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In recent trends, following the success of the richest men, from Bill Gates, Steve Jobs to those young billionaires such as Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey, people has considered being an entrepreneur is one of the most effective way to earn money within this business world. To define entrepreneur, it is said that, entrepreneurs, in the purest sense, are those identify a need-any need- and fill it. It is a primordial urge, independent of product, service, industry or market (Brett Nelson, 2012). However, being an entrepreneur is not an easy way to be.
To be an entrepreneur, many people would think that money is all they need to have an entrance to an entrepreneurship. The quest for innovation and entrepreneurship has long been a faith based initiative: Spend more, and profit will come? (Kevin Dehoff et al, 2005). Using money to earn more money, this issue has been being controversial among those people who have just started doing business or intended to. Nevertheless, personally, I would consider money to be a minor factor to become an entrepreneur. In my opinions, to be an entrepreneur, i would concern about the external factors which are how affected the outside environment would be as well as the internal factors in which how the personality would affect the success of an entrepreneur.
In this essay, I would like to discuss about how truthful this partial-to-money has been in real life as well as emphasize on how important those internal and external factors will be in the process of being an successful entrepreneur.
All you need is money to be an entrepreneur
Nowadays, we are not in denial that it would be helpful to have a strong financial background to start a business. Every business needs capital whether it could be a big or a small amount. Successful businesses are well planned and well capitalized (Corey, 2007). What an entrepreneur could benefit from having a strong capital is that, money could be a helpful tool to make the process of being successful faster. With the support of money, we may make it easier to approach the high technology, high quality products or services that related to the current business. Especially, when the business is involved in manufacture or heavy industry where factories, machines and equipment are the key to their success. Moreover, for innovation in these sectors, money would play an important role in driving the business by upgrading requirement of those equipment facilities to increase their own competitive advantage and to keep up with increasing demand from the customers.
However, it is not necessary to have a large amount of capital to start a business. Taking online business as an example, online trading has been one of the most common ways to buy and sell things recently. What we need to set up an online business are simply an Internet connection, a computer, a website and products or services that we are trading. Business online does not require the starter to have a big amount of stocks. Online trading is where you can sell your products or services which require more of your knowledge and experiences. Therefore, mentioning of entrepreneur in general, we cannot say money is all we need to be an entrepreneur.
According to Richard Cantillon, an Irish-French economist in the 17th century period, an entrepreneur is the person who pays for a certain price and resells it at an uncertain price. It can be seen that the assumption of using money to make money was originally appeared such a long period of time. Nowadays, what people still normally see from this statement would be money. They use a sum of money and make it bigger. However, as discussing above, knowledge and experience are able to be a product or service that they could sell. In addition, I would see the meaning of the quotation in a different way. Money is the result or the goal of an entrepreneur. We could use money (profit) to be a measurement of how successful the business is, however, not to measure how successful the entrepreneur-to-be process is. Therefore, obviously money is not the only important factor in entrepreneurship establishment.
Although money is a helpful factor in the process of being an entrepreneur, I would consider other factors which are more important. Firstly, internal factors would be the personalities of the entrepreneurs.
Knowledgeable is one of the most important things to be an entrepreneur. To set up our own business, we have to have a basic understanding about the current market situation as well as the recent economy trend. On the other hand, we must have a deep understanding about our own business, what we are selling, who we are selling to or how much we know our own product or service. All these information would help us to measure how possible and potential our business will be in the market which is very important in a business plan. Hence, to start a business, our knowledge would help us to have a first step into the entrance of doing business.
Intelligence would be considered to be another factor that would be necessary. Being knowledgeable does not mean we are intelligent. We may know the situation but we may not know how to deal with it. We may be informed about the problem but we may not know the solution for that. To be in entrepreneurship sector, we might have to face different situations with different problems that we need to solve. Being intelligent would lead us to the smart and possible ways to manage the situations and handle the problems so that our business would be survival after the upheavals.
Not many entrepreneurs from the history were successful for the first battle. William Clement Stone, a famous business man and philanthropist, said for his favourite quote "Try, try, try and keep on trying is the rule that must be followed to become an expert in anything". Persistence and patience are significant personalities that entrepreneurs are obliged to have by which they refuse to give up on trying and taking into actions instead of going against their feeling of not being ready. Forty per cent cited lessons learned from failure as extremely important (Mitchell York, 2009).
