When you get into discussions about business and leadership, the word ‘entrepreneur’ generally joins the conversation. But what is entrepreneurship?
Is it a practice? A state of mind? A lifestyle? In a way, it’s all three.
While entrepreneurship at its root is a way to start a business, it actually means so much more. Let’s take a look at how to define entrepreneurship beyond simply a technical definition.
What Is Entrepreneurship?
At the most basic level, entrepreneurship is the process of finding a gap in the market, creating an innovative product or solution to fill that gap, and marketing it with the hope of creating a successful business.
What sets an entrepreneurial venture apart from something like a franchise is its enterprising nature. An aspiring entrepreneur is looking to do something in a way that hasn’t been done before. They aren’t opening up another McDonald’s. They want to create a new product or service with the goal of economic development.
Entrepreneurs don’t have to completely reinvent the wheel in order to be considered an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur creates solutions to current problems.
For example, even though there are thousands of other dog walking businesses across the United States, an entrepreneur will look at the specific needs of their location and tailor their business model to best meet those needs. They will look at their market and see how they can best serve their potential customers, rather than offering a cookie-cutter solution.
The Entrepreneurial Mindset
It’s important to remember that every huge corporation once started out as a new entrepreneurial venture. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are entrepreneurs, even though their tech empires are a far cry from a small business.
Different Types of Entrepreneurs
It’s important to remember that there are different types of entrepreneurship. There are serial entrepreneurs that start businesses, get them off the ground, and sell them to the highest bidder to get more venture capital to support their latest entrepreneurial activity.
Then there are entrepreneurs who start small, local businesses and become a part of the fabric of that community. We all know that local ice cream shop or artist loft that is a cornerstone of community culture. They will likely choose to forge relationships with community members over economic growth.
Just as innovation can take limitless forms, so can entrepreneurship. One thing that ties every entrepreneur together is hard work.
There’s no way around it; entrepreneurship is extremely difficult.
Getting a business off the ground requires creativity, industry know-how, marketing, problem-solving skills, tenacity, determination, and a passion to break through barriers that will inevitably arise. Almost nothing goes according to plan, and you constantly need to pivot your approach in order to reach your goal.
Even if you’ve got intelligence and vision, if you aren’t good at changing your course of action to adapt to pitfalls, entrepreneurship will prove exceedingly challenging for you.
A successful entrepreneur is someone who can roll with the punches and go back to the drawing board saying, “We tried this. It didn’t work. How do we make it work?” You have to look at failures as lessons, not personal failings.
With every entrepreneurial venture comes some level of financial risk. Of course, not all businesses require the same start-up investment, and some people will have a head start on fundraising.
A single mom on low-income assistance is going to have a harder time getting investments for her dream of opening a bakery than a trust fund kid who grew up shaking hands with investors. More often than not, the person that had to overcome more challenges to get the funding is going to make more conscious financial decisions and work harder to make sure that dream becomes a reality.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
The entrepreneurial spirit is one of grit and determination. As an entrepreneur, you have a vision, and you are going to do everything you can to bring that vision into existence.
The life of an entrepreneur is not easy. When you work for a company, you get a reliable paycheck, health benefits, and can clock out at the end of your shift.
As an entrepreneur, there are no guarantees. It generally takes years for a business to turn a profit, so a lot of people will work a day job and work on their business at night. It’s not an easy life, but if you have enough passion, grit, and determination, you might just be able to make your dream come true.
Inspirational Quotes on Entrepreneurship
If you’ve decided to pursue an entrepreneurial venture, congratulations! We applaud the risk you’re about to take on your entrepreneurial journey.
For inspiration, here are our favorite quotes as a response to what is entrepreneurship?
- “Build your business success around something that you love — something that is inherently and endlessly interesting to you.” — Martha Stewart
- “Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.” — Oprah Winfrey
- “One of the most important things I have learned is that businesses don’t fail, entrepreneurs give up. Now sometimes, giving up is the right decision. But usually you just need to dig in and figure out how to make things better. Remember: Every day is a new opportunity to get up and do it better than yesterday!” — Adda Birnir
- “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” — Steve Jobs
- “What I wanted was to be allowed to do the thing in the world that I did best–which I believed then and believe now is the greatest privilege there is. When I did that, success found me.” —Debbi Fields
- “I want every little girl who’s been told she’s bossy to be told again she has leadership skills.” — Sheryl Sandberg
Quotes About Taking Risks
- “It was a risk. I had my husband and I was pregnant with my oldest son. But I don’t look at risk the way other people do. When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to go in feeling like you’re going to be successful.” — Lillian Vernon
- “People don’t take opportunities because the timing is bad, the financial side unsecure. Too many people are overanalyzing. Sometimes you just have to go for it.” — Michelle Zatlyn
- “Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It’s the mastery of fear. It’s about getting up one more time than we fall down.” — Arianna Huffington
- “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” — Estée Lauder
- “An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.” — Roy Ash
- “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” — Bill Gates
- “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas Edison
- “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill
What Is Entrepreneurship? Whatever it Means to You
Successful entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes. It could be a couple running the mom-and-pop shop on the street corner, or it could be a tech start-up tycoon who is well known for his serial entrepreneurship and countless business ventures.
Entrepreneurship is a term just as broad as the ingenuity entrepreneurs represent. But at the end of the day, what is entrepreneurship? It’s a dream someone has to build a business that contributes to society while turning a profit.
If you’re looking to start a business of your own, make sure to join WBD! We have the tools and community to help an entrepreneur thrive in their field. Download our app and check out our membership levels today!Published in
Author, Artist, Photographer.
Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.
She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.
She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.