Posted by: Ron Loza | September 14, 2010

Should I Hire an Entrepreneur?

As a lifelong entrepreneur I’ve seen, first hand, how hiring managers sometimes shy away from hiring entrepreneurs. Often perceived as high risk takers, non-team players, or non-conformists the image of an entrepreneur is so often painted in a negative light. When you get down to defining the traits of a “successful” entrepreneur I can’t imagine that companies wouldn’t aggressively seek these individuals.

Who or what is an entrepreneur? Typically this is a person who habitually creates and innovates to build something of recognized value around perceived opportunities. A successful entrepreneur is someone who is able to identify a problem and come up with a solution to it.

What are the common qualities or traits of an entrepreneur?

Knowledge of his/her industry or field:
About half of all home-based start-ups are launched by people who decide to use the knowledge, which they gained from their previous work experience of a particular niche area. In addition they have a thirst for learning as much as they can about their field of interest and their industry.

Self-confidence:
A successful entrepreneur believes in his abilities. He is not scared to explore uncharted territories, take risk and make difficult decisions.

Ability to get things done:
Successful entrepreneurs are persistent and hardworking. They master self-discipline to such extent that if a work is important and related to their goals, they will, eventually, complete it. At times, entrepreneurs force themselves to choose work over fun, a boring job against a pleasant one, working on tax papers rather than reading a glamor magazine. This requires a self-control that many people simply fail to develop in themselves.

Ability to Lead:
Successful entrepreneurs are great leaders. They have the ability to motivate people to want to perform at the highest level. They use a combination of various methods-effective motivation, planning, coaching and evaluation-to increase production or provide superior service.

Creativity:
A successful entrepreneur is creative and uses insights to come up with new solutions to old problems, get things done in a different way or find a totally different approach for conventional things to work together.

Self Reliance:
Successful entrepreneurs take full responsibility for their actions. They know that what they are today, and what they are going to be tomorrow, depend solely on themselves, as it is the outcome of their own choices and decisions. They are proactive people, who set goals, walk an extra mile to achieve them and rely, primarily, on their own resources.

Given these traits and skills why do large companies shy away from, or even fear, entrepreneurs? Entrepreneurs hate meetings, they don’t know politics within an organization, they work long hours making everyone else look bad, they don’t follow the rules, etc. This is pure ignorance. It’s like the “Urban Myths.” Perhaps Snopes.com should debunk the myth of the entrepreneur. In a battle for dominance in a market or inter-department competitions within an organization, or comparing the viability or accuracy of a budget, my money would always be on the entrepreneur.

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