The word “entrepreneur” evokes different interest; because it’s a word that holds various views in the minds of people. The word “entrepreneur” means different things to different people. While most individuals can understand the relationship between entrepreneurs and businesses; they can’t really grasp the primary function of an entrepreneur. Even entrepreneurs themselves don’t know their primary task. For those aspiring to become entrepreneurs; I think it is crucial that you know the role demand of the personality you are about assuming.
Now most people intertwine the function of an entrepreneur with its motive and that’s why they have the perception that the entrepreneur’s primary duty is to make money for investors. Bring up the word “entrepreneur” or “business owner” and what comes to the mind of most people is the image of someone living in riches and turning over millions of dollars.
The Functions or Role Demands of an Entrepreneur
After discussing with several professionals, reading several business books and discussing with my protégés and associates; I identified different perceptions on the functions of an entrepreneur. Some of them are:
1. Perception and identification of business opportunities
2. Assembling of key resources
3. Making money
4. Bearing risk
5. Coming up with creative ideas
7. Creating employment
8. Boosting the economy
9. Create wealth for the society
Of all the functions and roles of an entrepreneur I heard, these were the few that made sense to me and I want to state that they are all correct. However, these views failed to identify the basic task of an entrepreneur; the true reason that makes us entrepreneurs. I am stressing the need to know the primary task of an entrepreneur because your accomplishment depends on your understanding and acceptability of your primary task. Now what is the basic function of an entrepreneur?
The True Task of an Entrepreneur
“If you want to be rich, simply serve more people.” – Rich Dad
Looking back over the years I have spent as an entrepreneur while also analyzing the lives of some successful, famous entrepreneurs; I have identified our basic task as entrepreneurs and that task is “Critical Problem Solving.”
“Behind every adversity is an opportunity. If you lament over the adversity, you will miss the opportunity.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
Yes, problem solving is the true task of an entrepreneur. If you can resolve other people’s problems industriously; you will become a successful entrepreneur, don’t doubt it. I mulled over my life while writing this article and realized that I have been solving other people’s problems ever since I became an entrepreneur. Despite the personal problems, I remain focused and committed to solving other people’s problems. To resolve my own problems, I have to first resolve other people’s problems; that’s what makes me an entrepreneur. The day I get fed up with solving other people’s problems; I will cease to be an entrepreneur.
Critical problem solving is what makes a successful entrepreneur. Intricate problems results to needs and wants; which in turn creates opportunity. Turning problems to opportunity is the basic task of an entrepreneur and that task will only be complete when the problem is solved. Aside solving people’s problems, we also have to deal with internal challenges that arise from our businesses.
“Someone asked me, ‘how can I find a good business opportunity? I replied, ‘go and look for adversity.’ If you can handle adversity, you will find opportunity. Adversity and opportunity are two inseparable twins.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
Bill Gates did not become the richest man in the world by chance; he achieved it by solving the problem of computer complexity, he provided easy to use software for every computer user.
“Customers want high quality at low prices and they want it now.” – Bill Gates
“We look for opportunities where we can offer something better, fresher and more valuable and we seize them. We often move areas where the customer received a poor deal and where the competition is complacent. And with our growing e-commerce activities, we also look to deliver old products in new ways. We are proactive and quick to act, often leaving bigger and more cumbersome organizations in our wake” – Richard Branson
Aliko Dangote emerged the richest black man in the world because he provided the basic needs of over 150million Nigerians. Oprah Winfrey emerged the richest black woman in the world because she openly talked about and offer solutions to real life problems faced by people all over the world; problems people are ashamed, scared or shy to discuss.
“What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference not only in your own life but in other people’s lives.” – Oprah Winfrey
“There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: make the best quality goods possible at the lowest price possible, paying the highest wage possible.” – Henry Ford
Ted Turner became a billionaire by solving the “information barrier” problem. People hate being kept in the dark with respect to real life happenings, so Ted Turner offered to bring them real life update on happenings around the world with CNN. Ingvar Kamprad became a billionaire by providing quality furniture at affordable rates. The list goes on and on.
“To design a desk which may cost $1,000 is easy for a furniture designer but to design a functional and good desk which shall cost only $50 can only be done by the very best” – Ingvar Kamprad
So if you want to become a successful entrepreneur; then go about solving other people’s problems. If you efficiently and effectively solve other people’s problems alongside the internal problems of your business; you will end up a successful entrepreneur.
Ajaero Tony Martins is a serial entrepreneur and investor with a passion for teaching people how to start a business. He spends his free time reviewing, researching and uncovering the best business opportunities in Nigeria.