29 April 2008
Prof W. Conradie
Topic 1: True entrepreneur can oly exist when there is ample proof of
creativenes and innovativeness. Creativity, however, is totally posible
without any evidence of entrepreneurship.

With full explanation of entrepreneurship, What is a entrepreneur. By using
the six main themes of mindsets a entrepreneur must have.

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“Many successful entrepreneurs have emphasised that while successful
entrepreneurs have initiative and take charge, are determined and
persevere, and are resilient to adapt, it is not just a matter of their
personalities, it is what they do.”
Jeffry A. Timmons – New Venture Creation.

The entrepreneurial mindset can be described as desirable and acquirable
attitudes and behaviours for entrepreneurs. By breaking down the six main
themes of the mindset we can see why a good entrepreneur must possess these
skills in order to succeed.

Commitment and determination are traits that drive an individual towards
their goal. Without these skills, an individual cannot immerse themselves
fully in their new venture. An entrepreneur has to be willing to undertake
great personal sacrifice as a good deal of their own time and money is
required to get a new venture off the ground and keep it flying once its up
there. When faced with a problem, an entrepreneur must have the self-
discipline not to be daunted by the prospect of the problem but to overcome
it through persistence and perseverance. To do this, entrepreneurs require
to be familiar with their own strengths and weaknesses and to know if the
problem they are facing deserves their constant bombardment when searching
for a solution. It is said, “an entrepreneur will give up sooner than
others if they believe a problem to be unsolvable.” (Timmons pg. 220). It
is this tenacity and decisiveness that will lead to an individual becoming
a successful entrepreneur. Without commitment and determination, an
individual would not be able to handle the pressures that go hand in and
with starting a new venture and surviving the first tentative years.

It is extremely important for an entrepreneur to be a good leader,
especially one who is the lead entrepreneur in a team. As it is the
entrepreneur?s goal that the team must strive to achieve, the entrepreneur
should have the ability to motivate and inspire his colleagues. By being a
“hero-maker”, the entrepreneur can gain the much-needed loyalty and support
required of the people that the venture attracts. The good entrepreneur
knows that they cannot go it alone and will need a good team and by sharing
the responsibility and the profit gained from the venture with those who
have contributed, the entrepreneur shows his colleagues that he needs them
as much as they need him. Of all the leadership qualities, it is paramount
for the entrepreneur to be able to teach and learn at the same time. This
point is well illustrated by the company principals implied by the late
Ewing Marion Kaufmann, the entrepreneur who founded Marion, Merrell Dow,
Inc, “one of the most extraordinary entrepreneurial success stories of our
time” (Timmons pg. 215). These principals state “Managers who attempt to
develop a new product and fail are not punished with lateral promotions,
nor are they ostracised. Failures are gateways to learning and continual
improvement”, (Timmons pg. 216).

“Successful entrepreneurs are obsessed with opportunity” (Timmons pg. 223).

It is common belief that an entrepreneur is someone who can see an
opportunity and go for it. However, this ability is not hereditary but can
be acquired. An entrepreneur can only spot these opportunities when they
have an intimate knowledge and understanding of their market and industry
which they can only achieve through the afore mentioned commitment and
total immersion.

The world of the entrepreneur is a constantly changing one and high levels
of risk, ambiguity and uncertainty are all too common. To be a successful
entrepreneur an individual must be able to tolerate these factors. Unlike
most people?s stereotype of an entrepreneur being a gambler, the good
entrepreneur always looks before they leap. They are always willing to take
the risk but they will calculate it thoroughly to minimise the chances of
the risk going wrong. Due to the ever-changing environment that the
entrepreneur has to work in, they also have to be tolerant of uncertainty.

“Jobs are undefined and changing continually, customers are new, co-workers
are new and setbacks and surprises are inevitable.” (Timmons pg. 223). As a
result of this lack of structure, there are constant conflicting factors to
face, therefore the successful entrepreneur must call on their abilities to
solve problems and integrate solutions in order to keep their eyes on the

The successful entrepreneur is seen as a highly creative and innovative
individual who can rely on themselves to think quick and act fast. In order
to have this ability, the entrepreneur can have no fear of failure, “they
willingly put themselves in situations where they are personally
responsible for the success or failure of the operation” (Timmons pg. 224).

