We Are All Entrepreneurs

Friends and partnersThere used to be a time when entrepreneurship was considered a path to follow after you reach a certain age, after you’ve tried your hand at working for someone else and then, finding that you have the right idea and mental and material means to realize it, starting your own business. Today, the concept of entrepreneurship has become much wider. Everyone can be an entrepreneur and you don’t even have to start up a business; entrepreneurship is a state of mind, says business consultant and writer Tyler Ward, and it extends to every aspect of your life, not just professional advancement. Becoming an entrepreneur, in short, means taking the reins of your life in your own hands.

How many are there among us who are afraid to let go of the security of a regular paycheck even if they dream about doing something completely different? Too many, people like Ward would say. Being entrepreneurial means overcoming this fear, believing in your dream and starting to do something about making it come true. Naturally, this goes hand in hand with some preparatory work, such as business planning and marketing research, regardless of whether the idea is commercial or it’s a social undertaking.

The thing that’s probably the scariest for those who dream but never pick up the courage to make a move and become entrepreneurs is risk. Any startup carries a risk but then, life is full of risks. There is no absolute job security, none of us have the comfort of knowing that we’ll spend our whole working life with the same company and, what’s more important, fewer and fewer of us actually want this sort of comfort. One could speculate that the Great Recession actually did a lot of people a favor by changing their mindset and teaching us that there’s nothing certain in life, so why not take control of it? Another factor that has cemented the concept of entrepreneurship as a state of mind is the millennial generation that is now starting to enter the workforce — and the business world in general — in large numbers. Millennials are much more willing to take their career and personal development in their own hands; they are somehow readier than earlier generations to take the risks that go with starting a business or opting for freelancing instead of a salaried job.

The key to entrepreneurship is accepting the full responsibility for the realization of an idea. That’s part of the risk, perhaps — knowing that you are totally responsible for how your idea turns out. It may sound like an oversimplification but if you think about it, it’s true — an employee can blame an unsympathetic or hostile manager for not being promoted and not being appreciated enough but the entrepreneur is the master of himself or herself, he or she is in control. It’s interesting to look at the reasons entrepreneurs give for starting their own business. In a survey carried out by the blog Grasshopper in 2010, the biggest portion of respondents, 44%, said that they struck out on their own because they saw an opportunity to do something significant. The next largest portion, 18%, gave as reason the fulfillment of a dream. We all have dreams and most of us want to do something great with our lives. Well, that’s the first step toward becoming a full entrepreneur. The next is accepting the risk of failure and pushing on nevertheless.