What Does it Mean to Be an Entrepreneur?

The dictionary defines an entrepreneur as “a person who organizes and operates a business or enterprise.” However, there is so much more to being an entrepreneur than merely owning a business. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle and—for many—a dream.

Entrepreneurs take on significant risks while trying to make their dreams a reality. Along with the risks, though, entrepreneurs get to expand their experiences, take advantage of new opportunities and reap the benefits that owning a business can offer. As varied as their business ventures, entrepreneurs come from all walks of life—from scattered geographical locations to different career paths. But perhaps most important to remember—becoming an entrepreneur is not as difficult as most people think.

Why do you want to be an entrepreneur?

Most entrepreneurs get started in business ownership because they have a solution to a problem that other businesses do not offer. By producing this solution in the form of a product or service, entrepreneurs are able to turn a profit while carving out a niche in their local market.

This is not the only reason to own a business, though. There are tons of other purposes that drive aspiring entrepreneurs. You may want to launch a business that gives back to your community in some way, whether charitably or through enrichment, education or inspiration. You may want to make the lives of your customers easier by bringing a necessary service closer to home. Or, you may just be drawn to the challenge and opportunity of being your own boss and building a business through your own hard work.

There’s no “wrong” reason to be an entrepreneur. However, it’s smart to identify what your reason is, so you can make sure your business venture follows that path.

Common traits of successful business owners

Although entrepreneurs come from diverse backgrounds, they tend to have a few similar traits. Most importantly, entrepreneurs have a great work ethic. Building a business takes hard work and perseverance. Without an owner fueled by determination and a great work ethic, no business would get off the ground!

Entrepreneurs are also flexible and adaptable. Small businesses—especially independent startups—have obstacles you’ll need to overcome through quick thinking and flexibility. Being able to adapt and shift gears quickly gives you the ability to navigate those challenges.

Finally, entrepreneurs are both solution- and relationship-minded. You must be focused on identifying solutions to problems in order to overcome any obstacles your startup faces. At the same time, you must be adept at forging new relationships and partnerships—whether with business mentors, lenders, suppliers or customers themselves—to carry your business forward with ample support.

Think you can’t start a business? Think again!

One of the biggest obstacles entrepreneurs face comes right at the outset—the incorrect assumption that they don’t have what it takes to start a business. Owning a business certainly isn’t for everybody, but it’s also not as inaccessible as most people believe.

The key to successfully launching your business is to first identify what your drive or purpose is in entrepreneurship, then figure out what, specifically, you want to bring to market. You don’t need to have a totally unique idea, either. Entrepreneurs can launch an independent startup or buy into a franchise system, both of which provide similar benefits.

Devising a business plan is a great way to solidify your startup plans. During this process, you’ll be able to dig deeper into your financing plan. Many aspiring entrepreneurs are surprised to learn that Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are relatively simple to acquire, but there’s also another, lesser-known option. If you’re leaving the corporate world behind, you can use an existing 401(k) through ROBS to fund your business without debt or penalties. This is a game-changer for so many entrepreneurs who are stuck on the funding step!

If your dream is to be an entrepreneur, it’s time to make it a reality. Contact Tenet Financial Group to learn about our small business funding options and get started on building your business.