Entrepreneur jobs — aren’t those words a blatant contradiction of terms?
You would think so.
After all, entrepreneurs are the real lifeblood of the economy; they fuel business startups and expansion, they are the envy of many and they serve to help everyone believe they can place their future in their own hands.
They epitomize the world of adventure, risk-taking, and of course, huge rewards.
Dr. Gregory House is a maverick, eccentric and to me, a highly entrepreneurial doctor who solves the cases others can’t and the series had me hooked because, in effect, he was running his own business within a business.
If you haven’t seen it, then take a look and if you have, you will know exactly what I’m talking about!
But is there a place for the more traditional, die-hard entrepreneur in a normal nine-to-five working environment?
Absolutely…and read on!
Are There Jobs For Entrepreneurs
In this article from Careerexplorer.com, they talk about why the US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide a specific job outlook for entrepreneurs because they see them more as a job creation source.
But for me, times are going to change and although I am passionate about business startups across the board, I believe that it is going to be increasingly tougher to start a business in any sector and here are some of my reasons:
- More legislation.
- Tighter labor laws.
- Less financial liquidity.
- Tougher investment criteria.
However, It doesn’t mean that there are fewer opportunities, far from it — but looking back at my own career, it would have been so difficult to start what I did twenty-odd years ago, in today’s economic climate, simply because of the above reasons.
I believe we will see larger and larger companies swallowing up smaller competitors and to put it simply, they will own the industry sector and dictate the rules, making it even more difficult for smaller companies to survive and we will see entrepreneurial talent shifting to them.
What Type Of Jobs?
This excellent article from the balance careers talks about the best jobs for aspiring entrepreneurs and brings up the subject of honing your entrepreneurial skills while working for someone else — you get your entrepreneurial qualities valued and also some of the benefits of entrepreneurship, but without the responsibility.
I am all about developing entrepreneurial thinking, which I will talk about next and I don’t believe that entrepreneurs necessarily have to take the full step of starting their own companies.
Many successful executive leaders earn salaries that outperform many small companies, plus they can also have the benefit of stock ownership and other benefits — in some cases, they are also running divisions that dwarf the revenues of independent companies, plus they have the added responsibilities of running budgets, hitting sales targets and hiring the best people.
The best executives have a huge amount of entrepreneurial spirit and are not frightened to apply it.
Here are some job categories that I believe require a strong entrepreneurial drive and spirit:
- Sales and marketing.
- Real estate.
- Public relations.
- Financial advisors.
- IT/Systems design/management.
All of these roles can be performed by anyone, as long as you have the right professional qualifications if needed, but all are dramatically enhanced by the core qualities of entrepreneurship — creativity, imagination, passion, boldness, fearlessness, and the most important quality of all…the ability to tap into and use your instinct.
Entrepreneurial Jobs & Entrepreneurial Thinking
Now you have to get to the heart of the matter…or the brain!
I believe that entrepreneurs think very differently from others and that is because they have remained connected to those qualities I have already mentioned — creativity, boldness, etc.
The exact qualities we are all born with and effortlessly portray them as children.
If you take the job of a salesperson, then it is easy to take a look at the multitude of sales trainers, methodologies, online courses, books, and so on, that exist to help and inspire the existing or aspiring salesperson.
The sales training and development industry is worth billions…but there is still a global shortage of good salespeople, which seems unbelievable.
And another question that comes up many times is:
“Are salespeople born or made?”
After nearly forty years as a sales-focused entrepreneur, I have concluded that everyone is born with the qualities to be a salesperson and then you simply have to teach commercial awareness to be able to apply those qualities.
My entrepreneurial qualities came to light when I started my first business, but not in the sense you would imagine.
I looked at my first business as a means to simply make money and with little thought for anything else, which was a huge mistake — as I was learning and developing my business skills, which were seriously lacking, by the way, I started to develop a thirst for knowledge.
I was far from academic at school and had to play catch-up much later, but the drive to do that came from deep within and then I started to question almost everything.
It’s like flicking a switch…once you trun it on, there is no stopping the process.
The more knowledge I acquired, the more inquisitive I became and you know what they say about a little knowledge right?
So you go through the “dangerous” phase and then you start to dig deeper until you gain some form of competence in the subject and to the point where you can confidently hold your own in a conversation with an expert…but for me in my early days, it was always about challenging the experts and now, it is more about what I can learn.
