The other day I saw a hamburger fast-food restaurant that had opened up in a small shopping centre. It was doing exceptionally well because because the owner had found a small area of opportunity that had been ignored by the major fast-food restaurant chains.
Where some people may see problems, entrepreneurs and start-up business owners see opportunities. Call this creative thinking or visionary thinking whatever you want but entrepreneurs open their minds to possibilities. The average person may see an empty garage filled with useless equipment. An entrepreneur may look at the same space and see a cellphone repair shop or even a deli outlet.
What are the key traits of entrepreneurs? How does their psychology differ from the average person?
One thing is that entrepreneurs are visionaries because they are able to see potential in the most mundane of places. Earl Nightingale says, “We can form the habit of seeing things, not as they are, but as they perhaps will be, as they could be, as our changing world insists they be.”
Entrepreneurs don’t wait around until opportunities slip by. When they get an idea they immediately start working on how they can transform it into something that may be a useful product or service. Entrepreneurs refine and test their ideas on their network of people so that they stand a better chance in the marketplace.
Another characteristic that distinguishes entrepreneurs is that they are risk takers. Most people would see the statistics on startup failure and decide to do something else. One survey showed that out of five start-up businesses, three or even four will fold-up in three years. Yet why is it that entrepreneur is still go ahead? Some entrepreneurs like risky challenges. Others will carefully manage and reduce the potential risks in the new venture so they have better control of the outcome. But instead of being gripped by analysis paralysis or fear of the unknown, they forge ahead and know that sometimes the best plans are conceived while in the heat of business.
We might wonder how small businesses can operate on shoe-string budgets with very little capital and expenses cut to the bone. But start-up and small business owners operate cost-effectively and maximise the return on their resources. They try to obtain the lowest rental agreements possible, hire people only when their business can justify it, source suppliers from the lowest-priced supplier and buy second-hand rather than brand-new.
Start-ups and small business owners leverage whatever resources they have available. Resources help entrepreneurs realise their vision. So they are not shy when embarrassed to use students, part-timers and even outsourced people that offer services online.
To see things differently, to spot opportunities and identify possibilities, entrepreneurs have an attitude of gratitude. This gratitude helps them to identify the resources that they have at hand, resources that others may take for granted and do nothing with them. A daily practice of gratitude increases the chances of stumbling on new opportunities, makes you more resistant to stress and allows you to be happier because you are satisfied with what you have. Hard work, perseverance and a knack for coming up with unique business ideas helps entrepreneurs whether they start their business from a kitchen table, bedroom studio, bedroom, garage or shed.