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Entrepreneur . . . isms Explained
Anwar Jumabhoy | Entrepreneur Insights

We often associate entrepreneurs as having distinct traits or behaviours. If you are not an entrepreneur, you might think these are inherited or formed out of childhood experiences. In our research for our book, we interviewed over 100 entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and academicians to learn what makes a successful entrepreneur.

We found nine traits, and the two most often quoted are Passion and Risk-taking. Passion is normally associated with an activity that one enjoys doing – building, trading, singing, coding and the like. We found that successful entrepreneurs are actually passionate about winning and not necessarily about a specific activity. 

The other trait, Risk-taking, tends to conjure in people’s mind someone risking everything they have in a venture. Well, talk to any successful entrepreneur and you will find they only undertake a venture after having weighed up the risks. If they are honest, they would admit they aren’t really taking a risk. If the venture is successful they reap the financial rewards and if not they enjoy the experience and go on to do something different. That’s only natural, after all, we are human beings and survived because of our ability to adapt to changing circumstances. 

Remember we said in our first article, “Entrepreneurs are not different people, they just do things differently.” This means that you as an individual, or an organization, company, department, can adopt these traits and work entrepreneurially. In adopting a specific entrepreneurism, you will need to examine your policies, procedures and speak to your people, to ensure that you are operationally in compliance with the objective. 

Let me list for you the 9 Entrepreneurisms that Sri and I came up with;

  • Self-efficacy – not confidence

  • Risk-Taking – entrepreneurs don’t take risks

  • Passion – for an activity or for an outcome

  • Innovation – continual exploration of options

  • Opportunism – actively seeking

  • Learning – experiences to experiments 

  • Realism – tinted, but knowing where you stand

  • Persuasiveness – communication & killer instinct

  • Execution – follow-through


Over the next 9 newsletters, I will walk you through each of the entrepreneurisms. 

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