‘I want people to be entrepreneurs because they can change the world’ Pierre Omidyar (Founder of Ebay)
Remember whatever path you take in life, you should have a clear understanding of why you are stepping onto it. This applies well to the entrepreneur, regardless; whether you are doing it for financial or personal gain.
Are you really an entrepreneur who undertakes risks to create change, influence or impact to any particular society or the whole world at large?
*Image by Shutterstock
Large multitudes fuss about entrepreneurship, yet it had so little impact.
Why? It is because many people calling themselves as entrepreneurs are not really in it to create significant change; they are in it to make ends meet. A clear personal and enterprise vision is the key to determine whether your enterprise needs to change course.
To undertake such a task successfully and meaningfully, you need lots of effort and energy to create a need or solution to match the requirements, but what is far more important than this task is that you really enjoy doing it. Entrepreneur in fact can be traced back to its origin in French, dating back to the 19th century, and is derived from ‘entreprendre’ meaning ‘undertake’.
Do not have a misconception that you can come in with the hope, like a bunch of businesses offering inferior goods and services yet charging exorbitant prices at the very expense of their stakeholders; be it customers, employees, suppliers and society as a whole. Their focus is naturally more inclined to profit rather than value.
Create Significant Impact
Sustainable growth and impact to the society are the two key ingredients of today’s business world. That’s why entrepreneurs are highly demanded to lead, shape and reshape the world by their offerings of valuable goods or services.
Otherwise, you are only short-changing yourself in the long run because entrepreneurship demands more work from you than an average nine-to-five job ever would.
Entrepreneurship is the ideal choice for those who want to live life according to their own terms and demand more from life in order to get what they really want. Entrepreneurship is also ideal for those who are going for far more than what they are given in life, embrace no limits and go all out to get what they really want, no matter what. It is definitely not just accepting the status quo but to be ready to move out of their comfort zones; it’s about challenging the status quo and creating the change they desire. A true entrepreneur at their very core is a renegade; someone who is bent on creating change even though it means going against the norm.
Ask yourself honestly whether the above description goes down well with you. Now I know some of you will be having a tough time swallowing all these hard stuff and probably wondering what the heck is James Oh talking about? Never think only of profits as your only goal before taking up such a role, otherwise you will be putting the cart before the horses?” And here in lies the very reason why most entrepreneurs fail.
Focusing primarily on thinking only about the profit to be made as an end; forgetting that the end will only come as a result of diligence and commitment in the beginning backed by strong commitment together with persistence in following a process. The simple truth is; Money is part of the reward NOT the goal of entrepreneurship!
Entrepreneurship is not something you suddenly choose to do or pursue. But rather – a pathway or journey or processes you have been going through; knowingly or unknowingly.
I derived the above singular conclusion from my humbling experience and observation both as an entrepreneur and consultant that an entrepreneur is merely a solution provider. This definition is owed to the fact that entrepreneurs must match the needs of a particular group of people, known as the consumers or niche market.
The starting point of every entrepreneur is to identify either;
A need (problem) or
Create such a need.
The conception of a solution in the form of product, service or idea. Once an entrepreneur recognises a need, he then goes in search of a solution to meet that need. Alternatively, he may create a need by convincing others to believe they need such a product. Examples of such products are notebooks or tablets. When an entrepreneur conceives an idea for a product or service, he goes in search of a group of people who have such an identical need.
In the above cases, the entrepreneur is always on the move searching for something or going after something. They see a need which they did not create in the first place, but they find a way to solve it either by their own means or through leveraging other resources which they do not own.
In other words, an entrepreneur is a servant to the customers, functioning to offer effective solutions to humanity. This is why entrepreneurship is not a profit-driven venture but rather a value-adding enterprise. The reward of a good entrepreneur for creating or adding more value is profit. This is where money comes into play. The money comes only after a value-added venture had first been created.
What most people overlook is that, money is a reward. Sadly, it doesn’t just happen on its own; it is the result of a particular activity or input. So, right fully, we need to have a right mindset of delivering value to customers to gain their trust, confidence and loyalty. In short, businesses do not exist for profits’ sake; they exist for customers’ sake. These customers exist because they have that need or problem that needs to be solved. Indeed, anybody fit enough to solve these problems automatically becomes an entrepreneur.
*Text by James Oh
James graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from the National University of Malaysia (UKM) and Law degree from the University of London (UK). He is a Chartered Accountant with the Malaysian Institute of Accountant, Certified Professional Trainer with IPMA (UK) & Human Resources Development Bhd. His rich and diversified experiences, broad exposure, passion and commitment are definitely assets that set him apart from others.
*Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer’s and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Entrepreneur Insight