In addition, skill and creativity are those characteristics that help entrepreneurs to differentiate themselves from other competitors. In the market, there are plenty of competitors that could be barriers for the first entrance in entrepreneurship. Hence, to make it through, entrepreneurs have to make sure they are different from their competitors in a manner that customers would like them more. Furthermore, to survive in a market, they cannot sell the same products or offer the same services without changing. Especially in recent trend, the demand is continuously increasing with higher expectation from the customers. Therefore, being creativity is necessary for the long term survival of a business and skill will turn it into practical.
However, there will be meaningless if the idea of doing business is not taken into action. Last but not least, to be an entrepreneur, willingness to take action is an obligation factor that contributes to a successful entrepreneurship.
Nevertheless, entrepreneurial environment is the overall economic, social and cultural factors that influence people's willingness and ability to undertake entrepreneurial activities (Gnyawali et al., 1994). External factors also play an important role in forming a person into an entrepreneur. To be willing to take action is the key personality that leads a person to the first step of being an entrepreneur. However, what makes them be willing to do something would be considered as the external environment. It could be a specific situation in a specific time that lead the idea of starting a business in their mind and the problem of that situation would lead to a need that motivate them to take action to fulfil that need.
Moreover, culture and living condition would affect their own personality. The way they are raised, how they have been educated and how the culture has been in which they has been taught play an important part of forming their characteristics and behaviour. As discussing before, in doing business, an entrepreneur would have to face continuously different situations with different problems. In term of culture and living condition, each people would see and response to the situation in different way with different attitude. Personalities are important in entrepreneurship; however, these external factors are more important since they would be the fundamental concept to form their own personalities.
Finally, luck is concerned as another external factor that affects the motivation of being an entrepreneur. However, in entrepreneurship, luck is not understood in the meaning of doing nothing and waiting for a miracle happens. It is considered as luck when opportunities meet the preparation (Randy, 2008). Forming up business ideas, taking into actions, and when opportunities come, there would be possible for an entrepreneur to express their preparation to aim for the goal of success, this is considered as luck.
As can be seen above, there would be many other important factors that needed for being an entrepreneur beside money. In fact, many real life entrepreneurs began their business without a large amount of capital. The young Doctor Farrah Gray is one of them. Doctor Farrah Gray has been known as one of the most influential black men in the United States of America and Ebony Magazine recognized him as an entrepreneurial icon, business mogul and best-selling author (Farrah, 2012). Unlike other entrepreneurs, Dr. Farrah Gray began his first step to be an entrepreneur when he was six. At this age, young Farrah was selling body lotion products door-to-door for 1.50 US dollars. When he was nine, Farrah co-hosted radio show "Backstage Live" in Las Vegas. At the age of twelve, he had a lucrative nationwide speaking career commanding 5,000 to 10,000 US dollar for each appearance (Farrah, 2005). As can be seen, Doctor Farrah Gray began his entrepreneurship at the age of a kid and proceeded without money background. His motivation was because of the low living condition and he wanted to help his parents. At that period of time of his first step doing business, he was selling the product in the disadvantaged conditions without high technology, poor means of transportation as well as lack of financial support. However, despite all the advantages, he became a millionaire at the age of fourteen. Taking a deeper look at the story of Doctor Farrah Gray and the discussion above, he became an entrepreneur without the support of money, due to the situation of his family conditions, the problem led him to the need of money and make him be willing to take action to fulfil his need. Moreover, his speaking career at the age of twelve is an example to the fact that we can sell our intellectual property. It is unnecessary to use money to earn money.
To be a successful entrepreneur, it is important to have a given knowledge with basic understanding about the overall business, market as well as economy factors, to be patience and persistent to deal with different situations with different problems smartly, to be skilful and creative to differentiate ourselves from other competitors, to dare to take chance where opportunities meet our preparation.
We cannot deny the important of money in doing business and how helpful and supportive it would be in entrepreneurship. However, although it has been still a controversial argument among business starters, personally I think money is not all we need to be an entrepreneur.