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Is There An Entrepreneur In You?

Aug 17, 2007
Entrepreneurship has been defined by many psychologists and researchers in different terms having more or less the same meaning. Richard Cantillon, an Irishman, first defined the term entrepreneur and its unique risk bearing character, for the first time in the 18th century. But it is Alan Jacobowitz, a professor of psychology, who developed a series of indicators to identify entrepreneurs.

The Jacobwitz theory calls these indicators different stages of the entrepreneur:

1. Early childhood exposure
2. Trouble in school
3. Problems with work
4. Desire to risk
5. Business independence

These are characteristics which are often missed or overlooked by parents before they could flourish.

The answer to whether there is an entrepreneur hiding within you depends on whether you are born with these characteristics. Researchers hold that entrepreneurs are born and not made. The United States Minority Business Development Agency has identified the character traits of men and women who have a streak of entrepreneurship in them:

1. Driven by passion and the desire to get wealthy and the associated social recognitions. Cherishing accomplishments.

2. Strong qualities of leadership: An entrepreneur takes it upon him/herself the work needed to get the job done. Prepared to work endlessly so that the problem is solved. Adapts to changes effortlessly.

3. Sufficiently self-motivated and can motivate others. Passionate, ethical and driven by honesty.

4. Willingness to take risks and innovate while being unafraid of mistakes. Will not sit back repenting a mistake; goes ahead with rectifying it.

5. Ready to sacrifice, thus making a difference to others.

6. Willing to seek professional advice and has the requisite interpersonal skills.

Can't I Develop These Qualities?

Notwithstanding what Jacobwitz figured out, there are arguments that those who are lacking a few of these qualities can learn with conscious efforts. If one quality can be singled out for highlighting as the strongest of them all, you would agree that it is the burning desire to get rich at all costs. In one way or another, all other qualities are offshoots of this one.

There are many glaring examples that justify that one can become an entrepreneur provided he possesses the right qualities, either acquired or inborn. Many top brass managers, who are looked upon as leaders in their fields, have chucked their high paying jobs for entrepreneurship, sometimes very late in their careers.

But the transformation results as an intended consequence of interaction of multiple factors. These invariably include individual characteristics, environment, business environment, personal goals, and the availability of a viable business plan. These factors lead each individual to compare perceived probable outcomes against their intended goals, actual outcomes and intended behaviors. The process may be slow going, depending on these variables. But the outcome definitely incorporates behavioral, psychological and situational factors.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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