What makes some of us want to create something new and build a business instead of joining one that is already established?
Conclusions are no one is born an entrepreneur and no formal study turns you into one. Instead, an entrepreneur is made through a journey; one beset with obstacles before opportunities where a spirit raises to the occasion. Maybe that’s why many say the most distinguishing asset of entrepreneurs is their entrepreneurial spirit.
To guide, get through the hard times and help you get there, here are 44 obstacles entrepreneurs overcome.
- Know how to take advantage of an unfair advantage – Forbes
- Vision and dissatisfaction with the present – Forbes
- Ability to get people on board and add to that vision – Forbes
- Flexibility to adapt, openness to feedback and the ability to learn – Forbes
- Persistence and execution – Forbes
- Start small with the means that are closest at hand – Harvard Business Review
- Find ways to reach the market with a minimum of resources such as time, effort and money – HBR
- Take a product to the nearest potential customer even before it’s built – HBR
- Plans that are made and unmade and revised and recast through interaction with others – HBR
- Landmarks that point to a discernible path – HBR
- Know that surprises are not deviations from that path – HBR
- Believe the future is out there to be discovered – HBR
- Obtain pre-commitments from key stakeholders – HBR
- Because the market in unpredictable, it has the opportunity to be shaped by their actions and decisions in conjunction with stakeholder and customer-partners – HBR
- Are not waiting for jobs and incentives and come to them – HBR
- Don’t wait for the right people to come along – HBR
- Have a process – Inc.
- Trust their gut – Inc.
- Have got something to prove – Inc.
- Have had someone in their lives who paid attention to their skills and it made a difference – Wall Street Journal
- Spend time asking provocative questions – WSJ
- Observe the world like anthropologists – WSJ
- Network with people who don’t think, act or talk like them – WSJ
- Have a burning desire to build a great company – pandodaily
- Focus on things like user experience ahead of monetization – pandodaily
- Create a culture where it’s fun to come to work – pandodaily
- Know there is a better solution to a problem than how everyone is solving it right now – Vijay Anand
- Seek out, acquire, practice the skills they need to succeed and do what they have to get to where they want to be.- George Torok
- Have a much higher level of trust toward their society, their peers, colleagues, subordinates, and employees – Cipe
- Have a low fear of failure – OpenLearn
- Begin with who they are, what they know and whom they know, and immediately start taking action and interacting with other people – Darden Business Publishing
- Focus on what they can do and do it, without worrying much about what they ought to do – Darden
- Creating something new with existing means – Darden
- Committing in advance to what one is willing to lose rather than investing in calculations about expected returns to the project – Darden
- Are willing to make actual commitments to the project, without worrying about opportunity costs, or carrying out elaborate competitive analyses – Darden
- Acknowledge and appropriate contingency by leveraging surprises rather than trying to avoid them, overcome them, or adapt to them – Darden
- Relying on and work with human agency as the prime driver of opportunity rather than limiting entrepreneurial efforts to exploiting exogenous factors such as technological trajectories and socio-economic trends – Darden
- Do not wait to “discover” the perfect opportunity – Darden
- Act on things they can do without worrying too much about what they ought to do – Darden
- Reflect an emphasis on future events they can control rather then those they can predict – Darden
- Are propelled by sufficient conditions for the creation of new ventures and new markets, not through necessary conditions – Darden
- Make a variety of contributions that, on average, begin to look very much like progress over time – Darden
- Create something out of nothing – Krauthammer
- Help other would be entrepreneurs – Inc.
These learnings and experiences have been a guide in my journey. I hope, if you’re on that journey, they help you too.
Do these 44 obstacles describe what makes an entrepreneur to you?