Post Posted at VENTURES AFRICA
An entrepreneur is a businessperson who not only conceives and organizes ventures but also frequently takes risks in doing so. Not all independent business people are true entrepreneurs, and not all entrepreneurs are created equal. – ActionCOACH
VENTURES AFRICA – Today’s post is a little academic as it is a result of a few of my entrepreneurial based research reading embarked upon in the last couple of weeks. Among my study materials, I found thoughts shared on the above by ActionCOACH (the world’s number 1 business coaching franchise) very profound. Stay with me to learn from this post.
As a form of introduction, an entrepreneur is a businessperson who not only conceives and organizes ventures but also frequently takes risks in doing so. Not all independent business people are true entrepreneurs, and not all entrepreneurs are created equal.
Different degrees or levels of entrepreneurial intensity and drive depend upon how much independence one exhibits, the level of leadership and innovation they demonstrate, how much responsibility they shoulder, and how creative they become in envisioning and executing their business plans.
Brad Sugars of ActionCOACH, identifies the following five different types or levels of entrepreneurial mindsets, patterns of thinking, and belief systems.
They begin with the basic level of the employee – and an understanding that good employees often evolve into great entrepreneurs but that to become an entrepreneur one has to first adopt a perspective and seek out a role above and beyond that of an employee.
The employee sets goals mainly to impress others. Because of self-imposed limitations, employees prefer to follow someone else’s game plan, and they lack the desire to become a self-motivated and self-reliant entrepreneur. They focus primarily on personal security and their emotional motivation derives from a fear of insecurity and a desire to be within the comfort zone of a secure situation.
Those who want a greater sense of responsibility and control over their lives and have the confidence to experiment with that possibility often rise up from the ground level of employee status to the first level of entrepreneurship. They do this by becoming self-employed.
Level One: The Self-Employed Mindset
The emotional driving force behind the self-employed person is not security but a desire for greater control over his or her life, career, and destiny. Relinquishing that control to a boss every day from nine to five is not their idea of happiness, and they believe that they could do their job just as well without an employer – and perhaps without the need for other employees. They want more autonomy. They want to do things their own way. And they usually begin by creating a situation where they do the same type of work they did while an employee, but they figure out how to do it by themselves and for themselves.
Level Two: The Managerial Perspective
Those with a managerial outlook are often in a great position to succeed as entrepreneurs, managers who become leaders succeed because they accept the challenge and responsibility of ensuring that others under their wings also succeed and flourish.
By getting the most out of employees, managers themselves are able to delegate aspects of their business to others and set higher goals. Those who say they can’t find good employees usually mean they lack what it takes to attract or create good employees – and as a consequence they also lack what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. But those who not only manage but also lead can rise to the next level and become owner/leaders – one step closer to the real definition of an entrepreneur.
Level Three: The Attitude of Owner/Leader
The entrepreneur who attains the level of an owner/leader enjoys remarkable benefits by knowing how to step aside and let the business – and those employees working in it – operate as a profit center not reliant upon the owner’s constant hands-on participation. This kind of entrepreneur has created an organization that is more self-sufficient and self-sustaining, and by doing so has created more wealth, personal freedom, and free time.
Rather than being the only person who could get the job done the best, this leader has passed that torch of responsibility and expertise along to others who now enjoy for themselves a greater level of career achievement. The owner/leader can therefore focus not so much on sales and revenues, but on net profits. While the business continues to run smoothly – and generate more transactions – the owner/leader concentrates on fine tuning it for increased profitability while letting others handle the day-to-day operational details.
Level Four: The Entrepreneurial Investor
With a business that generates profits, the entrepreneur who has succeeded this far can begin to accept another exciting challenge, that of managing money so that it works to produce more money. Investing for maximum returns involves smart leverage of assets, and the entrepreneurial investor will often leverage the success of the first business to create a second or third company based on the same model or system.
By franchising the original venture or buying other healthy businesses, the investor can get into the career of not just selling basic products and services, but of selling entire businesses. The goal, of course, is still to turn a profit. So rather than remaining at the helm of these companies the investor will buy them, ensure that they have valuable equity or attractive allure and potential, and then sell them to other entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs. The focus becomes finding, buying (and perhaps refurbishing) businesses, in the same way that a real estate investor locates homes, rehabs them, and then flips them for a profit.
This all becomes possible because the entrepreneur has not just created a business but has also designed excellent systems for keeping it going. Rather than dealing on the level of isolated actions and reactionary tactics, in other words, the entrepreneurial investor has risen to the level of broad and comprehensive strategies that work across all sorts of products, services, and economic cycles. Working smart replaces working hard, and the rewards – both financial and personal – are abundant.
Level Five: The True Entrepreneur
Having learned new things every step of the way and evolved through various stages of entrepreneurial accomplishment and insight, it is possible to reach the ultimate goal and realize one’s dreams in a really life-changing way. The true entrepreneur experiences a paradigm shift that involves a four-step process of changed thinking:
#1: Idealization – Imagine gigantic, all-encompassing dreams for creating the ideal world.
#2: Visualization – Picture the ideal world as a reality and begin to clarify this vision on a daily basis, filling in more details each day.
#3: Verbalization – Begin to put words to the dream and talk of it as if it was already happening. Talk about it to others as if it were real and continue to have a personal dialog with the ideal to make it come true.
#4: Materialization – Because the effort and intention of designing and believing in the ideal and the dream, things begin to fall into place and happen in a natural and automatic way. The idea becomes a real and tangible fact that materializes in the world and influences others while opening new doors to fresh opportunities and the birth of more dreams.
The true entrepreneur is a dreamer whose dreams come true, and an income earner whose income is passive.
I want to believe this has been an insightful piece for you as it was for me when I read through them. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Till next time, we are all work in progress…