Business

Young: Life changes that give rise to the accidental entrepreneur

I know what you are saying…what is accidental about becoming an entrepreneur?

I have talked about the answer to that question in many of my past columns, one being how a change in personal circumstances sometimes forces people to consider the self-employment realm of entrepreneurship.

The surprise of suddenly not having job security, or losing their job, makes a person sometimes realize they don’t want to hustle for someone else’s  dream.

This prompts new horizons of thought that may lead to new ventures and that accidental entry into the world of entrepreneurial pursuit.

People who choose to step outside the box of life due to change in personal circumstance are part of a unique breed of entrepreneurial owners because they began their ventures out of necessity or after an opportunity presented itself to them.

According to the Kauffman Entrepreneurship Foundation, one of the entrepreneurship meccas of the world, accidental entrepreneurs are among the 500,000 North American startups every month.

That rate keeps on rising very much due to changes in personal circumstances in this ever evolving world.

A research manager at the Kauffman Foundation stated recently that it’s indicative that people who lose their jobs due to this crazy recession set off on their own as one or two person venture operations.

It is further said that this new breed of accidental entrepreneurs—spawned and driven more by profits than the accepted ideology of passion—launched their new ventures out of pure, unmitigated necessity rather than a lifelong dream of being “their own boss.”

These agile, highly educated, tech-savvy and battle-tested people are like circling “velociraptors,” waiting to pounce and feast on the herd of opportunities before them.

The ventures formed by these accidental entrepreneurs are poised for explosive growth, particularly companies in the 10 to 49 employee range.

They are aggressively leveraging technologies such as cloud computing to “fast-track” their successful forward movement.

Such ventures are born, it seems, of the recession phasing, are focused on the Internet and finding addressable markets to dominate.

They are less siloed, very agile, make their own decisions and are more independent that pre-recession founders.

It is beginning to become yet another new entrepreneurial era.

Just as profit has seemingly replaced passion in the hierarchy of needs for these accidental entrepreneurs, don’t expect them to innovate their way to successful plateaus.

As a group, they will be more focused on optimization than trailblazing.

They will execute the business playbook better and faster than anybody else, and this will undoubtedly contribute to the definition of entrepreneurship changing over the next decade.

So let me close this week’s column  with a self-quiz for you regarding a perspective of accidental entrepreneurs.

If you can answer ‘yes’ to eight or more of these characteristics outlined below, there is a good chance you are or may be an accidental entrepreneur in the making:

1. You want what you are embarking on to make a difference in the world

2. You like living life on your terms

3. You are not easily defeated, where others fail, you see opportunity—solutions rather than problems

4. You are a creative and innovative thinker

5. You are a calculated risk-taker. Fear tempts you, not stops you

6.  You are highly motivated

7. You have a wide range of interests and do many things well

8. You likely engaged in entrepreneurial-like activities as a child/youth

9. You like making money.

10. You have an abundance of sustainable energy.

If you see yourself as an accidental entrepreneur, the facts outlined above will resonate with you. Everything in life happens for a reason—no accidents, only accidents by design, no train wrecks, only trains changing tracks. This is a beautiful way to begin your week of “self-discovery” to ascertain that you really on the fringe of an entrepreneurial life.

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