10/09/10

By Bev James, MD of The Coaching Academy

There has been increased scrutiny in the media of that brand of individual known as ëentrepreneursí since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008 and it seems that the ëentrepreneurial spirití has become something which society now increasingly seems to value and it is something often equated with success.

A distinction should be made however between simply having entrepreneurial spirit and being a successful entrepreneur. Sometimes just having the entrepreneurial spirit is not enough. There are plenty of individuals out there who have some or all of the characteristics of an entrepreneur but have not been able to translate these into business success.

To see why this is we must first ask ourselves what the characteristics of an entrepreneur are.

The Characteristics Of An Entrepreneur

If you have some or all of the following attributes, consider yourself to be a potential entrepreneur:

- Unwavering self belief

- An inner drive and enthusiasm

- Courage to act on your instincts

- A high level of self motivation

- Creative thinker and ability to spot opportunities that others cannot

- Having a stream of ideas and optimism that they will come to something

Some of you out there will probably be thinking that you have some or all of these personality traits, but not all of those who fit into this bracket would consider themselves to be a successful entrepreneur. Without the correct mindset being instilled this may never happen.

You see, some entrepreneurs may need a little bit of coaching to turn their entrepreneurial spirit into business success. Business or life coaching has become very popular with senior executives and CEOs in recent years and may be just what some potentially successful entrepreneurs need to translate the qualities mentioned above into business success. Coaching works by instilling the correct mindset into the individual.

Coaching The Correct Mindset

As well as having the characteristics above which will identify you as being a potentially successful entrepreneur, you need to have the following characteristics in order to be a successful entrepreneur.

- Self discipline to temper your sense of urgency

- An Objective and future focussed vision

- An ability to set goals and to stick to them

- A desire to succeed enhanced by an unfailing belief in oneself

- An ability to take calculated risks

- Most importantly you must have an acute business sense

It is sometimes a fine line between success and failure and if you have the correct mindset you have much more chance of becoming a success. This mindset can be brought about by coaching. Coaching will help not only with conquering the common problems which entrepreneurs face, but turn these obstacles into strengths.

Entrepreneurs can suffer from poor follow through on good ideas, inability to maintain focus and fear of failure. Additionally an entrepreneurs strengths can sometimes become weaknesses since over enthusiasm, over confidence and over optimism can sometimes get in the way of practicalities. A coach will be able to see when this is happening.

The correct route to success is the following. Firstly and most obviously you need an idea. Then you need to spot an opportunity to use this idea and take the correct action and follow through to drive the project to completion. Success will elude you if any parts of this process are missing and a coach will help you to bring all the parts of this puzzle together.

A coach will enable the individual to focus, look at things objectively and break things down into a logical series of actions. However, the most vital thing the coach will do is train the entrepreneur to challenge him or herself and be accountable.

The Importance Of Accountability

To learn to be accountable is the key to success. It is not something that you can just learn, it is a whole mindset that needs to be in the back of your mind in everything you do as an entrepreneur and will allow you to be more dynamic and ultimately successful.

By learning to be accountable the entrepreneur can turn raw entrepreneurial spirit into consistent business success. It encourages a continual self assessment and setting of new goals and achievements whilst keeping the individual focused and on track. It removes hindering self doubts by highlighting each achievement and helps break down bigger goals into smaller step by step processes which keep enthusiasm alive.

The individual will feel empowered by coaching and the accountability it instils as at the end of the day it is still the entrepreneur making all the effort and achieving all the success and not the coach. The entrepreneur will have all the necessary ingredients for success already, the job of the coach is to bring all these ingredients together and without this coaching some entrepreneurial individuals may not reach full potential.

Now Is The Ideal Time

At the time of writing the economy appears to have stopped contracting and is slowly returning to growth. This would seem to be the ideal time to recognise the entrepreneurial spirit inside yourself and take full advantage as the economy starts to grow again.

The truly successful entrepreneurs will see this as an opportunity to thrive whilst others around them fail. The ones that have planned and built during the really bad times will be the ones who will do well as we move out of the recession and into growth. It is probable that a lot of the newly successful entrepreneurs that emerge will have had a little coaching along the way.

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