Entrepreneurs create businesses that offer products, processes, and services for hire and/or sale in a free market. Entrepreneurship involves the willingness to engage in developing, organizing, and managing business establishments in full recognition of the existing short-term and long-term risks with the objective of making profits. It involves overlooking risks in pursuit of opportunities that are convertible into profitable ventures.
Drawing from Professor Michael’s experience in business life, success in entrepreneurship requires one to possess a business-minded personality. He or she should embrace change, work to learn instead of working to earn, know how to deal with failure, and/or calculate risks and emotion. This report reflects on these perspectives while incorporating key viewpoints raised by other six entrepreneurs.
Personality constitutes an important perspective that determines the manner in which an entrepreneur addresses failures and risks. It also captures the way he or she responds to business success. Personality refers to “the total of ways in which an individual reacts and interacts with others” (Antoncic et al. 827). Professor Michael observes how some employees are well suited to meet business goals and objectives relative to others depending on their personality traits.
In other words, personality is not only important to entrepreneurs but also to employees who are recruited to work in a business establishment. Modern-day business owners are highly interested in the ability of employees to meet flexibility requirements for them to operate successfully in different work environments. Hence, the ability of an employee to perform well in only some specific tasks ceases from being the main selection and recruitment criteria. As Berglund and Korsgaard (734) observe, over the last decade, business owners have been interested in evaluating how employees’ personality and values match those of any business.
Personality is measured based on the traits that people exhibit. Research on personality in an organizational context has focused on labeling various traits that describe employees and customers’ behaviors. Some of the personality traits that can influence the behavior of people include ambition, fidelity, assertiveness, cordiality, submissiveness, and boldness (Antoncic et al. 831).
Drawing from Kevin’s speech, the HR culture and the recognition of people as the number one asset require the selection of personality perspectives such as aggressiveness and assertiveness in ensuring resilience to operational risks and challenges. In a business setting, extroversion is a measure of the degree of employees or customers’ comfortlessness with various relationships. Arguably, extroversion is an important aspect to consider when hiring in modern business environments that require a high degree of teamwork to meet the rapidly changing industry dynamics such as the innovation of products and services to keep businesses competitive both in the short and long term.
Kevin’s speech emphasized the issue of success in business. According to Kevin, being victorious in business requires one to think like an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are always prepared to respond to changes in their business operational environments. Indeed, Professor Michael noted the importance of embracing change to enhance business success in the future uncertain operational environment. Businesses that endeavor to acquire long-term success keep on changing their ways of executing work. The most appropriate changes ensure that businesses become more profitable in a changing business environment (Halloran 31).
Professor Michael presented change as an inevitable aspect. In support of this position, geopolitical, demographic, and technological changes, including the prevailing intense pressure on the physical business environments, inform the need for business change. These forces are largely uncontrollable by an entrepreneur. Therefore, the only available option entails adopting the appropriate strategies that can guarantee success in the changing business environment.
Embracing change requires an understanding of various security issues and governance approaches that help to generate pressure, which is necessary to set change in motion (Halloran 56). Developing the awareness for technological, political, sociological, and economic needs of the external operational environment is crucial in the effort to develop strategic success initiatives. Change may involve proactive and reactive approaches.
Irrespective of the approach taken, Kelvin’s speech emphasizes the need for entrepreneurs to embrace change that values the human resource department, enhances quality, guarantees fun in the workplace, and/or upholds the role of families and respect for people’s culture. To this extent, Kelvin appreciated the role of eliminating conflicts between work and employees’ personal lives in enhancing business success. Such strategies create memorable experiences, which ensure that employees do not consider leaving their businesses.
Such experiences also flow into customers, hence helping in developing their loyalty. Kelvin’s speech recognized this importance by noting that a customer will never show interest in a company until the employee demonstrates devotion to it first. Consequently, embracing change that embraces the role of people in business success is inevitable for a company. However, only businesses that wish to have a long-standing value developed around people who are the most important resources available to it may benefit from change.
Work to Learn and Work to Earn
The concept of working to learn, as opposed to working to earn, raises questions concerning the appropriate sources of motivation for entrepreneurs and employees. Does it come from salaries and monetary gains or commitment to the work of an organization? Working to learn suggests that the desire to acquire more knowledge or develop better products and services, which can attain market success, drives people’s motivation to work. Professor Michael concurs with this position by observing that money comes automatically since market success translates into more sales, high profitability, and business growth.
At the initiation phase, a business incurs many costs related to positioning, advertising, and marketing (Halloran 87). During this phase, a brand is not popular among the targeted customers. Hence, making sufficient sales for breaking even is challenging. Therefore, from Shawn’s speech, during this phase, entrepreneurs should focus on debt service, leveraging, and persistence without concentrating on working to earn. Perhaps, even in the exponential and maturity phases, working to earn is a misplaced ideology regardless of the high returns. For an entrepreneur, no specific amount of money is ever enough. Persistence is imperative since any failure in the lactating phase does not imply long-term letdown in other phases of business development.
How to Deal with Business Failure
Even though some businesses close due to the lack of funding or risks, including economic crisis and/or their inability to break even, entrepreneurs must evaluate the viability of a potential opportunity to be guaranteed of success right from the product or service initiation phases through the growth stage and ultimately to the maturity phase. After maturity, entrepreneurs anticipate a decline phase due to the introduction of new competing products or obsolescence.
