Entrepreneurial Thinking Essentials

To become an entrepreneur, you need to have certain entrepreneurial thinking essentials. What are these, and how can someone own them? Besides, is a successful entrepreneur born or raised? This age-old question has rattled a lot of minds, and the nature versus nurture debate does not seem to have a definitive answer yet.

Defining Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship comes from the French word “entreprendre” which means “to undertake”. Thus, in this case, this means someone that undertakes the risk. The risk is an integral part of entrepreneurship’s existence. Above all, nascent entrepreneurs identify the whole entrepreneurial endeavour as a journey.

This journey begins with opportunity identification, idea generation, and idea implementation. The push behind an entrepreneur to embark on this dangerous journey is passion. And that passion is the magic dust that transforms an entrepreneur into a successful one.

Entrepreneurship versus Business

No one will dispute that entrepreneurship is a lot like a traditional business. They both have the same end goal in mind, which is the creation of value. But, this is the point where these two terms start diverting from one another. The root of that schism is found on the perception of value by both parties.

On the one hand, traditional businesses who identify value on measurable economic terms. These profit-driven businesses take calculated and managed risks wishing to just become another competitor. They do not bring something new to the table, but are trying to squeeze themselves in the market share pie. And then, there is entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial Thinking Mindset

Entrepreneurs are a special kind of businesspeople with entrepreneurial thinking essentials. Entrepreneurs do not see risks as threats, but rather as opportunities to grow. They are pioneers in their fields who try to capitalize on identified opportunities. In other words, entrepreneurs do not fear risks, but they, instead, feed on them.

An entrepreneur is someone that tries to make a difference through a pioneering idea. They are innovators who disrupt the traditional way of doing business. Their innovations are drivers of growth, yet, this serves as a double-edged sword. Resistance from the already established companies is inevitable, while new businesses are fragile.

They come as a “deus ex machina” aiming at shaking the status quo of the market. For that reason, many entrepreneurship ventures seem to fail at an early stage. In the good case scenario, successful entrepreneurs become market leaders, and they set the standards for competition. All the above sound great, but what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurial Characteristics

A successful entrepreneur is about possessing the right personality and attitude. For some, the associated risks, time and effort required do not worth it. If these do not intimidate someone, prospective entrepreneurs should look for these characteristics along with the must-have entrepreneurial thinking essentials:

  • Creativity: A successful entrepreneur needs to be an out of the box thinker. Entrepreneurship starts with a creative idea. It is present throughout entrepreneurship’s life cycle, due to the need for constantly improving the business idea and response to threats.
  • Passion: Being passionate gives meaning to your work. Therefore, someone needs to love the business he/she is trying to build, be confident and proactive.
  • Motivation: Being an entrepreneur, you are the boss of yourself. You are the backbone of your business, and your hard work determines its success. For this reason, self-motivated people are best for becoming entrepreneurs.
  • Optimism: Engaging in business is always stressful and encumbering. It is an essential trait, especially for successful entrepreneurs who brake the industry’s status quo. A new venture faces multiple risks and threats, and an entrepreneur needs to be relentless to their response.
  • Persuasion: An entrepreneur always has a good idea. Realizing this idea requires the capital, be it human or financial. Early-stage entrepreneurship requires to convince investors to buy in your company.
  • Flexibility: At an early stage, entrepreneurs need to fulfil many different roles. Thus, they need to have an open mind, be flexible to learn doing new things and improve them.
  • Adventurous: Entrepreneurship, successful or not, is a guaranteed adventure. Risks and challenges are a daily reminder of the difficulty of the task at hand.
  • Decisiveness: In business, time and decisions share a very delicate relationship. Making the right decision on a split second when a dilemma arises, could prove a matter of life and death.

How to Become an Entrepreneur – Nature or Nurture?

Scanning the entrepreneurial landscape, there are entrepreneurs who are naturally gifted and thus, thriving due to their nature. But, this goes a lot deeper than suggesting that character plays a definitive role. Indeed, being born with specific personality traits goes a long way, but it is way more than that. A successful entrepreneurship venture requires possessing the entrepreneurial thinking essentials. Passion, resilience and decisiveness are some of these ingredients.

Still, entrepreneurs can also be made. If we agreed on the opposite, then we would disregard the importance of education or other factors such as networking. Thus, there is no such thing as a one-person business. An entrepreneur is not successful from the beginning, but she/he builds on that. Every successful entrepreneur has a mentor or a network that can turn to for advice or get ideas.


Entrepreneurship is integral to economic prosperity and drives for growth. Yet, not everyone is cut out to create a business. Becoming an entrepreneur, except hard skills, someone requires certain entrepreneurial thinking essentials. Some come along with personality; others you learn them through training.

The Institute of Entrepreneurship Development – iED focuses on the latter. We aim to support entrepreneurship by providing businesses with our network and sharing our knowledge. Our bid, through our past projects on entrepreneurship, is to promote innovation, to enhance the entrepreneurial spirit and entrepreneurial culture, while improving the effectiveness and viability of said enterprises.

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Vasilis Bouronikos
Content & Communication Manager

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