What makes an entrepreneur great? You may be surprised to learn that the measure of a true entrepreneur’s greatness is not the glory of self-made millions, the triumphant parade of business awards and accolades or the glory of celebrated media buzz. The true celebrity quality of a transformative entrepreneur is the way he or she motivates, appreciates, encourages and engages employees – an Inclusive Entrepreneur.
The Inclusive Entrepreneur is an individual with grandiosity, fierceness and sublimity, one who pushes beyond any pomp and richness professional success has delivered to remain focused on the massively invaluable, even prodigious, role employees make in creating enduring – even towering – levels of corporate success.
Too often, entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that the most important element in their business is their own contributions. Entrepreneurs are dynamic, multi-faceted people who can do many things very well. Sometimes, they fall into the belief that other people cannot do the things that they can do, as well as they can do them. Sadly, these “exclusive” entrepreneurs are unable to fully trust their employees to make mistakes, find solutions and grow in their roles to become experts in their areas of specialty.
This is a mammoth mistake. The one thing an entrepreneur does not want to do is exclude their employees from driving the direction of a business. To cultivate genuine success, an entrepreneur needs to embrace the unique talents and attributes of employees – encouraging opinions, best practice recommendations and a limitless optimism for an employee’s personal and professional growth. By bringing employees in, understanding fully their talents and embracing their full investment in a company’s success, everyone blossoms – the entrepreneur, the business, the workforce. There is a big difference between a business owner with a bunch of helpers, and a business leader with many people believing in the direction and future of a business.
That difference, many times, is inclusivity – including the workforce in the goals and growth of the company. Inclusive Entrepreneurs create cultures that recognize work is only one part of an employee’s life. Inclusive Entrepreneurs celebrate, reward and motivate – regularly – an employee’s accomplishments, ideas and enthusiasm. Inclusive Entrepreneurs understand that amazing people, working together, engaged and committed to something special, will create success.
So, are you an authentic Inclusive Entrepreneur?
Ask yourself these five questions:
To be an Inclusive Entrepreneur, one must be brave enough to trust the greatness of employees and forfeit the negative tendencies to micromanage. By realizing – and appreciating – that suggestions, theories and teachings of employees can advance a business in limitless ways; an entrepreneur can ascend to new levels of leadership success. The result: A happy company attaining prosperity thanks not to a dictator at the helm, but to a superb community of collective leadership.
It seems like a simple step when starting a business, but it is important to identify your industry. By knowing what category your new venture fits into, you can be aware of specific market conditions or trends that are more likely to affect you.
How do you know? One simple way is to figure out your classification in the NAICS, the North American Industry Classification System. Let your fingers guide you to your favorite internet search engine, and do some searches for businesses similar to yours, and see how they describe themselves. Or, ask a mentor or industry leader about how to best classify your venture. You can also ask a business librarian – in New York City the SIBL (Science, Industry and Business Library) is a great resource. The SBA also has guides to market research that can be helpful.
Once you’ve done that classification, you can start doing some of the more important work in your business planning, like identifying the size of your market, your competition, the growth potential, and other important business plan items. You’ll start to learn which publications, websites, and resources are central to your industry. Those may in turn lead you to more industry intelligence, trends, and sources of information.
Additional sources like Fedstats can provide links galore to troves of information that you (the taxpayer) have already paid for.
It’s a simple subject that, if overlooked, can cause you more problems down the road. What have you learned about identifying your industry? Share with us in the comments.