Entrepreneurship is all around us – we meet innovators every day, whether we know it or not. But are entrepreneurs born or made? We all have heard stories like – that kid down the block selling lemonade now runs a company. And yes, of course, Mark Zuckerberg is an entrepreneur (come on guys, you should be know this by now). Now, let’s go a step further – What is an entrepreneur? According to Google, it’s “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks to do so.” Wow, that explains everything. JK. An entrepreneur, in simple terms, is an opportunistic person – they understand the problems of the people around them and capitalize on them. 


Successful entrepreneurs are:

  • Creative
    • They know how to think outside of the box in order to differentiate themselves from the competition. 
  • Resourceful
    • Opportunistic individuals, they recognize that the possibilities are endless – Entrepreneurs know how to make use of what’s around them. 
  • Knowledgeable
    • A successful entrepreneur must have acute knowledge in the field they choose to enter.

How to become a successful entrepreneur

Now, don’t fret! Anyone can become an entrepreneur, and, with the right skillset and mindset, a successful one. Here a few tips to get you started:

  • Work on something you are PASSIONATE about.

Not something you feel you are obligated to do, not something you are on the fence about – choose a field you are PASSIONATE about. Studies have shown that over 70% of the American workforce is demotivated – this leads to hundreds of billions of dollars in lost productivity annually. It has also been proven that people who take joy in their day-to-day jobs have a more optimistic outlook on life – Since they’re not just “in it for the money,” these employees take the time to appreciate and reflect on their work. Think about your interests – Is there a particular field that really stands out to you?

  • Be resilient – success doesn’t happen overnight.

Being an entrepreneur requires a strong work ethic and a deep-rooted sense of determination. Before you got that one response, 200 cold calls may have been dialed to no avail. Before you landed your dream job, you may have faced countless rejections. More than anything, an entrepreneur is someone who has the confidence in themselves and their dream enough to struggle for it. 

  • Understand your UVP.

By all means, the business world is rather cutthroat – You need to be able to advocate for yourself and your idea effortlessly. Before developing your product, make sure you can clearly state your UVP (Unique Value Proposition): a concise description of your competitive advantages – In other words, what differentiates your product from its competitors? Teens often make the mistake of going through the entire innovation process before finding out that their idea isn’t so unique after all. This also applies in an interview setting – Reflect on yourself and your character. What makes you stand out from the rest of your peers? Your resourcefulness? Resiliency? Passion? 

  • Read.  

Whether it be the newspaper or Bill Gates’ autobiography, make sure you take some time every day to read. Statistics show that reading improves your emotional intelligence and decision making skills – In addition, it is proven that teens who read for pleasure know 26% more words than those who don’t. Books also expose you to countless different people and cultures, cultivating a sense of social consciousness. What’s your favorite genre? This week, try something new!

Comment below – What are a few personal qualities YOU think are vital in entrepreneurship?


About Horn Entrepreneurship

Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.

Follow Horn Entrepreneurship @udhorn and check out our entrepreneurship competition for high school students @diamondchalleng.