In fact, many entrepreneurs have not completed high school.

For instance, take the following ultra-wealthy people who dropped out of high school, or dropped out of college or university and never graduated before making their fortunes:

  • Amancio Ortega dropped out of school at 14 to begin running errands for local shopkeepers before founding the retail chain Zara in his native Spain[1]
  • Fashion designer Ralph Lauren dropped out of Baruch College at The City College of New York. He founded his fashion empire by selling ties out of his desk drawer while working in a job[2]
  • Francois Pinault, founder of the luxury group Kering, dropped out of school when he was 11 years old to work in his father’s lumber mill. Today, he has a net worth of many billions[3]
  • Jay-Z attended the George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School but never graduated. He went on to become hip-hop’s first billionaire in June 2019[4]
  • Mark Zuckerberg left Harvard after his sophomore year to focus on Facebook. He co-founded the social network to help fellow students learn the names of the people in their classes[5]
  • Michael Dell dropped out of the University of Texas at Austin to sell computers. As a student, Dell spent his spare time upgrading PCs and selling them from his dorm room[6]
  • Richard Branson dropped out of school at the age of 16 after struggling with dyslexia. Soon after he founded a student magazine, and a mail-order record company which morphed into the Virgin Group[7]
  • WhatsApp cofounder and former CEO Jan Koum dropped out of San Jose State University and worked at Yahoo for nine years before founding WhatsApp[8]
  • Zhou Qunfei dropped out of high school at 16 to work in a watch lens factory. She’s CEO of Lens Technology, which manufactures glass for brands such as Apple, Samsung and Tesla[9]

While there is absolutely no need for formal university-based training, this does not mean you don’t need any training and education. To the contrary, it is extremely important you become knowledgeable in the field that you want to pursue.

It is certainly is possible to splice together your own education program by watching YouTube videos and the like, but it comes at a hefty price: your time. You can’t ever get more time.

That is why most smart aspiring entrepreneurs choose to find and learn a specialist. Having access to an expert in the field is vital. An experienced practitioner – not a theorist – will cut years out of your entrepreneurial journey.

One option you may want to consider is our Inner Entrepreneur course. It provides you with a comprehensive step by step process of turning your ideas into reality.

Entrepreneurs are different

Entrepreneur vs business owner

Entrepreneurs and business owners do not always have the same goals or journeys to success.

While not all small businesses are started by entrepreneurs, many successful entrepreneurial start-ups have been founded by people that began, for instance, as a side-hustle and who gradually grew their business.

Business owners
A business owner is someone who invests capital to generate revenue by building, buying and selling goods or services, or buying existing businesses. They tend to think strategically and are interested in gradually growing their companies so they can expand operations or increase profits.

Entrepreneurs on the other hand, tend to use their creativity and knowledge to come up with a new products or services that people want and will buy. Entrepreneurs may be inventors, innovators, or risk-takers and more interested in innovation, new ideas, creativity and the thrill of the chase.

So, although entrepreneurs and business owners both create products or services that customers want, their reasons and methods for doing so are vastly different.

Intrapreneur vs entrepreneur

Both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are people with big ideas for products or services, but the ways they implement their ideas are completely different.

Entrepreneurs organise and operate their own business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks to do so.

Intrapreneurs on the other hand work inside a corporation with large resources at their disposal but are constrained by organisational boundaries.

Intrapreneurs push their ideas forward, without taking the big risks associated with entrepreneurship. Instead, they take smaller risks within their organisation to push forward an idea or concept that might lead to a new product or service for the company.

Business entrepreneur vs social entrepreneur

All entrepreneurs share the same basic goal: to make a profit. However, the difference between entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs is what they do with that profit.

Social entrepreneurship is an emerging form of entrepreneurship that seeks to tackle social and environmental problems by creating businesses as a means to achieve long term change.

Social entrepreneurs with good ideas can turn those ideas into profitable ventures, and if their venture becomes successful, they often reinvest the profits back into the company or invest in other companies with similar goals.

