Tag Archives: entrepreneurial traits

Virtuous Entrepreneurs – Part 3

A few final thoughts on how harnessing the entrepreneur within each of us is critical to the road to happiness.

As I mentioned in my last post, very significant research has been written regarding successful entrepreneurs.  One acclaimed research article discusses why some people discover entrepreneurial opportunities and others do not.  The answer is not blind luck. The research indicates that the answer lies in the possession of prior information gleaned from previous experiences as well as the cognitive properties to value to opportunity to go or not to go forward.  These cognitive properties involve the ability to evaluate the costs of lost leisure, the capital required, and the premium associated with uncertainty or risk.

Once we have made it through the involvement and exposure stages of life, having developed a strong self-esteem, we must then use our prior information earned from previous experiences to perform an analysis as to whether it is wise to move forward and accept the adventure (or the opportunity that is before us).  Like the successful entrepreneur, this decision takes wisdom (cognitive properties), prior training (prior information), and courage (self-esteem).

Also, like entrepreneurship, one can move forward and accept the call but later fail in the adventure.  The forces of life could simply be much stronger than anticipated (or for the entrepreneur the competition could be unexpectedly fierce).  Fortunately, again as with entrepreneurship, the individual can regroup and begin a new adventure having learned from his/her mistakes.

Also, like entrepreneurship, one can move forward and succeed in the adventure.  As with the successful entrepreneur, the wealth of happiness is earned, and society, to a small or large degree, soon flourishes from the boon or gift that was secured during the adventure.  Not a bad place to be!!


Virtuous Entrepreneurs – Part 2

It is worth mentioning that the attributes of successful entrepreneurs that I mentioned in my previous post, as well as my book, are not just characteristics of the mass market or popular media.  These attributes are ones documented in recent academic publications, the publications themselves based on rigorous academic research.

In fact, the research studies go to great lengths to differentiate successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful entrepreneurs.  Unsuccessful entrepreneurs are those whose ventures never succeed from the beginning or fizzle out within a few years; thus, they don’t survive beyond 3 to 5 years.

The main differences between the two are: 1) education/training, 2) social skills, and 3) willingness to act today on opportunities that will offer a future that might be lived above expectations.  These three attributes are also necessary for achieving happiness.  And, these characteristics involve a degree of luck and a desire to take on risk in one’s life.

The assumption of risk leads to the self-esteem needed to recognize and capitalize on opportunities that will lead to happiness in the future.  The education/training will provide the means to make sure that the opportunities are successful down the line.

All the risks, if undertaken properly, will offer the best chance of gaining happiness in the future.  This is not an easy road: but then if the road were that easy, happiness would not be much of a prize.  And, as all the great thinkers and artists have expressed, what a great prize it is!

Book’s Summary in Images – Part 4

In my previous post I discussed how the fine arts provide a third dimension of experiences to the two dimensional triangle of the “prose” of the great thinkers.  This three-dimensional pyramid contains all the necessary ideas and art to understand and experience the requirements for traveling the road to happiness.

However, there is one final dimension missing: the vehicle for traveling the road.  How do you get to the top of the pyramid where happiness if found?  You can read the works of the great thinkers, and you can experience the human feelings through the works of the great masters of the fine arts.  But you need a vehicle for traveling through the pyramid and upward to the apex.  This vehicle is the entrepreneur within each of us.

Fourth Dimension of Book

The entrepreneurial instincts that we all have must be harnessed if we are to reach happiness.  This includes social interactions (what I call “involvement” activities) and enhancing our self-esteem earned through many different risky activities (what I call “exposure” activities).  Embracing this activities, encouraged by flow (which distances us from our everyday existence), complete the journey segment of our road to happiness.

More importantly, we must trust our entrepreneurial instincts at the end of our journey and consider the adventure that follows.  Like all entrepreneurs, we must be willing to exploit opportunities in life that others do not see so that our future will be lived well-above today’s expectations.  In addition to seeing these opportunities, gained through wisdom earned during our journey, we must be courageous to accept the adventure.  We must then remain humble and modest during our journey, and near the end of the adventure, we must be concerned with the well-being of our family, community, and society.

Harnessing these entrepreneurial instincts will take us up the staircase within the pyramid: first by way of a journey of “involvement” and “exposure” and then by way of the adventure, if accepted.  And the adventure could not be completed without the virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance (moderation), and justice.

But one remaining step is needed to reach the very top of the pyramid.

Self-Esteem 4: Harness the Entrepreneur Within

There has been a lot of academic research over the past few years addressing the traits or characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.  The emphasis is on successful entrepreneurs versus unsuccessful entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs.

Most of the research focuses on five traits, and there are an additional three characteristics that are endemic to new venture creation.  To reach the satisfaction of the self-esteem need requires the first three traits presented in the research: 1) education/trade, 2) social skills, and 3) high self-esteem.

The first trait is obtained from a caring family and functional society.  The second trait is found through involvement with others.  This involvement, the first risk assumed by individuals, is encountered through one’s job, school, hobbies, sports organizations, and civic, cultural, and religious organizations.  It also includes interaction with loved ones.

The third trait involves exposure.  This exposure, depicted in the artwork of the previous posts, involves risks to one’s reputation and financial position.  This can be found in the same organizations as the involvement activities above.

The key is that to develop proper self-esteem requires assuming risks.  Many people are uncomfortable assuming such risks and go through life without the self-esteem need satisfied. This is unfortunate because happiness is never achieved.  In particular, the risks that are encountered are ones that not only lead to high self-esteem but also prepare the individual for an adventure well beyond the journey that has taken place to date.

You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to achieve happiness, but you need to think like an entrepreneur and understand the benefit of risk-taking.  As such, to get to the level where you have high self-esteem (with recognition, prestige, confidence, and strength), which is a very healthy position to reach, you need to be well-educated or trained in a skill, have good social skills, and have taken controlled risks in separating yourself from others.

To go further along the road to happiness will require other traits of successful entrepreneurs that I will talk about in the near future.  But, it is important to reach this lofty position of high self-esteem, harnessing the entrepreneur that is inside you, before continuing the along the road.