Applying The Process
The drive for knowledge crystalizes the fact that you are internally driven to be better and in terms of entrepreneurship, you believe you can make everything better!
In the business world, it is one of the driving factors to start a business — you take an existing business model and make it better, be it just on the aspect of customer service, price, or any component part that you feel will give an edge over the competition.
Of course, you can go all-out and transform the entire business model and use technology or your own intelligence to disrupt the market.
It’s exactly the same when it comes to applying your entrepreneurial thinking to your current or next job.
What About Employers?
This is where certain employers get nervous — hiring managers, executive leaders, and even CEOs can be intimidated by the very thought of someone joining their organizations who think differently, preferring to live their lives in the safety net of traditional corporate thinking and structure.
I was once told that the chairman of a company that was looking to acquire my business believed I was “too entrepreneurial” and therefore would not be progressing discussions.
When I received the feedback, I wondered why the guy had even bothered to approach me in the first place — I was hardly quiet in the industry and talked endlessly about entrepreneurship, but that’s the way it went!
The New Economy
We are in the most challenging, volatile, and uncertain economic world ever…my opinion of course, and the business world is becoming more and more consolidated than ever before.
Maybe this new economy will ultimately end entrepreneurship as we know it today.
I sometimes think where the hyper-competition will ultimately take us — will it eventually eradicate the need for competition at all, with the business world contracting into a few main players in each industry and where pricing is relatively fixed?
Look at the energy providers here in the UK and we cannot really shop around for great deals because the pricing is pretty standard across the board…and there are a lot of other areas where the same is true.
Before you all decide to throw away your entrepreneurial boots, remember that we have to transition to this point and there is a lot of transitioning to do.
But I have to point out the dark side every now and then!
For many businesses right now, survival is of the utmost importance, simply because of the global pandemic we are still trying to work through and shake off.
The companies that do survive will be battle-hardened and will vow not to be in such a position to have to face those challenges again and that is why they will need a totally different thought process and through people who can generate those thoughts.
Landing Your Entrepreneurial Job
It really isn’t that difficult to land a great job when you focus on the entrepreneurial aspects of the role, simply because most people won’t!
Most job seekers still play the game of applying for job roles and this is a big mistake, in my world at least.
Whether you are applying for a new role, externally or internally, you are literally setting yourself up for serious competition…and you are too late.
What you need to really focus on is who is making the decisions to create that role, why is the role being created, and is it necessary to create the role in the first place?
Reverse The Process
When I was a recruiter in the technology staffing world, I literally created jobs for people.
I hated being part of the merry-go-round of trying to get companies to trust me with their latest vacancies and then having to compete with thousands of other companies doing the exact same as me, living in hope that we would win the deal.
Instead, I went out and found the best people I could and then put them to the companies that I felt could best use, develop and challenge their skills — both technically and commercially.
Going a step further, I contacted only executive leaders and beginning with the CEO, when it came down to executing this process because I wanted to be right at the heart of decision-making.
When you approach these decision-makers in this manner, you make them aware of the people that they could be hiring and they naturally start to evaluate their existing personnel to make sure they are up to the same standard.
On many occasions, people were hired to upskill their workforce, to cover skills gaps in the organization, and in some cases brand new roles were created.
You can take the same approach and start to connect with top decision-makers in your existing company or the companies you would like to work for.
It’s also so easy with today’s interconnected world and here is the final part:
Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and views of how things are and how things could be — this is about jobs for entrepreneurs after all!
Employees and employers need to rethink the word “entrepreneurship” when it comes to working in traditional job roles.
There is definitely room for die-hard entrepreneurs and people who demonstrate entrepreneurial thinking in the traditional job landscape and it is just a matter of applying that thinking.
You don’t have to start a business to be an entrepreneur.
I believe the world of work is changing dramatically, simply because the world is slowly consolidating to the point where major companies are dominating their industries and eradicating competition…but this is not going to happen at the rate where entrepreneurship will vanish anytime soon.
This leaves a huge amount of room for people to go out and abandon the traditional approach to finding their next, or dream job, where you become part of an automated process that seems to take control of a lot of the decision-making process when it comes down to hiring.
Take a long hard look at yourself and start to re-connect with those entrepreneurial qualities you were born with, put them together with the “technical” skills you have acquired in your life, and then go out and find the companies that you would want to give them to.
It’s time to turn the tables!
Last modified: July 5, 2021