As such, many people see social entrepreneurship as a way for individuals and organizations to address major social and environmental challenges while still making money.

What is the entrepreneurial leadership style?

Entrepreneurial leadership is a style of management that has emerged within the last few decades. It is characterized by the pursuit of innovation and risk-taking, which are often at odds with established business models.

Entrepreneurship can be seen as an approach to transformational leadership, which emphasizes new directions for organisations rather than incremental improvements to existing practices.

However, entrepreneurship differs from other types of innovation in that it requires not just creativity but also social skills and persistence.

What is an entrepreneur – key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs

It is important for entrepreneurs to ensure that they have the skills necessary for entrepreneurship. Successful entrepreneurs have:

  • Grit, self-confidence, perseverance, and are persistent. They can persevere when they are being challenged in their endeavours
  • One skill of particular importance is time management. Entrepreneurs must learn how to balance managing both their schedule and their workload
  • Successful entrepreneurs are tenacious and will not give up on difficult tasks or ideas even if they are unsure of the outcome
  • Successful entrepreneurs can be honest about their successes and failures. In fact, they very often inspired by failure and see them as opportunities in disguise.

Things to consider before becoming an entrepreneur

First of all, you must be willing to take risks. It is not easy to start a new business and there are bound to be some failures along the way. You need to have self-confidence in your ability to achieve success with your entrepreneurial venture, and have the ability to dust yourself off when things don’t go as planned (which they often do!).

Second, you need the right personality traits for entrepreneurship. Introverts may struggle more than extroverts with the business aspect of starting a company. You also need to be able to inspire and motivate others, so good leadership skills are essential.

Finally, you must have some basic needs fulfilled for your future success as an entrepreneur. You might want to consider entrepreneurship after you have worked for a few years so that you will be financially ready to take on this new challenge!

12 Tips for becoming a successful entrepreneur

  1. Identify your passion and skills
  2. Develop a plan for how to turn these into a business
  3. Get the right entrepreneurship education and training, and have expert knowledge of your chosen idea
  4. Create a budget, including living expenses and savings goals
  5. Save money by cutting costs where you can, such as on transportation or entertainment options that aren’t necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle and mindset
  6. Build an online presence with social media accounts, website, blog posts, etc., so people know what you’re all about from the get-go
  7. Start small until your business is generating enough income to support itself – don’t risk everything on one big idea
  8. Develop a relationship with your clients and don’t be pushy
  9. Always go above and beyond for your customers
  10. Innovate and keep up with the latest industry news to stay ahead of your competition
  11. Enjoy yourself! Being an entrepreneur isn’t always easy but it’s rewarding, so make sure to enjoy the journey
  12. Never EVER give up! Even when things get tough, there is always a way to bounce back, so never stop trying or believing in yourself if you want to become an entrepreneur


There are many things that you need to consider before deciding if entrepreneurship is the right decision for you. Entrepreneurship offers the potential of financial freedom, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility that can be hard on your personal life and relationships.

While there may not be one single right answer about whether or not entrepreneurship is for you, we hope this article has given some insights into how to find out what might work best for your personality, talents and skills sets.

Further reading

[1] Forbes, Amancio Ortega

[2] BusinessInsider, The fabulous life of legendary fashion billionaire Ralph Lauren

[3] BusinessInsider, 5 billionaires who never graduated from high school

[4] Insider, 28 celebrities who dropped out of school and made it big anyway

[5] BusinessInsider Australia, Zuckerberg: The real reason I founded Facebook

[6] BusinessInsider Australia, 13 billionaires who dropped out of college before making their fortunes

[7] BusinessInsider Australia, Here’s a breakdown of the philosophy Richard Branson used to start over 400 companies in the Virgin Group

[8] Forbes, Jan Koum

[9] CNBC, The world’s richest self-made woman shares her No 1 key to success

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