By Ashley Stahl, Contributor
July 8, 2022 Source: Forbes
Photo Source: Unsplash, LinkedInn
Over the last three years entrepreneurship has soared. In 2021, U.S. small businesses—defined as small businesses with fewer than 500 employees—topped 32.5 million, accounting for 99.9% of all U.S. businesses. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees account for 78.5% of the businesses in the U.S. Small businesses employ almost half of the U.S. workforce. Entrepreneurs are a vital part of keeping the economy turning. They are the fabric of the global economy. They accelerate economic growth, stimulate innovation, and promote social change. 1. Entrepreneurs accelerate economic growth. Creating new products and services stimulates employment and accelerates economic development. A large number of entry-level jobs are created by small businesses – small businesses turn unskilled workers into skilled workers. They contribute to new wealth by stimulating economic growth. 2. Entrepreneurs solve problems through innovation. Entrepreneurship is driven by either necessity—jobs do not exist or are not being created—or lack of opportunity—a niche or market sector is not being filled. Solving problems that existing products or services have not solved is the cornerstone of entrepreneurship. It is driven by innovation.
3. Entrepreneurs drive social change. More recently, entrepreneurship has a focus on social change. Many of the new technologies and services created through entrepreneurship are created to improve lifestyle. Innovative thinkers are using entrepreneurship to build a more just and sustainable world. So, what is an entrepreneur? According to Investopedia, an entrepreneur is someone who takes on risk to start their own business based on an idea. It’s scary. And not everyone is cut out to take on those kinds of risks. When you’re starting out there’s an apparent safety net included with a j-o-b. You do the work and you’re paid for the work you do. That’s not the case when you step out on your own. You might work for weeks, months, or even years barely getting by. But what if the jobs don’t exist? What if you start your job only to receive a pink slip due to restructuring? What do you do then? Young people have more opportunities today than ever before. We’re living in a digitally connected global economy. So, you need to ask yourself: Can I do it? Is entrepreneurship right for me? More and more young people are saying “yes.” Here’s what you need to know. 1. Entrepreneurs are always on. In the past, these people were characterized as inherent salespeople, naturally outgoing, with an ability to talk to anyone. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. “On” is defined in new ways. Where before it was all about in-person outreach, today, social media makes it possible for even the most introverted person to tackle outreach. But you must be “on.” Entrepreneurs are always in-tune with what is going on around them – how can their idea succeed while they make money in the process?
2. Entrepreneurs are confident. Another trait common to entrepreneurs is their confidence – they tend to be more decisive (a huge leadership quality) and they deeply believe in their vision. It’s great to have a cheerleader in your corner, but at the end of the day, you have to believe in yourself to make it happen. True entrepreneurs don’t believe in failure, because everything is an opportunity for growth. That doesn’t mean you can’t wallow for a moment in defeat. It just means while you’re wallowing, you’re innovating.
3. Entrepreneurs never give up. One thing is common for all entrepreneurs: They do not give up. Serial entrepreneurs might go from one idea to the next, but they’re always going. When they fail, they pick themselves up and try again using different methods or talking to different people. Most entrepreneurs don’t get it right the first time. There’s a romantic idea of tinkering on a project before reaching that “ah ha” moment where it works, and you make lots of money. That’s not the reality. That idea likely went through numerous iterations and that entrepreneur likely heard the word “no” more than once.
We’ve talked a lot about small business and entrepreneurship. But what are the differences? Some sources say no. Small businesses operate on a local level. Entrepreneurs want to disrupt the status quo by bringing an innovative idea to market. The not-so-subtle difference might be that small businesses owners will reach a point of “enough,” but entrepreneurs never reach that point. Two true entrepreneurs of our time include Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. These men hold the number 1 and 2 spots, respectively, for richest people in the world, yet they continue to innovate. That doesn’t mean that being a small business owner doesn’t take the same guts and stick-to-it attitude of being an entrepreneur or have the same rewards. Because it does. And small business owners are vital to our economic growth.
Whatever you believe, making it on your own takes a lot of courage. But the rewards make the journey with it.
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