We are a nation of Entrepreneurs

first_imgWe’re a nation of entrepreneurs but we don’t know it.With more than two million registered businesses, and 15 percent of that number started each year, we are keen to have a go.So why don’t we identify ourselves as entrepreneurs in the way that the Americans do? Following my role with The Apprentice on Channel 9, I was approached by young Australians who wanted to know how to be an entrepreneur. Where to start, what to do?They were fair questions and I realised there was nowhere for young people to learn about this. The best advice available seems to be to do your homework, make a plan and get good people around But there is more. In my case, I have built businesses – notably Wizard Home Loans, Yellow Brick Road – on a point of difference: what can we bring to an existing market that is better?This is the heart of the entrepreneur. We don’t want to conform. We see the power in difference and change.But along with the concept of differentiation is the practical side of the entrepreneur: hard work and toughness.Without a strong work ethic, you will find yourself getting out precisely what you put in. This is no career choice for clock-watchers and freeloaders. It is also the wrong place to be if you don’t have some mental toughness.Starting a business venture and moulding it into a success is very hard and many forces will want to you to fail. You will need an ability to shrug off disappointment and keep on going. But tough doesn’t mean arrogant. Self-belief is good, but when building a business you must be able to prosper from your mistakes, and arrogant people don’t acknowledge mistakes. Prospering from a mistake sounds like a contradiction in terms. But I have been building businesses since only a few years out of university and I have made many mistakes. But I make myself analyse the mistakes and I learn valuable lessons from them. All successful entrepreneurs have fallen. But they are tough and they get back up again, now armed with fresh insight.The last point I would make is about fear. Entrepreneurs all experience fear from time to time. But the successful ones put fear in its rightful place: it’s one part of being an entrepreneur – it mustn’t define you.I’m interested in getting new entrepreneurs started and so at Yellow Brick Road we’ve launched a competition called Small Business, Big Ideas. I’m looking for the ultimate entrepreneur so visit Yellow Brick Road’s website at www.ybr.com.au/competition. The winner gets a business crash course with me.Looking forward to hearing some of those big ideas.Mark Bouris is the Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a financial services company offering home loans, financial planning, accounting & tax and insurance. Email Mark on [email protected] with any queries you may have or check www.ybr.com.au for your nearest branch. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img