Feeling rather professorial this week, as I tend to do from time to time, particularly when I am inspired by some tidbit of information, thought or experience. Unlike most managers in large, stable organizations, entrepreneurs often must exercise many roles while exploring and launching their entrepreneurial venture.
Roughly speaking, in the following sequential order, such roles are played out almost daily by existing and aspiring entrepreneurs on their journey to personal change: visualizer, planner, resource gatherer, resource organizer, sales/marketing guru and administrator. My primary motivation to share these thoughts with you is the upcoming Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society monthly town hall May 30 at 7 p.m. at Manteo Resort. There will be four speakers and the audience will be enjoy lively discussion on the entrepreneurial process, from ideas to venture launch and everything in between.
OK, back to the beginning…How does he or she do it? Poorly? By working heroic hours? By delegating tasks to others? By being as inexplicable genius? Often, the answer is yes, to all of the above.
Take a moment to look at each of these roles and try to imagine the mysterious journey the entrepreneur undertakes.
The visualizer: This role is central. An entrepreneur is someone who can look at products and services and visualize what others cannot see, that is, opportunities to create a new value. Or, as I have stated before, looking at the world the same as everyone else but thinking, acting and behaving differently.
The planner: Obviously then, is required to drive the perceived entrepreneurial opportunity toward reality. The budding entrepreneur plans each move and generally works by themselves initially, but uses acquaintances and self-developed networks to gather information, advice, emotional and intellectual support.
The resource gatherer: This role is often seen as ambiguous as tasks and resources have to be identified, divided, co-ordinated and eve, yes, delegated. The entrepreneur decides which tasks will be accomplished through his or her own abilities and by others.
The sales/marketer: Invariably along the entrepreneurial journey, the entrepreneur must sell him or herself, the idea, the company, the products or services, as part of the ongoing new venture process. In fact, amusedly, it is said at this stage, the entrepreneur is the product or service offered. The desire is ever-present to succeed along the venture highway.
The administrator: Perhaps, when viewing this role of the entrepreneur, we can muse of this sequence: you create something, you grow it, you search for your competitive advantage – then you tie it down tightly, making it as efficient as possible.