What are the needs of an entrepreneur?
What founders need to know and need to do?
Are you aware of yourself?
Entrepreneurs find their true selves through introspection and by questioning their life’s purpose, and by trying to be aware of their own personalities. Self-awareness is developing personality and allowing the true self to expose itself and getting to know one’s own potential. In the course of establishing a venture, entrepreneurs realise what they want to do and what people need of them. One example is when an entrepreneur becomes acutely aware of his own laziness, and realises that he needs to act accordingly. He has started series of actions toward self-realisation. Some entrepreneurs already have the personality of mental freedom from limitations and independence of security. Others use a process of self-awareness to gain this freedom. Happiness is something that is instinctive; it is not due to external causes. You must realise yourself in order to experience happiness.
Do you have self-esteem?
Self-esteem is important when you need skills and knowledge that you don’t possess yet and when founders need to work hard and be tenacious enough to see something through to the end. Self-esteem is a term used to reflect a person’s evaluation of his or her own worth. In entrepreneurship, an abundance of challenges may test self-esteem and may also develop it. Self-esteem is important because it is a predictor of relevant outcomes, such as academic achievements or behaviour in certain situations. Founders increase their self-esteem by learning to disregard popular opinion, by pushing the boundaries and by cultivating curiosity and fascination. People with high self-esteem believe in certain values and are ready to defend them. They feel secure enough to modify their values in light of experience, and trust in their own capacity to solve problems. Self-esteem does not result from having everything come easily and effortlessly. Individuals need constant positive feedback from others to maintain their feelings of self-worth.
Can personal problems be a good thing as an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurs undertake special types of tasks — tasks to overcome problems. Personal problems then become tasks to handle. Personal problems are problems that affect individuals, such as lack of experience, fear of taking risks and lack of persistence. Understanding, appreciating and acting upon the problems they face is a way for entrepreneurs to transform frailty into force. When entrepreneurs feel defeated when that they have run out of strength or ideas, personal problems can turn into an advantage. Some entrepreneurs already have the personality of mental freedom from limitations, dependence and insecurity. Others may use their personal problems as an advantage to move ahead. You find entrepreneurs with personal problems everywhere, because there are people with problems everywhere.
Are you a problem solver?
Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to reinvent society, and every important innovation is created to solve a problem. Problem solving is a creative process to ignite ideas for new products and services, but primarily to create offerings that will meet a need. As a founder of an enterprise it is not difficult to find things that people are struggling with. Design thinking and problem solving really help when you have no clue how to begin. Problems are a kick-starter for idea generation. Two brothers who owned a bicycle shop were the ones who invented and built the first successful airplane. All over the world there are people who suffer from poverty, violence, hunger and lack of education.
What are practical skills?
Entrepreneurs need the knowledge and practical skills to produce goods or services effectively, and to run a company. Starting a business, it’s essential to have the skills that will serve your objectives. Practical skills are strengthened by exercise. While some aspects may be learned through media or learning materials, the most effective learning happens by observing and executing. At all stages of a company’s development, the entrepreneur’s practical skills are critical for the company to grow and not stagnate and diminish. People who have multiple intelligences, for example visual, logical, interpersonal and linguistic, may score high on practical skills. Curious people who expose themselves to different kinds of experiences will gain practical skills from everywhere.
What are your personal skills?
Faced with the arbitrary challenges of a start-up, entrepreneurs need skills that relate to their personality. Personal skills are the characteristics that are typical for successful entrepreneurs, such as risk tolerance and persistence. Skills are developed through several stages: novice, competence, proficiency, expertise and mastery. Entrepreneur’s personal skills are important to the success of an organization, particularly for customer interaction. Leaders who are too sensitive to other’s emotions may have difficulty making decisions. Entrepreneurship is an example of where emotional intelligence has an impact.
What is project leadership?
Entrepreneurs are immersed in project leadership because the manufacturing or service processes are prerequisites to make viable business. Leadership of entrepreneurial projects differs from management of projects by having a vision for something original and the possibility to direct something for the long term. To ensure that projects work, entrepreneurs need to have a clear vision, underpinned by values, with an emphasis on planning. Projects are initiated by gathering people into a team. The person who is assigned as manager of the project team actually performs two roles: he manages and leads. Most effective leaders are also good managers.
What is the difference between project and process leadership?
By taking leadership, entrepreneurs establish what the objectives of the process are, not just the steps within the process. Process leadership involves establishing and running processes within an organisation so that the right things are made, of acceptable quality, as efficiently as possible. They implement, maintain and control processes. Processes often function in several sections of an organisation, which makes the design of the process much more complex. Important questions are: what transformation will happen, and what constraints are there? Even if a new process is developed, it may take a long time before it can be successfully applied. New processes need leadership to be applied successfully. To develop a well functioning process, leaders have to ask who benefits from it, and who has other interests in this process? Processes resist change and are managed, not led, unless they are to be changed.
Are you leading a culture?
Organisational culture is a critical component of team building. Entrepreneurs are the main creators of culture in an organisation and when cultures are formed, they influence other types of leadership. In order to work effectively as a team, all employees must understand and embrace the culture of the particular group and business. Entrepreneurs need to align their passion as leaders with the company’s mission and the corporate culture. They learn this through life experience. As the culture get established, it’s important to implement a feedback loop between the leader and the rest of the company. The culture-driven leader connects to all levels of the company by having a powerful enemy and an inner circle, and by being open to the possibility of failure and with an aura of mystery. A company’s culture helps define the way the vision will be enacted.
This article has previously been published in “Design a Company” — the journal that believes design processes makes you a better entrepreneur.