How to think like an entrepreneur
It’s Global Entrepreneurship Week and events all over the world are celebrating and discussing all things entrepreneurial. While you’re probably aware of the value of entrepreneurs in society, you might not describe yourself as entrepreneurial. But should you? The way we view entrepreneurship is changing – and it may be more applicable than you realise.
Why do we need entrepreneurship?
If you search for ’entrepreneurship’ online, you can end up with a pretty uninspiring definition. Lexico, for example, defines entrepreneurship as “The activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit”.1 But this isn’t the only way people use the word. Professor Howard Stevenson, founder of entrepreneurial studies at Harvard Business School, describes entrepreneurship as “the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled”.2
Entrepreneurs are innovators. They identify the potential for improvement and find ways to make it happen. But this mindset can be applied to almost any type of employment. In larger organizations, a widespread entrepreneurial attitude may soon become essential in the pursuit of individual and collective success.
The increasing use of technology and automation creates more opportunities for employees to apply creative and strategic thinking. Sometimes called “intrapreneurship”, it’s being encouraged by businesses that want to empowering people to take initiative and drive change.3 Although innovation can be a company-wide goal, it’s also up to individuals to identify areas of improvement at every level.4
Are you an entrepreneur?
When you think of an entrepreneur, you might picture people like Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey or Elon Musk – eccentric, highly confident characters who many people don’t relate to. But for every Branson, Winfrey and Musk, there are many successful entrepreneurs who don’t get public attention.
There’s no one way to be an entrepreneur – and you don’t need a specific type of personality to be successful.
To make the most of your entrepreneurial skills, it’s useful to think about what your personality has to offer. Are you especially organized and detail oriented? Perhaps you’re great at networking and motivating people around you? If you draw on these strengths while being mindful of possible blind spots, you’ve got every chance of being ‘entrepreneurial’ – but you need to know your personality first.
To learn more about how your personality can affect your entrepreneurial style, read our Type tips for entrepreneurs. If you want to delve even deeper, read our full report, Type and entrepreneurship. Start on page 48 for more detail about how MBTI type factors in to entrepreneurship.
1. Lexico. Definition of entrepreneurship in English. < www.lexico.com/en/definition/entrepreneurship>
2. Eisenmann, T. R. (2013). Entrepreneurship: A Working Definition. Harvard Business Review. < https://hbr.org/2013/01/what-is-entrepreneurship>
3. Deloitte. (2019). 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends. 98-99
4. ISS. (2017). ISS 2020 Vision: Future of Work, Workforce and Workplace, Capstone White Book. 37