The high level of innovation can be seen in the example of Bill Gates of
Microsoft. Gates dropped out of Harvard in his mid twenties to write
operating software for hardware companies. In the late 70?s, he founded
Microsoft and with a 600% growth rate in the last ten years, Gates has
become the world?s richest man. Gates success is largely due to his
personal characteristics of insight and vision and the ability to realise
his dreams and aspiration from essaybank.co.uk s. Gates also possess the
ability to use creativity in every decision that is made, for example;
recently, Gates changed his title from CEO of Microsoft to Chief Software
Architect and Chairman. It is believed that Gates will still be running the
company from behind the scenes. The move comes at a time when Microsoft
faces serious difficulties as the government is trying to break the company
up. Gates? decision lends truth to the rumours that Gates has seen the
opportunities that the internet offers and has begun work with his
development teams to design new hardware devices to allow mobile internet
access. By doing this Microsoft will be able to outflank their competitors
in the rush to release this new technology.

Entrepreneurs possess a strong desire to attain their goals. This need to
achieve sees entrepreneurs setting high but realistic goals in order to
focus their energies and be hypercritical when selecting opportunities.

However, in doing this, the entrepreneur is not striving for status or
power, but is really looking to quench their thirst for achievement. It is
the awareness of their personal strengths and weaknesses, and that of their
partners, that an entrepreneur must possess in order to be successful. This
quality allows the entrepreneur to make important decisions based on the
knowledge of what they can and cannot do, stopping them from wasting time
and money on problems that are either too easily solved or unsolvable,
depending on the individual.

These six main characteristics can be acquired by anyone, however,
qualities such as a sense of humour, morals, intelligence and energy are
all aspects that are common in entrepreneurs but these qualities cannot be
learned. Management skills, however, can. To be an entrepreneurial manager
it takes all of these skills, but the entrepreneurial manager has a well-
developed capacity to exert influence without formal power. These managers
are people movers not dictators. The authors of “Influence without
Authority”, Allan R. Cohen and David L. Bradford state that “if you are a
manager, you not only need to exercise influence skills with your peers and
your own boss, but also to help the people who work for you learn to be
effective influencers-even of you-since that will free you to spend more of
your time seeking new opportunities and working the organisation above and
around you”. (Timmons pg. 224). Successful entrepreneurial managers are
people like Bill Gates of Microsoft and Richard Branson of Virgin. Bill
Gates has managed to take his company through 25 years of fierce
competition and has only recently taken himself out of the leader role to
pursue new opportunities. It is said that almost all entrepreneurs will at
some point have to take this course of action, usually after two to seven
years of start-up or when turnover exceeds around ?20 million. This is the
most perilous stage and is largely controlled by the lead entrepreneur and
their team. It is in this stage that customer confidence and financial
results are built up. The next stage is the high growth stage, this usually
happens when the lead entrepreneur?s drive becomes exhausted and they are
in danger of stifling the companies? growth and innovation. It is at this
point the lead entrepreneur without management skills, should step down
from the lead role, without actually giving up leadership of the company,
and let managers take over the decision making. Conventional wisdom
suggests that entrepreneurs do not make good managers as they lack the
skills required and managers do not make good entrepreneurs as they lack
the personal characteristics. However, with experience an entrepreneur can
learn these management skills and adapt to become successful
entrepreneurial managers. By looking at Richard Branson, we can see that an
entrepreneur can be a successful manager. Richard Branson has built up an
empire of over 200 companies to encompass such variants as record stores,
planes, trains and even cola. However, as Branson uses the Virgin brand on
all his companies, experts warn that he runs the risk of diluting the
brand, something that may be considered as poor business management.

Undoubtedly, with a very strong business team behind him, Branson has been
able learn the required business management skills to remain at the top of
the management leader board and still be an active entrepreneur.

The growing enterprise requires that the founders and their team develop
competencies as entrepreneurial leaders and managers. To survive as a
manager, an entrepreneur must adapt and learn constantly. The turnover of
the company is the single largest factor that increases the complexity and
difficulty of managing a young company. It is said, “if the firm grows
relatively slowly, and the founder is capable of some adaptation, then the
firm can apparently become quite large.” (Timmons pg. 240)
It is therefore apparent that all qualities in the mindset are essential
for successful entrepreneurship and weaknesses in even one of these
qualities could be fatal. It is thought that these qualities can be
learned, in university or through experience. However, business management
skills are not entirely essential to the entrepreneur as this task can be
delegated to a person or team who have the necessary experience and