By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer
“Our focus is now on entrepreneurship and innovation as opposed to industry attraction in the old-line sectors,” said Jeff Kaczmarek, president of the Economic Development Corporation in an interview with the New York Times. “In times of economic distress, it’s small business and entrepreneurs who lead the way out of these recessionary periods.”
As we discussed with our business and cultural trends, crisis equals opportunity. The paradigm is shifting and the call for innovative entrepreneurs to usher in a new era of change is here and now. Those geared with an entrepreneurial mind and business education, such as a devry university business management degree, are leading the pack. As the unemployment rate increases and job postings shore-up, a new legion of entrepreneurs are emerging with a new way of thinking that stretches beyond the status quo. For this week’s Top 5, we’ve compiled key characteristics that embody many of today’s entrepreneurs as they embark on the journey as small business leaders.
1. You Are a Forward Thinker
As Obama calls on the innovation of entrepreneurs to dig our way out of the current economic crisis, it is the most forward yet practical thinkers that will emerge on top. The old ways of doing business has since past and we are in a transitional period that will usher in a new era of entrepreneurship—one that relies on new technologies and progressive thinking.
It doesn’t hurt to go against the grain either. When Sergey Brin and Larry Page were puttering around in their spare time to figure out how to create a scalable search engine, they didn’t look to the convention at the time—that being Yahoo!, which relied on man power. They thought, what if there were too many queries and humans could not facilitate them all? Thus, the legendary algorithm was born. Brin and Page were forward thinking enough to know search power couldn’t rely on human effort forever. The algorithm was the next evolutionary step. Scalability was possible and the rest is for the history books.
2. You Don’t Have a Job
Starting a business when you’re struggling to find a job might not be the sanest idea. However, it’s a way to occupy your time, and motivate your passions to create something new and interesting. Typically, the most opportunistic time to start a small business is when you’re employed and have extra money to spend. Therefore, the unemployed have to stretch their budgets and set their sights on realistic goals. Low overhead is critical to stay afloat with a shoestring budget. Start simple, then work your way up. If your business idea is truly groundbreaking, it will launch.
3. You Have Hidden Talents
When you’re at your job, ever catch yourself in a reverie where you were pursuing something else? The what ifs abound. As online courses become more prevalent in more venerable institutions, maybe looking into that dream of being a stay-at-home programmer. After all, you did well in your college intro to programming classes.
Or maybe your stress reliever has always been woodworking. Perhaps turning pens or bowls and featuring them on Etsy might test the potential for a small business. Capitalizing on personal talents beyond those you might be using at your job is a starting point when pursuing your career as an entrepreneur.
4. You Are Highly Motivated
Think 40 hours a week is too much? If it is, entrepreneurship is not for you. Because you wear next to all the hats in your company, be prepared to assume many responsibilities. Though you might never have had dreams of becoming a salesman, guess what? You are one if you’re building a client list.
Motivation also takes to form of money. If you’re truly motivated to get 100% behind your business, be prepared to put your money where your mouth is. If you’re not going to support your business either through time or money, no one will. Dedication and motivation are fundamental characteristics of a successful entrepreneur.
5. You Want Ownership
To be called controlling is to be called a jerk. That’s not what we mean when we say you should want ownership. It’s not about controlling others, it’s about controlling your future and being in the drivers seat. If you hit a bump in the road, it’s solely your fault. Just as the first time behind the wheel was terrifying for most, so too is entrepreneurship. No longer are you on the rails of an established company. You’re on the dirt road trying to navigate your way through the back woods. If you’re smart and savvy enough to make it out alive, you’re probably an entrepreneur.
Photo by Martin Boulander from Stock.Xchng