An entrepreneur is someone who undertakes and manages an enterprise using their own initiative and usually with a few risks attached.
The word comes from French, where it means “someone who undertakes (a task).” In the current age, the word is often associated with self-made people—those who dared to imagine an idea, invested time and money into it, and succeeded in turning their ambitions into a reality.
An entrepreneur is usually someone who starts a small business as the leading visionary. They’re the ones who saw potential in the product or service and saw how customers could benefit from their ideas.
Here are a few examples of famous entrepreneurs (you’ve probably heard of most of them before):
- Bill Gates: Bill Gates started his career at age 13. He changed the face of personal computers forever as the founder and CEO of Microsoft. He’s now one of the richest men in the world, with a net worth of $53 billion.
- Steve Jobs: Steve Jobs entered into business with his friend Steve Wozniak after working at Atari right out of high school. He had the idea of assembling computers and selling them on for a profit. Within four years, he founded the Apple computer company, which grew into the multi-billion dollar giant we know it as today.
- Ariana Huffington: Ariana is a pioneer in both the blogging and offline writing spaces, as well as the founder of the Huffington. The popular political news website started being localized in 2000, with the first base in Chicago, shortly followed by New York and Denver. Ariana is estimated to be worth $113 million and has won several awards, including the 2010’s people’s voice award.
- Elon Musk: Elon Musk is a South African/American/Canadian entrepreneur, engineer and inventor, and investor who founded giants such as Paypal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors. His estimated net worth is around $20.8 billion, which places him as the 54th richest person in the world.
Entrepreneurs, as confident people, are a fascination in society and often the topics of documentaries, biographies, and news. TV shows such as Shark Tank and Dragons Den are based entirely on new entrepreneurs and their ideas.
Successful entrepreneurs usually have qualities in common that make them who they are:
- They Love What They Do: Passion keeps them from feeling burnt out or tired and prompts them to push forward. Their excitement about their products and/or services is infectious, and this entices investors and keeps the public’s interest high.
- They’re Risk-Takers: For their ideas, they’re willing to sacrifice and bet on themselves. If it doesn’t work out, they have the resilience to jump back up and try again. Without the willingness to take risks, many businesses never enjoy enough investment to get off the ground.
- They Hire Great Partners: On average, companies with two founders enjoy more success in the long run than those founded alone. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg all started their endeavors with a friend they could trust.
- They’re Willing to Spend the Time: Most success stories required years of effort, consideration, and preparation to get where they are today. No business is ever an overnight success.
Along with these personal qualities, successful entrepreneurs also need to demonstrate a good understanding of finances and business. They also need to be able to recognize skills and reliability in others to make the right hiring decisions. It’s also imperative to be a good networker. You need to be able to present your ideas to a broad audience and explain the nitty-gritty of your business plan to potential investors.