Are You A Serial Entrepreneur Or “Jack Of All Trades”?

(By Tunde Arogunmati)

In essence, a serial entrepreneur will often come up with the idea and get things started, but then give responsibility to someone else and move on to a new idea and a new venture. This can be a good thing if the individual has lots of unique ideas and is the best one suited to get each one started, but can be a bad thing if the individual stops putting time into a company that needs his or her help, in order to try to move forward with a new idea that may or may not succeed, in which case he/she stands a high chance of becoming the proverbial “jack of all trades

Businessdictionary.com describes a serial entrepreneur as “an entrepreneur who continuously comes up with new ideas and starts new businesses”, as opposed to a typical entrepreneur, who will often come up with an idea, start the company, and then see it through and play an important role in the day to day functioning of the new company,

In essence, a serial entrepreneur will often come up with the idea and get things started, but then give responsibility to someone else and move on to a new idea and a new venture. This can be a good thing if the individual has lots of unique ideas and is the best one suited to get each one started, but can be a bad thing if the individual stops putting time into a company that needs his or her help, in order to try to move forward with a new idea that may or may not succeed, in which case he/she stands a high chance of becoming the proverbial “jack of all trades”.

The above distinction is highly informative in bringing into focus the thin line that divides the two modes of existence as it is quite trendy nowadays to designate oneself as a serial entrepreneur; yet it is definitely not a business lifestyle for everyone. The obvious question here may then be, “what are the defining signs of a true serial entrepreneur?”

Let’s examine the following clues, for the purpose of some probable clarity;

  • 1. Successful first time entrepreneurs have been known to complain of outright boredom after the first couple of years or so into their business and begin to wonder if he have made a wrong career decision. Confusion sets in as to why one should feel bad about an ongoing successful venture and self-guilt may begin to set in fast.

The plain truth is that feeling restless in not necessarily a “bad” thing and it may be helpful not to try to change the essence of one’s being – restlessness may actually be a “green light” to make a move on; so, should the feeling persist, begin to develop a pragmatic exit strategy.

  • 2. A number of entrepreneurs start a new business from scratch up until a appreciable level of maturity and just want out of the everyday running as they are on to new ideas to be taken from concept to implementation right away. They have a knack for identifying customer needs fast, with commercially viable solutions on hand almost immediately, without breaking stride on the already going concern – a likely sign of serial entrepreneurship.

  • 3. There is a fear of regret, over and above a fear of failure – the risk of failure can never be ruled out, but regret at not having tried at all is paramount in the mind of the serial entrepreneur. A multiple innovator is bound to fail at some time or the other, but a true serial entrepreneur sees failure simply as a means of adjusting until things are perfected in due course.

  • 4. The challenge of making money, especially from a very young age propels the serial entrepreneur, more than often – over and beyond the actual love of money.

  • 5. A real serial entrepreneur will step away from a current business once it becomes obvious that it is not profitable; in fact is most likely to be relieved at the opportunity, once it arises.

  • 6. Once you have set up or co-founded one or two successful firms, you are well on your way to becoming a certified serial entrepreneur.

In emerging markets currently, areas that are currently ruling the waves for new start-ups include Logistics, Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, Single-Brand E-Commerce & other forms of Applied ICT.

Compiled by Tunde Arogunmati.

“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”

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