Succeeding As An Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur is someone who sees a new opportunity and creates a business or social enterprise to exploit it.

Throughout the Pacific are examples of young, and not so young, entrepreneurs who have seen an opportunity to do something for themselves and grasped it with both hands.

In this series I am exploring what it means to be an entrepreneur in the Pacific. Today I focus on the main characteristics of being an entrepreneur and how we develop them.

Entrepreneurs take risks. They are willing to try things that other people haven’t or go places where other people haven’t been. This takes a huge amount of self-confidence and courage. Self-confidence is about self-belief. It is affected by our upbringing and our conditioning, by our culture, by what others say and by the way we think about ourselves. Confidence goes hand in hand with being assertive – with being prepared to express our views and opinions while at the same time allowing others to express theirs. Aggressive people are not confident – their aggression is hiding a lack of confidence. If you feel you lack confidence you can put in place strategies to develop it. Spending time with more confident friends might help. Seek help from a coach or mentor. Join a programme aimed at helping people develop their skills and attitudes as entrepreneurs. Talk to someone you trust. Confident people are aware of their limitations and know when they need assistance. They are both strong and humble. They do not need to boast about their talents. The more confident you become the more able you will be to take the risks required to be an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs know that they need other people around them. They realise that they will never achieve their dreams alone, so they actively look for others to collaborate or work with. This means that you need good people skills. You need to be able to work well with others and to communicate directly and openly. Direct body language and good eye contact both inspire confidence in others and before you know it, you will have a super confident team all sharing a common dream!

Entrepreneurs need to have a strong work ethic and to be prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals. You will need a passion for learning as there will be many business skills to learn along your journey. Start to read about other entrepreneurs and their journeys; research; talk with others; join entrepreneur networks and support organisations. While most entrepreneurs will have a strong dream, they will not have all the skills, knowledge, and experience to make that dream a reality. That comes from hard work and continuous improvement through continuous learning. Most entrepreneurs do not start out with lots of business knowledge, but they soon realise that they need to acquire skills in several key business areas including planning, financial management, sales and marketing, product development, technology, business operations, customer service and so on.

Entrepreneurs are creative people – they have a passion for their idea which motivates them and drives them forward. This passion also inspires others to offer help and assistance. They think big and have big ambitions! While they have their own dreams and goals, they are also open-minded. New entrepreneurs quickly learn that there are usually several ways to achieve the same results. If you need to get through a solid stone wall, there is little point keep banging into it.

You will hurt yourself and not the wall! Engage your brain and start to explore other strategies – is it possible to tunnel under the wall, or climb over it, or go around it or go in a completely different direction? Einstein said that if he was given one hour to solve a problem, he would spend 55 minutes thinking about it and planning and only 5 minutes on action. Entrepreneurs learn to think while also realising that they will need to adapt and to learn new ways of doing things quickly.

Do not wait for others to do things for you. That will never happen. Stay focused on your own dreams and seek the help and support you need to be able to turn those dreams into a reality.

“The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is not to try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it”.

Next week I will focus on learning to think like an entrepreneur, and I will start to explore ideas – what are they and where do they come from?

I hope you enjoy this series. As always, please contact me if you have an interesting story to tell and are happy for it to be told.

Breadfruit Consulting ( is a Vanuatu-based business providing advice, training, coaching, and mentoring to businesses throughout the Pacific islands. Breadfruit specialises in a range of business development activities including ‘business continuity planning and action’, helping businesses to survive in a crisis, designing and starting new, sustainable businesses. Contact or

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