What’s a Rural Entrepreneur?
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I recently asked my friends across the country to tell me what words best describe an entrepreneur. Some were entrepreneurs, while others weren’t. To see if there were any differences in the buzz words associated to entrepreneurs, I focused my research on people who had rural connections or came from rural areas. It was a fascinating mix of words, and included some I hadn’t associated with entrepreneurs. These words are linked to being an entrepreneur. Here are my thoughts.
1. Entrepreneurs are risk-takers – They will take the leap to realize their dreams. While they may look at every possible angle to protect themselves, they ultimately take the leap. Rural areas are especially vulnerable because of the distance, population, and connectivity.
2. Innovative – While not everyone will invent the next Apple, entrepreneurs are creative in their thinking and process, and don’t let “it can’t happen” thinking stop them.
3. Independent – Entrepreneurs enjoy making decisions, being flexible and setting the rules.
4. Resourceful – Entrepreneurs can be like my Dad. He could fix any problem on the ranch with a piece of baling wire. It might seem more associated with duct tape today, but you get my point. Entrepreneurs are able to find the solution and a way to get what they want.
5. Creative – This does not necessarily mean an actor, musician, or artist. But entrepreneurs are more “outside of the box” thinkers who have a vision in mind.
6. Wikipedia defines free-thinker as “a person who forms opinions based on reason, independent from authority or tradition ,…” – yep, that’s an entrepreneur.
7. Ambassador – Although this one is a bit different, ambassadors are able to help others and act as messengers for the vast unknown world of entrepreneurship.
8. Achiever – One of the synonyms for achiever can be high-fliers, go-getters, doers, and self-starters. These are all part of the entrepreneur’s DNA.
9. Leader – Does this trait make an entrepreneur a leader? Some people are great leaders, while others aren’t. Not all leaders are great entrepreneurs. This could lead to a “chicken or eggs” debate.
10. Open – Entrepreneurs can be open to great success or great loss.
11. Entrepreneurs are driven by passion – They believe in the work they do. Anthony Robbins stated that “there is no greatness without a passion for being great,” whether it be the aspirations of an athlete, an artist, scientist, parent, or businessman.
12. Prosperity – You can’t be an entrepreneur if you don’t want to achieve prosperity. However, there are many definitions of prosperity and every entrepreneur must find his.
13. Proactive – Entrepreneurs are generally more successful than others in looking for new ideas and adding new twists to tried and true projects.
14. Self-motivated – Entrepreneurs don’t need anyone else to help them get started. They work as hard as they can to achieve their goals.
15. Entrepreneurs should have determination and perseverance. You won’t be able to succeed without determination. There will be people who are unable to help you, who won’t support your efforts and who will give you constant challenges as you build your business. These are important traits.
16. Driven – This is a different way to describe persistence and determination. Driving is more like having the fire inside you that drives entrepreneurs to believe they can succeed.
17. Energy – This is a key factor that’s often forgotten. Mentally and physically, you must be able to work long hours and deal with rejection. You must have the energy to put on a great face for your customers, suppliers, and all those you interact with every day.
Although this is a long list, entrepreneurs are complex individuals. One might have included “nuts” and they probably would be correct. Entrepreneurs venture where others are afraid to tread. If we have missed something, let us know.
Finally, we discovered that rural entrepreneurs have many of the same traits as urban entrepreneurs when we looked for them. Although they may have to deal with more distance, technology and population, their traits are the same.
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