Article

Are You an Entrepreneur?

Sarah Ryther Francom

July 9, 2013

It’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur. Numerous challenges—ranging from political and economic strife to technologies that have revolutionized the way we work—have presented opportunities for the savvy entrepreneur who views these challenges not as barriers, but as problems to solve.

In this issue of Utah Business, we honor 28 entrepreneurs who did just that—they saw a situation that many viewed as a hurdle, and they found a solution. Whether launching their own business from the ground up or injecting new life into a stagnant company, these entrepreneurs have created lasting organizations that have impacted many.  We applaud their innovation, perseverance and grit. You’ll find their stories on page 66.

In my role at Utah Business, I have been fortunate to meet so many talented and inspiring entrepreneurs. I am continually amazed at what these individuals have been able to accomplish through hard work, sacrifice and determination. We truly have a state full of inspirational and accomplished business leaders who we can all glean much from.

One aspect that I’ve learned along the way is that business success often goes hand-in-hand with possessing an entrepreneurial drive. Regardless of whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, owner of a fledgling startup or a tenured exec at a large organization, having an entrepreneurial mindset—and encouraging a culture of entrepreneurialism within your organization—is key to sustaining success and growth. As Bill Gates is famous for saying, “innovate or die.”

So how can you foster an entrepreneurial mindset within yourself and your organization? By identifying and practicing entrepreneurial behaviors. Though no one entrepreneur is exactly like another, I believe there are five key qualities that successful entrepreneurs possess: curiosity, creativity, resourcefulness, leadership and tenacity.

Curiosity: Entrepreneurs have many questions and don’t stop until those questions are answered. They are constant learners, never satisfied with yesterday’s news. And they are early adaptors, often the first to experiment with the latest gadget.

Creativity: Entrepreneurs are problem-solvers. They possess an innate or learned ability to think differently than most when confronted with a challenge. Problems don’t intimidate but, rather, excite them.

Resourcefulness: Coinciding with creativity, entrepreneurs are resourceful—they know where to look to find what they need. Whether they’re seeking funding or advice, smart entrepreneurs are savvy enough to know what they need and how to find it.

Leadership: Many can have an idea, but entrepreneurs must know how to communicate their idea and vision to inspire others to join their mission and ensure they’re all moving in the same direction. 

Tenacity: Starting or reinventing a business is no easy feat. Even those who’ve dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s will face hurdle after hurdle. Entrepreneurs must be able to sacrifice, take risks and keep going when success seems impossible.

As business leaders, I encourage you to think of yourself as an entrepreneur. Practice curiosity, creativity, resourcefulness, leadership and tenacity within your organization. Approach the challenges we’re experiencing today with an entrepreneurial mindset and you’ll be one step ahead tomorrow.

From the Editor

Sarah Ryther Francom

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