Born To Be An Entrepreneur

When I was studying for my MBA, a heavy emphasis was put on problem solving and how to find solutions to common business problems. There would be class discussions about the most basic solutions or what the majority of the class would do in a business situation. Most of the time there was a common finding or understanding, but there would always be the one or two people who would see a situation completely different. These were the ‘think outside of the box’ people, the creative solutionists. Never to be content with the basic answer and always wanting more.

It would be a common occurrence for these people to always have a different answer and view business problems from a different angle. They not only had creativity but wanted to find long term solutions to problems, so it was no wonder these were the people who were in the process of starting their own businesses. I was lucky to have around 7-8 entrepreneurs in my class, from all different parts of the world. Not matter how many entrepreneurship classes, modules or exams I sat, these people in my class always stood out.

I began to notice that these people were extremely driven individuals that would often be seen alone; but in a group setting they were always the ones to carry on working until the end, when everyone else had gone home. Their motivation and drive to succeed is truly unstoppable; making me believe that you do have to be born with this passion to make it as an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs face all sorts of setbacks, from financial struggles to getting people to buy into their ideas. They have to be able to bounce back when knocked down and continue to believe in their idea and themselves. It is a remarkable trait to have and so it is understandable why Manchester Enterprise centre are heavily investing in North West entrepreneurs.

The centre also offers a Master of Enterprise (MEnt), a research degree programme, to anyone who wants to specialise in developing business ideas. It is designed to not only support entrepreneurs but help them create a platform to launch themselves into the business world, especially as it has very close ties to Manchester Business School.

Being so pro entrepreneurs, as a school and city, made me wonder how people with entrepreneurial qualities fit into normal working life. I met up with Jack Bretram, a partner at McKinsey & Co., who talked about how important entrepreneurship is when McKinsey hire consultants for their global offices. He especially spoke about how being able to think outside the box and be creative in solutions is key to finding sustainable results.

A large number of companies actively seek creative problem solvers – especially consultancy firms. But it makes me wonder how long these ‘budding entrepreneurs’ last in these roles. Surely they are always looking for new solutions and ways of creating potential businesses and so do not last long in corporate environments. Bretram agreed with this and highlighted how many ex-consultants have now set up their own business. Working in consultancy means working across a breadth of industries on different problems, giving consultants huge exposure to the business world. I believe it is always great for companies to have creative problem solvers and individualists working with them to provide a fresh perspective; but they should consider their short shelf life too.


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Jul 13, 2015