Jean is a 60-year old Canadian man.
Brian is a 17-year old kid from the UK.
Mary is a 45-year old mother living in North Carolina.
On the surface, these three have nothing in common, but when you get past their external differences, you see they share one thing. They are entrepreneurs.
Welcome to today’s world of entrepreneurship where young app programmers, blue collar workers and stay-at home mothers are all combining passions, skills and opportunity for their chance to carve out a niche and build their own business.
Entrepreneur is a word that used to have a mold. For many people, the word still brings to mind the image of the confident man in his 40’s who wears a suit, prepares business presentations and plays golf with clients.
Those entrepreneurs are still out there, but they are just one part of a diverse and growing group that can’t be put into a box.
The internet has broken the mold.
So, if there is no mold for what an entrepreneur looks like, what does that mean for us?
Well, first I should clarify. There still is a mold in entrepreneurship, but it’s not defined in external appearance. There have always been common characteristics among those who are successful in any field and that has not changed today.
Whether you are 60 or 16, running a business requires a certain mentality and approach that can’t be replaced by faking it. Let’s look at two examples of what all successful entrepreneurs share.
1. They Provide Value
Entrepreneurs provide value. This is the first and foremost characteristic in an entrepreneur – the ability to provide something worthwhile to people who will pay for it.
To be an entrepreneur is not about what you say, what you look like or what you wear. No, being an entrepreneur is something that is answered by customers. When they are willing to pay for what you do, then you are really an entrepreneur.
2. They Have Opportunity-Awareness
When you see successful entrepreneurs, the tendency is to think that they have this magical talent, that “everything they touch turns to gold,” or that they have stumbled into some extremely fortunate advantages.
In reality those who succeed have the knack for being aware of opportunities, and then seizing on them when they are available. This is not good luck, but a skill that can be acquired with a persistent desire to succeed.
All of this points to good news for you and me. Why is that?
Entrepreneurial success depends on things we can control.
Because we have the freedom to be real.To be true to ourselves. If there is no mold of what an entrepreneur is supposed to look like, then we don’t need to waste our time trying to fit into a mold.
In fact, in a busy, loud world, the only way you have a chance to be unique is to be you. Because there is nobody else like you.
Don’t fake it. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Find a way to add value, be aware of opportunities and be your own version of an entrepreneur.
Not only will you feel more at peace, but you’ll have a better chance of succeeding.
Micky Deming is an entrepreneur and co-founder at TREP school – a learning resource for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Previously, he worked as a journalist and newspaper editor, and has put his reporting skills to use – interviewing entrepreneurs and telling their stories at the TREP school blog.