Entrepreneurship and innovation are two facets of the same coin. However, is an innovator an entrepreneur? No, not always, for the simple reason that “innovation generally refers to changing or creating more effective processes, products and ideas.” If they take on great financial risks in their endeavor, they then become entrepreneurs. Is an entrepreneur the same an innovator? Probably yes, because you can’t have one without the other. If not the same at least entrepreneurship and innovation walk hand in hand. In this post I have tried to identify 6 questions that would help in the pursuit of Entrepreneurship and innovation.
The entrepreneur has the vision of what they want for their business. The Oxford’s Dictionary definition of an entrepreneur is “the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hopes of a profit.” Some, like Chef Jamie Oliver, physically work on the product themselves. Chef Jamie Oliver is an entrepreneur in his business, as well as an innovator in the world of food.
Defining an entrepreneur Entrepreneurship Definition
Being an innovator “does not mean inventing something.” It is adding value to an invention or making something better than it was before. Improvement is the name of the game. As an innovator you need to look beyond the field where you are currently working.
Here is a list of 6 questions you can ask yourself about Entrepreneurship and innovation.
1) What do you know about the field you want to work in? – This will further help in answering the questions hidden in the subconscious. Questions like if this is a move towards a passion or is it running away from a present job. This would also help in more research in the area of interest. Most importantly, the question will help in settling the nerves and will give an opportunity to run the entrepreneurship venture conceptually.
2) Are you willing to work 24/7? – Entrepreneurship is a full-time job. It’s not a career option. It’s a state of mind. Be ready for some tough work without much rewards initially.
3) What practices from a totally disconnected field (philosophy, or geology, or botany, or literature) can say about your industry? What wouldn’t make sense to them, and why? – I liked this question from one of the articles from Entrepreneur.com. It is important to have your idea rerun through an alternate frame.
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4) What is at stake? What do you expect to lose once you start your own venture? Do some sensitivity analysis on the same. Can you bear more losses? Can you invest more time? You are heading towards a zone of uncertainties. Be ready for risks and embrace uncertainties.
5) Is your family positive about Entrepreneurship and Innovation? – This is going to be a tough one. Most difficult part of entrepreneurship is to pass on the passion to family. A successful entrepreneur is one who makes sure that he/she has his passion endorsed by his family. One must remember that ‘Charity begins at home’. The charity of time, trust, respect, recognition and at times money is required from family to spin-off great ideas.
6) Is it the right time? The timing is extremely important for entrepreneurship and innovation. A little delay might make an innovation obsolete. Rushing with an entrepreneurship venture can lead to failure of project. ‘Luck’ is right timing for innovation. So, time your venture perfectly.
This is not an exhaustive list. It is an initial questionnaire or a checklist of entrepreneurship and innovation. Apart from talent, having a lot of imagination will help you to connect with the different fields. Networking is important. Since many entrepreneurs will surround themselves with innovators that can help them reach their goal. The common phase of “stepping outside of the box” applies to both innovators and entrepreneurs. Success should come to both.