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Entrepreneurship as a Career

Entrepreneurship is becoming an increasingly popular alternative career choice in the current economic slow down. If you are planning to become an entrepreneur you will not be alone and  will have plenty of company.

Many have gone the entrepreneur route due to external factors including layoffs, frustration in their current workplace culture, or need for greater flexibility in their lives. However it is most important to go with your own internal factor which include passion, wanting to be independent, wanting  to accomplish, building an enterprise, enjoying freedom, a burning desire to make a profession out of a hobby or enjoy the challenges.

Entrepreneurship is not for all. You may most likely be aware that many new ventures fail and probably 1 in 3 will not be in business after five years. The dot com were successes of the late 90s and early 2000s, but it is most unlikely that you will become successful overnight. It requires hard work, determination, vision, need to dedicate long hours and endless energy which is more realistic in today’s entrepreneurship.

There is no fixed pattern for entrepreneurship so long as you are focused and hard working, your dream can become a reality and you can reap the benefits of entrepreneurship.

In today’s world which is becoming flatter due to opening of countries, technology, increasing competitiveness, and mature products there is an urgent need for creativity and entrepreneurship. Fortunately the attractions to become an entrepreneur is becoming much easier especially since there is a shift from a predominantly manufacturing  to a service based economy, and due to this, cost and barriers to entry for entrepreneurs have lowered considerably. It is worthy to note that new ventures are job creators like the Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, Route 128 and industrial parks are the envy of the world.


Entrepreneurship serves as an anchor to many businesses and economy. It can also play a major role in alleviating problems of poverty, unemployment and underemployment in many developing countries in today’s world.


Entrepreneurship will thrive only in a culture and environment which encourage entrepreneurs to take a chance and fail. At present the government and even the former President of India, Dr Kalam, have been encouraging young people to take a plunge into entrepreneurship.


Entrepreneurship can be spurred by three factors, first Opportunity, second people and third available resources. Entrepreneurs are people with high managerial and creativity skills. Sales people are low in both, managers are high in managerial skills and inventors are high in creativity. This does not mean that you must be high in both. You can form a team to strengthen your skills, as entrepreneurship is all about building a team and not a single person entity.


Why look at entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurship creates new jobs, new industries e.g. cellular phone, internet shopping. Entrepreneurship provides economic and social mobility. Entrepreneurship creates equity, produces great leaders and contributes to society. With competition increasing and technology becoming more efficient, jobs are decreasing. Hence entrepreneurship is on the rise. Jobs are also decreasing as many women are forced to look for work as one salary is not sufficient to run a family. Jobs are not for life. Nowadays people are looking for results and hence the change is common. Rearranging in companies to reduce cost is being done and therefore contract and temporary work are increasing. As an entrepreneur your hours of work can be flexible.


The positives of an entrepreneurship is that you control your own future, have the satisfaction of making your own money and not for someone else, put your talent to use and most importantly you will be doing something that you enjoy.


The flip side of entrepreneurship is you may have irregular income which leads to you not knowing what your next pay cheque is. You have to do all the work by yourself  which may result in a hard life.


You must dream to make entrepreneurship work for you just like Bill Gates a Harvard drop out. His dream was to have every desktop in the world running on his software and that dream has made him one of the richest people on the planet.

That is the power of dreams, these will help you to face challenges, handle failure, help you build confidence to face ambiguity and make the impossible possible.

As children we all have big dreams but as we grow up these dreams are reduced by people who want the best for us like our parents, teachers, friends, society and other forces.

The impact is that we lose our big dream and become ‘regular’ beings looking for things we do not want, like looking for a job.

Published in The Hindu 1/6/2009

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