Newsroom HomeBlogsStoriesSoundtrack ProjectNewsroom ArchivesChamber Home Page

Young Entrepreneurs: What's in their DNA?

I know that there is a lot out there about what it means to be an entrepreneur, including plenty of case studies and real-life examples. What I find most fascinating are the characteristics of people who excel as entrepreneurs.

If you do some research, the word enterprise comes from the French word “entreprendre” or “to undertake,” dated as far back as 1852. The word defined means one who organizes, manages and assumes the risk of a business or enterprise—pretty true today.

So, with that context in place, here’s a list of what I believe young entrepreneurs have in their DNA:
  • Insatiable quest for information and constant curiosity: Most entrepreneurs I know wake up at night thinking of the things they don’t know or questions to ask. This insatiable quest applies across all boards: technology, world affairs, best practices, etc.
  • A good grasp on financials, venture capital and the global investment-banking world: Entrepreneurs know that they have to self-educate here. Many take classes and get degrees they know will simply help them down the road.
  • Complete and enviable drive and energy that can often drive other people crazy: It takes this drive and energy to be a risk taker, manager, creator, and leader. I would also bet that most entrepreneurs get up early, read everything and still have time to get to the gym.
  • Passion: Perhaps the most important trait of any entrepreneur. Passion for the work is what sells to the VCs, the banks, and the boards. It is also contagious. I’ve had people tell me that they want to work with me because they want to love their job like I love mine. Big compliment, but passion is not transferable.
  • Agility and flexibility: When one door closes, instead of hoping another will open, entrepreneurs see four or five that could open. Having a never ending “what if” and “why not” ability to be flexible and see around obstacles is a gift that I think one is born with. Entrepreneurs don’t like the word “no.”
  • Intolerance for mediocrity: This goes with point number three, but what I mean by this is that in addition to drive, entrepreneurs don’t like the mediocrity, status quo or wasting of time and resources. Further, they will challenge it or go around it to get the result they need.
  • Last on this list (but certainly not least) is the feeling like other people don’t get it: It is this deep down voice that says stay quiet while other people are talking, and you don’t understand why. And by this, I mean in business. I have been in so many corporate meetings where mid-level managers are talking and literally, my inner voice is screaming to say, “What in the Sam Hill are you meaning to say?” Some call it red tape or bureaucracy but entrepreneurs have other words.

-- Amy Howell

Posted: 4/24/2012 10:00:00 AM | with 1 comments
Filed under: amy, blogs, business, chamber, council, dna, employment, entrepreneurs, howell, leadership, memphis, small, work




Comments
@jason_
Excellent post Amy! I loved it so much I forwarded it to my friend @LeonardKnight via Twitter to share with the group of entrepreneurs that he helps.
5/1/2012 7:39:57 AM

Leave comment Subscribe



Is eight > than four? (true/false)

SMALL BUSINESS
Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

CONTRIBUTORS
VOSS GRAHAM
Sales & Small Business Ownership
Voss W. Graham is CEO and Senior Business Advisor for InnerActive Consulting Group Inc. He is known by his clients as "a knowledgeable partner who helps our team achieve business growth." He provides practical experience as a small business owner for over 29 years, yet is often engaged with Fortune 500 companies in the development of their people and business strategies.

OBSIDIAN PUBLIC RELATIONS
Public Relations
Several professionals and strategists from the local Obsidian Public Relations firm provide excellent advice on everything from research to media relations to event planning. They believe that all companies, no matter how big or small the company or its budget, should have a public relations plan driving how they manage their relationships with key stakeholders. Public relations is an integral part of doing business the right way.

JOEL MYERS
Human Resources
Joel Myers is a career Human Resources professional, with over 40 years in the field including 26 years in consulting.

TOM PEASE
Small Business Advice
Tom Pease is a small business owner of an office equipment dealership called e/Doc Systems, Inc. He has also owned a full-line Kawasaki dealership as well as a document shop. He used 30+ years of experience in owning a business to author two books, including: Going Out of Business by Design: Why 70% of Small Businesses Fail and Small Business Survival 101. He also has published 85 columns in The Memphis Daily News as the Small Business Advisor.

LORI TURNER-WILSON
Marketing & Public Relations
Lori Turner-Wilson is CEO and Founder of RedRover Company, a sales development, marketing and PR consulting firm. Lori works with companies large and small, from start-ups to mature organizations, to help them improve the productivity of their sales force and the return on their marketing investment. Lori writes a weekly syndicated column for the Daily News, Memphis News, Nashville Ledger, and Desoto Times, among others, titled “Guerrilla Sales & Marketing,” for which she won a 2011 Summit International Award and 2012 International Communicator Award.

INFERNO
Design and Digital Strategy
Founded in 1999, inferno provides brand development, advertising, public relations, design and digital marketing services to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Headquartered in Memphis with a satellite office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the award-winning firm produces results-driven work by passionately combining strategic thinking, creativity and culture to ensure the success of its clients. For more information, visit www.creativeinferno.com.

FISHER PHILLIPS LLP
Labor & Employment Law
Fisher Phillips attorneys are ready to help you take a stand: in court, with employees and unions, or with competitors. Fisher Phillips has the experience and resolve to back you up. That's why some of the savviest employers come to the firm to handle their toughest labor and employment cases. The firm has 350 attorneys in 32 offices, including Memphis. For more information, visit www.fisherphillips.com.

PARAGON BANK
Finance
Since its founding in 2005, Paragon Bank has maintained a solid focus on the community and customer service. For more than 10 years, Paragon has delivered innovative products and financial expertise, convenience, and a deep understanding of what both businesses and individuals need from a ban, in order to provide solutions that make a difference. In the areas of business or personal banking, lending options or wealth management, Paragon delivers cutting edge technology, an experienced team and the most service-oriented staff of any community bank.



Syndication

RSS