Entrepreneurs without money (II). What is the entrepreneurial profile required for success? Part A.
Wishing you will have a lovely day.
Today we will continue with the theme of Entrepreneurs without Money. We will answer the following question, what is the entrepreneurial profile required for success? In which contexts? Why?
Let´s start. For baby boomers, which is my mother´s generation, the role of the woman was to marry as soon as possible after finishing high school and after completing a good looking “lady” diploma such as Secretarial-administrative studies or home administration studies. The only university in El Salvador at that time was public (there were no private universities here in the 60s). As soon as my mother married my Dad in 1969, my parents decided that mom was going to be a “stay at home” mom who will take care of me (I am the first daughter), and my Dad was going to accomplish the role of economic supporter for the household. Mom did not work for several years but just dedicated herself to administer her house, be pregnant with the rest of my brothers and sister, take care of us and make my father happy. Do you think this happened, just because my mom and dad are from El Salvador? Noooo! According to a CNN source, in the USA, Yale and Princeton didn’t accept female students until 1969. Harvard didn’t admit women until 1977 (when it merged with the all-female Radcliffe College). With the exception of the University of Pennsylvania, which began accepting women on a case-by-case basis in 1876, and Cornell, which admitted its first female student in 1870. Think about it: in the USA, women couldn’t attend Ivy League schools until 1969 at the earliest.
Generation X, my generation has had a different perspective. We wished to study something else than “home administration” and at the time we were able to reach superior education (in the 90s), all universities accepted women in all disciplines. Many of us did not see us become a “stay at home mom” as our mothers, simply because we loved the feeling of knowing that we could earn our own resources to stand up by ourselves. In addition, my desire to learn was more than just obtaining an undergraduate education, but at least two masters or postgraduate degrees, simply because I loved to study. I am a curious person and I wanted to learn. How did I pay for my studies if I had no money? With Scholarships and Educational Debt. Indeed, in my mind to marry and have kids was a dream to come true just after finishing my studies. My goal was to marry in my 30s and be pregnant in my 30s. But it did not happen. It was disappointing. It has been the most horrendous frustration of my life. I have been waiting for my marriage and babies for 17 years!
Today I am 47 years old. My first priority as a heterosexual lady (or straight as the Americans say it) has been to marry and have babies, And here I am, at 47 years old without my personal goals fulfilled. But with hope in the future. What is interesting is that maybe God was delaying this, because today I am a Gen X mother-to-be with a Millennial mindset in many areas. I define myself as a modern to-be-mother because my own company will offer me, revenues (which means I will be independent economically), have babies and share my life with my meant to be spouse Alejandro Guillermo Lozano Artolachipi.
Why choose the entrepreneurship path? Well, it is very personal. Many people don´t fit into corporate companies. And they choose the entrepreneurship bumpy road because they know there is no comparison between being an employee and being self-employed. In my case, I do not want to work for other companies anymore, knowing that I need a balance of life, and I will marry Alejandro Guillermo Lozano Artolachipi. To marry him will be a daily adventure. I wish to be pregnant, enjoy my pregnancies, my future babies, and have fun with my future family. I also wish to work from home and serve my future clients with wisdom. Parenting is important to me. My future husband, Alejandro Lozano Artolachipi is important to me. My future husband and babies are my priority. I need the flexibility to accomplish my personal goals and professional ones. I don´t want to work for another company which in the future will lay me off or kick me out without explanations as many people lost their jobs during the last recession.
Entrepreneurs have a required profile. Many people have written about these qualities or characteristics. Let me share with you which are the most common traits we believe the entrepreneurs have:
- Passion for what we do: A real entrepreneur is not in it for the money. We do it because we love to do it. We wake up in the morning thinking about what we do, we go to bed thinking about what we can do best to improve our activities. We are always connecting the dots. We find strength in our endeavors because of a higher sense of purpose, we do it by heart. We love what we do, beyond our own rational reasons. No matter what, we will keep moving and doing and performing. It is an inner energy which can´t be explained.
Wise use of money: Something I learned at the World Bank is to wait until you are ready to become a successful entrepreneur. Anyone knows it takes time to become profitable, and it is insane to start a company if we don´t have our own money. To have savings is important. When I was reviewing investments proposals at the International Finance Corporation (The World Bank entity for the private sector development), we always checked if the owners (sponsors) have at least between 25% to 40% of the venture in their pockets (cash or equivalent cash financial instruments). It is not wise to go ahead without your own funding. Of course, there are exceptions, but to start a company based in debt or using equity from others is the worst decision you can do. If you are not ready with your own money, better to produce it through other ventures first, or wait for sometime in order to save it. Just until you have the financial strength to move ahead. “Successful entrepreneurs plan for present and future financial obligations and set aside an emergency fund. Even after securing funding or going fully operational, a successful businessperson keeps a complete handle on cash flow”.
- Resilience: Resilience is used in the meaning of recovering easily and quickly from such setbacks (Zautra, Hall, & Murray, 2010). For the entrepreneur, resilience is a key trait (De Vries & Shields, 2005). Resilient people are able to integrate hard experiences into their lives in a way that makes them better. A successful entrepreneur will recover despite the several failures inherent of his or her journey. “To be both happy and successful and bold and humble requires the development of one virtue above all, and that’s resilience”.
- Vision: It is key to know where we go. Successful entrepreneurs never lose sight of where they wish to be, despite the difficulties. I will add the term wise vision because sometimes we confuse the term visionary with the ability to take risks. And these are two different concepts. Vision is the ability to see further, to create plans for the future with a clear purpose. It´s to see furthermost the present.
Tomorrow we will continue with the rest of the characteristics of a modern entrepreneur…
Disclaimer: All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante MBA-MEng. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
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