Millennials have a new view of the world and it is causing us to expand how we look at entrepreneurship. The traditional definition centers around the goal of making money. The new definition uses the same methods, but with a different end goal in mind. We’re beginning to recognize entrepreneurship as a means to bring value to those who need it. Here are nine characteristics of spirited entrepreneurs.
1. They think of doing the thing first and making money second.
Spirited entrepreneurs are excited about what they are creating and the good that will come from it. They are driven to make a difference in the world and positively affect people’s lives. They also make money, but that’s not the primary goal. When they begin to make money from their entrepreneurship, they might say, “Oh, that’s cool, too.”
2. They leverage their social networks to gather support.
Business is and always has been about relationships. There are relationships with customers, advertisers, suppliers, complimentary businesses, governments, neighbors and other stakeholders. Today it is easier than ever to build and nurture those relationships by leveraging the power of social media. Spirited entrepreneurs leverage social media to gain support for the good they want to create with their entrepreneurial venture.
3. They believe that business exists to create value in the world.
As long as human beings have traded goods and services, there has been a thing called “business.” We trade goods and services for the betterment of our lives. For example, Patagonia makes coats so people will stay warm while they are doing fun and exciting things, and they do it in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible. Spirited entrepreneurs put this idea of creating value in a responsible way at the forefront of their business instead of making money.
4. They believe there is strength in numbers.
Nobody does anything meaningful by themselves. Spirited entrepreneurs are obsessed with leveraging the power of the resources that others offer to create their business. They use crowd funding and other social sharing or community-building technology to get their businesses off the ground. They know that in order to accomplish their mission, they have to find and leverage talent.
5. They want to actually make a difference.
Spirited entrepreneurs don’t want to just do something that looks good. They want to do something that actually makes a difference. They aren’t just looking for positive press or a pat on the back. What they are doing has to create the value they set out to create. Spirited entrepreneurs know they must measure the impact they are having to ensure they are doing the good they intended.
6. They believe they have something to add.
They believe their background, experience and perspectives are valuable. Spirited entrepreneurs don’t want to keep their knowledge and experience to themselves; they want to share it with the world because they know it is valuable and will help people.
7. They get their facts together.
Never in the history of humanity has information been more easily available than it is now. Spirited entrepreneurs know that information is power, so they get as much power as they can by gathering as much information as possible. They leverage their network, social media and the Internet to gather facts about their customers, competitors and industry.
8. They think we need more things like Airbnb, Uber, and Boatbound.
Spirited entrepreneurs are all about connecting people who have resources with people who need them. The new sharing economy allows people to have access to things without the burden of owning them. Connecting the resources with the people who need them requires innovation, and spirited entrepreneurs are eager to figure out better ways to accomplish this goal.
9. They share a bold expectation of leaving the world in a different state than they found it.
Spirited entrepreneurs aren’t just out to make money. They know they have a limited amount of time on this planet and that time is the only asset of real value they will ever possess. Because of this, they use their time to accomplish something meaningful and the method they have chosen is entrepreneurship.