“Windfall” wealth and profits do not an entrepreneur make.
Windfall events are welcomed and rewarding for those who are blessed with them. The nature, emotions - and probabilities of such windfalls are similar to winning lotteries, tote and lotto.
Entrepreneurism is an entirely different scenario. It is not a product of accidental or fortuitous good fortune – if you will pardon the unintended pun.
At this time Australia, New Zealand, Britain, North America – indeed, the world – needs more entrepreneurs.
Fostering, supporting and endorsing the endeavours of genuine entrepreneurs rewards many. Why? The very essence of an entrepreneur can best be expressed as:
With vision and commitment, to create wealth and generate employment, for the betterment of all.
GO FORTH, BOLDLY
Many business leaders and Boards of Directors are understandably timid, sensitive to and exhibiting a low tolerance for risk.
This pervading attitude is having widespread impact on new product development (and investment), growth, improvement and productivity enhancement.
Debt levels are being lowered, and reliance on bank funding is conspicuous.
The current state of the marketplace can be best and most accurately described as:
Decisions are being made and policies are being implemented, dependent upon positive cashflows, guaranteed pre-orders and approvals from lending sources.
True entrepreneurs, those who have established positive track records of success, exhibit a strikingly common characteristic, being:
They typically do not seek or are reliant upon the permission of those who are external to their entities.
Looking over one's shoulder for permission, approval or endorsement takes the eyes and the focus off the customers, clients and opportunities.
Extensive and intensive study and analysis of the umbrella term, “entrepreneur”, has led one to conclude there are four strata, categories if you will, of these people. One sweeping general conclusion is that most individuals who describe themselves as entrepreneurs are, in reality, not.
The entry-level strata is numerically the largest, possibly around 70%.
These individuals are the Enthusiasts , who posses abundance of energy, exuberance and expectations.
They are excited about the term entrepreneur, the concept and the perceived benefits, advantages and rewards.
Like comets that enter the Earth's atmosphere, they generate a lot of heat and light, before quietly burning out.
They typically leave little trace or legacy.
Creatives represent around 15% of the targeted population. They have a creative idea, but no actual product, service, application or entity.
Creatives are deficient in their capacity to transform ideas to an income-generating, needs-fulfilling reality.
The essentials of capital, operating capacity, logistics network and infrastructure are mere entries on rudimentary business plans and spreadsheets.
Above all, these individuals typically need input from experienced, qualified, caring, supportive and understanding professionals who have the capacity to provide a master-plan of sequential steps to the market.
Many creative ideas, probably more than half, do not develop beyond the cerebral energy of the creative visualisation.
Innovators are the survivors from the attrition process of many enthusiasts and creatives .
They have usually invested considerable time and available (but often limited) funds into the production of a model, system or application.
The world awaits, together with the potential for profits, wealth, success and development.
However, there are barriers, filters and impediments to be negotiated, addressed and redressed. Not the least of which are adequate capital, operating capacity, integrated infrastructure, extensive logistical network, a retail presence and, most important, a marketplace which is willing to pay.
It is at this time that many innovative entrepreneurs are distracted, overwhelmed and relieved of considerable funds by patent professionals, lawyers, funding intermediaries and quaintly titled “Angel Investors”
Few of these spheres-of-influence have the skills or make promises to progress or to expedite the development of the product, service, application or entities. The ideas are often overwhelmed by the process.
Innovators soon learn to recognise that many from whom permission, approval and tolerance are sought are necessary, but not essential to success. The future is not determined by the ability to comply and conform.
Little wonder that so few innovators and creative ideas reach the marketplace in the first instance.
Genuine entrepreneurs total no more than 5% of those who claim, or strive for the title.
With “unconditional boldness” and driven by self-belief in their vision, complemented by an uncompromising commitment, entrepreneurs do create wealth and generate employment, for the betterment of all.
There is little or no socialistic idealism in that statement. At best, they are first among equals; they revel in power, authority and the exercising of personal choices.
Evolving philosophies and models, centred on emotional intelligence, social responsibility and even philanthropic corporate behaviour can be embraced - but only as addendums.
The six fundamentals of sustainably successful entrepreneurs detailed in the book The Jindalee Factor retain their relevance.
Being “non-competitive” is an imperative, whether it is by a negotiated exclusivity clause, like that of the 20 years for the Perth's Crown Casino, or by overwhelming market dominance.
“Planning long, managing short” reflects the importance of strategic malleability and tactical financial prudence. Cashflow is second to none. Too many past, fallen entrepreneurs did not recognise or respect the fact that when they run out of cash, they run out of time and usually run out of business.
So you think you are, or intend to become an entrepreneur. Undertaking a scenario planning exercise is an appropriate first step.
Knowing the destination – entrepreneurism - is one thing. Establishing the starting-point and determining the pathway to success are essential prerequisites.