This situation suggests the need for developing a business continuity plan that involves the re-engineering and redevelopment of services, processes, and products to ensure that they respond to the emerging needs or potential failures. Colossal disappointment precedes success. Hence, one should not dictate the future of business based on its past failure (Berglund and Korsgaard 733). Professor Michael asserts that entrepreneurs must establish approaches to dealing with failure.
Considering personality as an important perspective on business success, one must differentiate his or her character from failure. Personalizing failure breaks down one’s confidence and self-esteem. Failure drains entrepreneurs emotionally. From Jeff’s speech, entrepreneurs not only need to be good employers but also individuals who focus on building energy and/or reenergizing themselves even in the face of failure. Consider a situation where an inferno destroys an investment that has taken decades to build. Perhaps the easiest thing to do is to jump into the inferno to avoid facing the reality of the resulting failure.
However, such a move only promotes the inability to cope with letdown and/or be guaranteed of continuity in the wake of failure. Therefore, the best approach to dealing with failure is by preparing for it in advance.
Consistent with Jeff’s speech, success requires the development and execution of well-thought strategies. In times of failure, such strategies involve adapting and learning from the failure experiences. Entrepreneurs need to look at failure analytically. Instead of being frustrated, apportioning blame on others, regretting, and exhibiting anger, one needs to think about what should have been done to achieve better outcomes.
Most importantly, one must question what he/she learned from the failure experience. Hence, dwelling on failure does not postpone the outcome (Berglund and Korsgaard 733). An entrepreneur does not cease from living in a society that starts judging an individual after he or she has failed in business. According to Professor Michael, the fear of failure is linked to the apprehension of being judged by others. Nevertheless, an entrepreneur should overcome this situation by understanding that confidence, passion, and assertiveness make a difference in the future. At this point, continuity plans are pivotal in determining how to handle matters that had been priory done wrongly.
Sticking to the Core of Business
Businesses need to remain focused on their core purpose. According to Professor Michael, entrepreneurs need to focus on matters that guarantee business growth and profitability. For them to achieve this goal, marketing planning is inevitable. In fact, one should not venture into a business without a clear plan on how to position and market services or products offered to customers (Shaw 33). When pursuing a given marketing plan, the 4Ps model facilitates the development of a clear understanding of the market targeting strategy (Shaw 35). In determining the long-term effect of altering any element of the 4Ps model, customer lifetime value (CLTV) model helps in visualizing the changes.
Entrepreneurs need to access the market in which a business plans to sell its products and services during marketing planning through the 4Ps model. This framework captures the product, price, place, and promotion business aspects. Indeed, an entrepreneur cannot allocate monetary and time resources to pursue a business opportunity without knowing what product or service to sell, including whether it is demanded in the marketplace. Hence, products and services must respond to the existing needs and wants. Prices need to not only cover the cost of production but also leave a profit margin. Entrepreneurs must also focus on advertising and creating awareness of the existing products and services coupled with how their efforts satisfy the needs of the targeted consumers.
Calculating Risk and Emotion
Risks challenge the successful operations of a business. Often, upon their occurrence, they psychologically tear an entrepreneur who committed his or her time and monetary resources establishing and running a business. Indeed, risks compromise businesses’ financial position. Grundy and Moxon argue that it is impossible to avoid such risks since they are part of a business (56). In fact, entrepreneurs do not have control over their internal and external business environments.
The biggest challenge for a business operating in a risk-prone environment encompasses the development of mechanisms for predicting any possible threats and the ways of protecting brands from collapsing in the event of a crisis (Grundy and Moxon 57). This awareness underlines the need for calculating risks. For instance, an entrepreneur needs to conduct an environmental scan to determine the mechanisms for responding to risks that a business is likely to face in line with Professor Michael’s sentiments.
Entrepreneurship is a risky venture. Although one starts a business with the hope of succeeding, failure is inevitable. Consequently, entrepreneurs must effectively manage their emotions to avoid allowing failure to define their thoughts on how to conduct their businesses. Hence, they need to be knowledgeable concerning how to calculate risks and/or control emotions. They should also possess a persistent, aggressive, and assertive personality. While working to earn is an important source of motivation for some people, entrepreneurs need to inculcate the spirit of working to learn in themselves and their employees.
Antoncic, Bostjan, et al. “The Big Five Personality-Entrepreneurship Relationship: Evidence from Slovenia.” Journal of Small Business Management, vol. 53, no. 3, 2015, pp. 819-841.
Berglund, Henrik, and Steffen Korsgaard. “Opportunities, Time, and Mechanisms in Entrepreneurship: On Practical Irrelevance of Propensities.” Academy of Management Review, vol. 42, no. 4, 2017, pp. 731-734.
Grundy, Michael, and Richard Moxon. “The Effectiveness of Airline Crisis Management on Brand Protection: A Case Study of British Airways.” Journal of Air Transport Management, vol. 28, no. 2, 2013, pp. 55-61.
Halloran, James. Your Small Business Adventure: Finding Your Niche and Growing a Successful Business. Huron Street Press, 2014.
Shaw, Eric. “Marketing Strategy: From the Origin of the Concept to the Development of a Conceptual Framework.” Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 4, no. 1, 2012, pp. 30–55.