What is an entrepreneur? When searching the Internet, for the definition of the word entrepreneur there are many different definitions. The entrepreneur definition that I prefer comes for Webster’s dictionary from 1986. This particular version of Webster’s dictionary defines an entrepreneur as a person who organizes and manages a business undertaking, assuming the risk for the sake of profit. The reason I prefer this version versus other more recent definitions is because it uses the word profit and while many of the more recent definitions, eliminate the word profit. Yet profit is a main motivating factor for many entrepreneurs. It is a main motivating factor in getting products and services to the market and as a result, it helps and benefits more people.
The two most important words in this particular definition of entrepreneur are risk and profit. The easiest way to explain this is in the timeless phrase of Risk versus Reward. The risk that the entrepreneur is willing to bear is not always equal to the reward. But it is the entrepreneur’s vision and expectation of the reward (profit) that is a driving force that motivates the entrepreneur to excel, succeed and see the vision through to becoming reality.
Profit is a measurement and a way of gauging the success of the entrepreneur. It is also a measurement of the value that the entrepreneur is providing to the target customers. The greater the number of people that benefit and the more value the entrepreneur can provide, then the greater the profits and the rewards.
Consider though as important as profit is in the entrepreneurial equation, not all entrepreneurs are driving by profit solely. For some entrepreneurs, there are other factors that motivate them besides just profit alone.
Normally, entrepreneurs are broken down into three classifications.
Serial Entrepreneur – is someone who starts many news businesses, versus just one business. Often they are very good at starting a business and after they build them up to a certain level, they either sell them or hire others to run and manage the business. The entrepreneur may continue to be involved in the strategic management of the operation of the business, but the daily activities are left to others. The serial entrepreneur normally starts working on starting and creating a new business. Serial entrepreneurs thrive on the challenge of starting businesses over and over again, while most see the task as an unordinary massive undertaking.
Lifestyle Entrepreneur– is someone that has a particular hobby, talent or skill that they enjoy and then it turns into a business. Lifestyle entrepreneurs may not be totally motivated by profit, but more of the desire to do what they love. So with lifestyle entrepreneurs, they may not be motivated to generate a six-figure salary, but they are motivated to wake up each day and do what they love. Thus, the activity they choose to do does generate a profit and provides the entrepreneur with the means of making a living and sustaining their lifestyle.
Social Entrepreneur – is more motivated by social change than a business venture. Normally, this type of entrepreneur is focused on using the same entrepreneurial skills to organize, and utilize resources to achieve social or environmental change. They may be concerned with making a profit, but are primarily focused on building social capital.
One of America’s first entrepreneur’s is Benjamin Franklin. He is credited for inventing the first bifocal glasses, the iron stove, starting the first fire company, offering families the first fire insurance, developing an odometer to measure postal routes as he was the first postmaster and many other inventions. Also in 1744, he is credited with inventing the world’s first mail-order catalog, where he sold books.
In conclusion the definition of an entrepreneur, no matter what type of entrepreneur one chooses to become, each entrepreneur tries making their vision a reality by bringing about change, by adding value, while helping and assisting others.
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