May 17, 2022 3:16 pm

Business culture: myths and truths of the entrepreneurial world

An entrepreneur can be born or made and, under the right circumstances, anyone can build a business as it only takes a compelling desire to push an idea forward. In 1911, the Austrian economist Joseph A. Schumpeter was the first to associate the concepts of entrepreneurship and innovation with economic development. in his book Capitalism, socialism and democracy of 1942, affirmed that the entrepreneur is a visionary capable of seeing beyond the ordinary and putting that vision into practice is what differentiates him from the dreamer.

Eighty years later, Schumpeter’s sentence is still in force. Just look at the statistics from the World Economic Forum. 60% of the participants in entrepreneurship workshops do not start their project, while another 30% try and abandon it due to lack of qualities and skills.

“There are cases where someone undertakes not only to earn money. They simply seek to develop a passion”, recognized Federico Saravia, general director of Entrepreneurs of the government of the city of Buenos Aires. Quite possibly, 5% of the attendees of those courses that express their idea belong to this group.

“Entrepreneurship is for everyone, but not for everyone. We can all be as long as we have the opportunity, the conviction, the knowledge and even the sacrifice,” said Matías Mazza, academic director of Usina de Emprendedores (a space created by the Caece University and the Argentine Chamber of Commerce).

“Analyzing the fixed costs of my daily life helped me take the first step. I discovered that there were many expenses (landline that no one used, the newspaper that no one read, a subscription that no one used, etc.) that I could eliminate. Sometimes you think you need a lot of money to live. And for that reason alone, they do not start a business and continue in a position in a dependency relationship that does not satisfy them,” said Claudia Ferrara, co-founder of the Tus Habits Program.

Always, building a company is a risky challenge. The same project can be a success or a failure depending on who implements it. “It is always essential to ‘start’. You don’t have to stay with ‘the idea’. It is very typical that a person registers the brand and the logo, but does not put it into practice. A lot of time is spent guarding it and it is not executed. This is like putting a sign on a store and never opening it”, Mazza pointed out.

Creativity is one of the most outstanding qualities of entrepreneurs. “I always characterized myself by wanting to change things. At least try to make them different. Sometimes I couldn’t find space at my job. Other times, I felt limited. Consequently, I was ‘rumba’ towards entrepreneurship”, commented Maximiliano Sobotowicz, founder of Retail Manía Group.

In general, entrepreneurs hate introspection and planning even more. They prefer to start from the premise “just do it”, which in certain cases can work, but loses effectiveness over time.

Another particularity of innovators is being proactive, which allows them to anticipate and prevent difficulties. “The pandemic has taken us all out of our comfort zone. It was a good opportunity to reinvent ourselves in a more uncertain context where it is difficult to plan because there are variables that we do not manage. In the entrepreneurial world, situations like these happen all the time. Capacities are then acquired to react to the lack of certainty”, indicated the director of the government of the city of Buenos Aires.

Added to this adaptability is a high level of persistence and patience to generate change. “When you undertake, you become a psychologist or sociologist of the market; especially, in a country as changing as Argentina. You develop a sixth sense to spot opportunities and take advantage of them,” explains Sobotowicz.

A great measure to improve a project is to socialize with peers. “Contacting a successful entrepreneur allows you to learn from their good and bad experiences. Also, telling others about our business plan helps us improve it and gain courage to promote it,” said Saravia.

Self-knowledge is also key. Discovering one’s own limitations can facilitate the process of developing a new project, because it strengthens the entrepreneur and in turn helps him delegate.

Many times things do not go as projected and failure must be assumed. “Today I realize that those failed plans were part of my learning path. I always got something positive out of those frustrations. That is why I think that one becomes an entrepreneur”, considered the Retail Manía Group executive.

Sometimes, the entrepreneur is confused with a businessman. The executive’s goal is to keep the company healthy. To achieve this, you must earn money and keep costs in order. Logically, these concerns are shared by the entrepreneur. However, this should focus mainly on specifying the vision you have about the company. Achieving it requires not only the ability to innovate but also to guide the staff and engage them as best as possible with their objective.

In recent times, entrepreneurship has been related to digital, hand in hand with the boom in startups locally and globally. But the list of types of entrepreneurs is longer. Some independent professionals are even located in this category. These are some of the lesser known ones that are gaining more and more momentum.

*Social Entrepreneur: The purpose of your company is rather social. You can offer a refreshing product or service, or make people aware of an issue.

*Cooperatives: They house many professionals and technicians who work in partnership.

*Franchises “Not all entrepreneurs want to become unicorns. Some want a business. Franchises allow them to fulfill that desire by being part of a chain”, Federico Saravia reviewed.

The entrepreneur must take on the adventure of winning or losing. “From my own experience, I could say that multinationals have lost the spirit of creating. Many of their people seek to innovate within them. Faced with this scenario they get frustrated, but they accept the situation and stay. Others leave”, recalled Sobotowicz who is also a Marketing and Sales advisor and trainer at the Inicia Foundation.

Good ideas arise at any time of a person’s existence, however, research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) shows that life experience helps make it a success.

“There are two ages that are a turning point. The first is at 25, when you finish college. The real work begins with the question: is this what I want for myself? The other, the 50 with the possibility of retirement”, illustrates the co-founder of Programa tus Hábitos.

As he approached the second half of his life, Ferrara began to think about what it would be like. She presented herself with two alternatives: retire from the multinational where she worked or start her own project. “So, I saw 50 as the age of opportunities, of creating possibilities and undertaking,” he added.

For researchers Sloan Pierre Azoulay and Daniel Kim from MIT, 45 years is the average age of entrepreneurs who achieve their ideal. This emerged from a study across the United States.

“If I had two identical ideas, I knew nothing about their drivers and I would only know that one is young and the other is middle-aged, I would bet that the latter would achieve its goals,” Azoulay concluded.

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