The Entrepreneur Journey

4 Ways to Increase Your Tolerance for Ambiguity

4 Ways to Increase Your Tolerance for Ambiguity

As we've mentioned before, an important part of being an entrepreneur is having a tolerance for ambiguity. What does this mean? It means a person is able to handle stress even if they don't know what's going to happen in the near future. This is highlighted in Unit 3 of our Entrepreneur Journey curricula.

What Are NOT The Traits Of An Entrepreneur?

What Are NOT The Traits Of An Entrepreneur?

This is one part of an ongoing series on www.entpathways.com.

Our curricula, Entrepreneur Journey, focuses on teaching high school students how to become entrepreneurs. One part of the curricula is devoted to the traits of an entrepreneur. In our past blogs, we’ve highlighted the traits entrepreneurs do have – whether they were born with them or developed these traits over time.

Now, let’s discuss some traits an entrepreneur should absolutely not possess.

What Are The Traits Of An Entrepreneur? Part 4

This is one part of an ongoing series on www.entpathways.com.

Our curricula, Entrepreneur Journey, focuses on teaching high school students how to become entrepreneurs. One part of the curricula is devoted to the traits of an entrepreneur. Whether they are embedded at birth or developed as a young adult, you will find entrepreneurs who have specific traits helping them succeed at what they do. 

What are some traits entrepreneurs have in common? 

Work History

For most entrepreneurs, what they have learned in an industry has helped them identify needs they can address. For example, a good number of companies have been created by employees of Intel, Cisco, Hewlett Packard, and more in Silicon Valley. This shows how entrepreneurs get ideas by working in an industry and identifying needs or areas for innovation.

This is also where serial entrepreneurs are important. Although entrepreneurs can find needs in an industry to satisfy, they can often be limited by the lack of managerial experience needed to grow a company. However, serial entrepreneurs launch a company, sell it, and repeat this process. In most cases, they sell the business to a company that has the managerial experience for it to grow efficiently and successfully.

Internal Locus Of Control

Do you feel like you are in control of your life and destiny? If so, you may make a great entrepreneur. People with an internal locus of control generally feel that way. This is opposed to people who have an external locus of control, as they feel like life happens to them and they have little control over their future. In other words, outside-generated events of life are the main causes of success and failure.

If you plan things in your life, believe you are where you are because of your actions, and see a direct link between your behaviors and your success or failure in life, you may have an internal locus of control. According to the work of Julian Rotter (1954), a person's locus is internal or external.

Think about how students respond to a grade they received on an exam. Did the students blame the professor for a low grade, or their classmates who distracted them? Or did they say they had not worked hard enough or didn't understand well enough? Entrepreneurs see the world around them as controllable, taking credits for both successes and failures.

What Are The Traits Of An Entrepreneur? Part 3

This is one part of an ongoing series on www.entpathways.com.

Our curricula, Entrepreneur Journey, focuses on teaching high school students how to become entrepreneurs. One part of the curricula is devoted to the traits of an entrepreneur. Whether they are embedded at birth or developed as a young adult, you will find entrepreneurs who have specific traits helping them succeed at what they do. 

What are some traits entrepreneurs have in common? 

Childhood

There is a weak association with firstborn children and an inclination towards entrepreneurship – not enough to make the relationship pronounced, but firstborn children do tend to be more achievement-oriented and independent.

On the other hand, there is a strong association between entrepreneurial fathers and a child's inclination towards entrepreneurship. This could be due to the child growing up in a family where having a business as a career path is understood early in life.

Studies show parental support for independence, achievement, and responsibility is compatible with children pursuing entrepreneurship. Studies also show women in particular are more likely to become entrepreneurs when their parents are supportive, grow up in middle or upper-income families, or strongly identity with their fathers.

Think about the evidence from your life or observations you've made. Do they correlate with this research?

Education

Education is a trait one acquires, and it impacts one's choices about entrepreneurship.

Research shows women entrepreneurs have more college education on average than male entrepreneurs. If you are on the inventing side of your company, you may need an engineering degree. Or you could simply be an entrepreneur who works with others in high-tech fields. An entrepreneur can have a graduate degree in computer science, or they could be a college dropout.

This shows education doesn't determine success in entrepreneurship, but the right kind of education can help you become a better entrepreneur.

Age

The age of an entrepreneur is a very strong predictor of when a person makes a decision to launch a business. For men, 25-35 is the most common age period to become entrepreneurs. For women, 35-45 is the most common age period.

There is also a recent phenomenon of entrepreneurs over 50 launching start-ups. This is because many from the baby boomer generation are expressing interest in more independence and may have not been able to do so in their career path until now.

This means that, while there is a correlation between age and entrepreneurship, it is never too late to follow your passion.

What Are The Traits Of An Entrepreneur? Part 2

This is one part of an ongoing series on www.entpathways.com.

Our curricula, Entrepreneur Journey, focuses on teaching high school students how to become entrepreneurs. One part of the curricula is devoted to the traits of an entrepreneur. Whether they are embedded at birth or developed as a young adult, you will find entrepreneurs who have specific traits helping them succeed at what they do. 

What are some traits entrepreneurs have in common? 

Tolerance For Ambiguity

A person’s tolerance for ambiguity is determined by the amount of stress they feel when they don’t know what is happening in the near future. Entrepreneurs don’t always have a consistent paycheck, or they may not even know how they will pay those who work for them. Sometimes entrepreneurs don’t know if they’ll have enough customers in the future to keep a business going.

If a person doesn’t have tolerance for ambiguity, they will struggle to deal with these stressors. But if a person is confident and comfortable in these positions, they probably have a high tolerance for ambiguity.

Part of entrepreneurship is knowing you may need to shift or pivot your product, business model, or company makeup on the basis of customer feedback. Entrepreneurs adapt to uncertainty, and don’t need to have all future steps and details identified.

Calculated Risk Takers

A calculated risk taker is different from a risk taker.

Entrepreneurs assess the relationship between risk and rewards, and calculate the probability of success. If favorable, they will pursue.

Think of gambling. Gambling is risk taking with little calculation. It’s hoping the dice will land where you want, or the cards are dealt with luck.

With entrepreneurship, what many see as high risk may actually be low risk. The entrepreneur will look at an opportunity and design a business model others might not see, where risk goes down.

Entrepreneurs are not gamblers. They assess risk. They do not hope. They plan. Just like everyone else, entrepreneurs don’t want to lose money. But they are willing to seize an opportunity when it presents itself.

If you are willing to spend your hard-earned money on an investment that is somewhat certain to give you a decent return, you may be a calculated risk taker. If you have ever done things others see as risky – when you simply see a challenge – you may be a calculated risk taker.

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