Young: Describing the rise of the accidental entrepreneur

A change in personal circumstances often prompts an examination and entry into the self-employment realm of entrepreneurship.

I know you are saying to yourself, what is he talking about, with that headline. What’s accidental about becoming an entrepreneur?

You do know the answer to some degree because I have presented many scenarios in the stories I have shared with you over the years.

A major one being: A change in personal circumstances often prompts an examination and entry into the self-employment realm of entrepreneurship.

When individuals suddenly realize their world is about to change dramatically, due to such changes the surprise of suddenly not having security makes them realize they often do not wish to hustle again for someone else’s vision and dream and this prompts new horizons of thought that may lead to new ventures and the accidental entry into the world of self-employment via entrepreneurial pursuit.

OK, let me not get too far advanced in this column to-day without highlighting WHO is the accidental entrepreneur? So, this unique, new age person is one who may be laid off from a white collar position; newly unretired; stay at-home spouse; not just “old economy”; tech-savvy professional and, yes, folks, global recently immigrated people…..  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 sometimes referred to as “accidental entrepreneurs” because they began their ventures out of necessity or after an opportunity presented itself to them.

According to the Kauffman Entrepreneurship Foundation, truly one of the entrepreneurship meccas of the world, accidental entrepreneurs are among the 500,000 North American startups every month, and 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 is indicative that people who lose their jobs due to the crazy recession we have been experiencing to some degree, 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, and 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— i.e. loaded to win the marketplace.

It is beginning to become yet another new entrepreneurial era and we haven’t even completed or come out of the previous. 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 are going to, and are, executing the playbook better and faster than anybody else and this will undoubtedly contribute to the definition of entrepreneurship changing over the next 10-plus years.

I would like to close this week with a self-quiz for you regarding a perspective of  accidental entrepreneurs that I’m certain will find you bobbing your heads in acknowledgement—at least to some of the characteristics.

If you can say yes to eight or more, there is a good chance you are, or may be, an accidental entrepreneur in the making. Here goes:

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

• You like living life on your terms

• You are not easily defeated, where others fail, you see opportunity- solutiions rather than problems

• You are a creative and innovative thinker

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

• You are highly motivated

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

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

• You like making money.  (I said making, not spending)

• You have an abundance of sustainable energy.

If you are an accidental entrepreneur, what you just read will have a resonating rightness about it for you.

Everything in life happens for a reason, There are true accidents, only accidents by design, no train wrecks, only trains changing tracks.

A beautiful way to begin your week of self-discovery is to ascertain that you really are on the fringe of an entrepreneurial life.

I recommend you test yourself. You will never know until you give it a go.Good luck on your journey .


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