Some people believe that entrepreneurs are defined by starting companies, though that's just one facet of entrepreneurship. The truth is that entrepreneurs have a mindset about all that they do - pushing themselves outside of their comfort zone, solving problems, and helping others with their innovations. These qualities of entrepreneurship go far beyond founding or creating companies. You may actually already be an entrepreneur and not even realize it.
Let’s walk through some of the foundational aspects of entrepreneurship so that you can apply these principles for success in your own life, and perhaps even to your previous experiences as you put together your application to the LaunchX Summer Program.
You can be an entrepreneur in anything. In fact, you can be an entrepreneur while working for someone else’s company. Being entrepreneurial is more about the traits you demonstrate, rather than your current position in a club, team, or company.
Here are a few aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset:
Act like you own the business, even though you don’t
Be relentlessly optimistic about the future
Focus on outcomes, not hours worked
Lead people, even when that’s not in your job description
Influence others through inspiration
Be proactive in solving problems
Validate ideas with empirical data
Be creative and motivated
If you recognize some of the above traits in yourself, you may be an entrepreneur in disguise. You may have just been told you weren't an entrepreneur because you haven't started a company, but that doesn't mean you aren't entrepreneurial and aren't already behaving as an entrepreneur within these other roles.
Entrepreneurs are working in companies all over the world. No matter your rank or role in a company, business entrepreneurs can be nurtured to create efficient workplace solutions.
Entrepreneurship is also anytime you create something from nothing. An idea or vision begins the whole process. It is an itch you can’t resist scratching, a line of thought you have to pursue. Fear of starting or decision fatigue doesn’t stop the entrepreneurial spirit; it only becomes amplified as the idea has time to grow.
While some entrepreneurs start a business, everyone that is entrepreneurial must be able to do the following:
Change their way of thinking
Rally people around a problem
Combine Innovation with Implementation
Many people misunderstand entrepreneurship as just “having ideas, creating visions, and dreaming big,” though entrepreneurs understand that implementation is often more important than the idea itself. That is the heart of entrepreneurship: grit, determination, and action.
Writers, painters, speakers – each is creating something from nothing, innovating, and commercializing it as entrepreneurs:
- A writer develops their book then must market their book so people can find it.
- A painter creates their artwork then must overcome the difficult task of getting galleries to showcase their work.
- A speaker curates the topic then has to fill a room with people who want to listen to their speech.
All these people have to influence others into appreciating their work – perhaps even changing their view of the world in the process. That’s entrepreneurship in action - the combination of innovation and commercialization.
Entrepreneurship unites us around problem solving. If we want to unite people and solve more problems, we have to stop defining entrepreneurship as something that is only associated with creating a business.
Entrepreneurship is a way of life and is open to everyone. We need to help others in discovering the hidden entrepreneur inside of them.
We believe in the power of young entrepreneurs to take initiative, solve real problems, and commerclalize those innovations. We look forward to helping more high school students unleash their inner entrepreneur this year!