In recent years I’ve been speaking to business groups across the country and around the world about the concept of The Natural Entrepreneur. I’ve talked to executives at some of the largest corporations, members of trade associations, Chambers of Commerce, growing entrepreneurial companies, universities, churches – you name it.
I’m passionate about this subject because I believe that we are in the midst of an entrepreneurial revolution. There are more people starting businesses than ever before and it’s re-shaping society and culture. But you may ask, like many others, “Andre, what is a Natural Entrepreneur?”
We’ve heard it again and again. “That woman is a natural entrepreneur,” or “That man is a natural entrepreneur.” I’ve even heard, “Andre Taylor is a natural entrepreneur.” But what does that mean? Are we suggesting that this person has the ability to grow a business with little education or preparation? Are we suggesting that the person instinctively knows what moves to make, and those moves are destined for success?
My answer may surprise you. I do, in fact, believe that those ideas are included in the proper definition of The Natural Entrepreneur, but I think most business-builders and “would-be” business-builders do not really understand just how natural it is, can, and should be.
In my work I teach entrepreneurs how to identify and work with their natural instincts. I’ve identified seven. Here they are:
1. Survival – the desire to maintain your existence – to live.
2. Comfort – the desire to live with and experience ease.
3. Territory – the desire to have your own space.
4. Defense – the desire to protect what is yours.
5. Hunt – the desire to seek and capture rewards.
6. Build – the desire to create.
7. Love – the desire to give and receive affection.
I call these seven, your “guiding business instincts,” or sometimes your “success or prosperity instincts.” Looking at the list you’ll see that we all have every one of these instincts. You’re not missing one. However in some of us, one or two are more dominant. That’s where there is tremendous opportunity, if we can pinpoint the big one or two, and leverage these dominant instincts. These instincts may point to strong abilities in selling, marketing, operations, finance or other areas. Your dominant instincts may also help you understand how to do these functions in a unique way.
You see, entrepreneurs have built multi-million dollar enterprises, in fact, billion-dollar enterprises beating the drum with their dominant instinct. Think of people like Donald Trump, Martha Stewart, Sean Combs, and Mark Burnett. You can probably identify that Trump is a builder – literally and figuratively, and Mark Burnett is a survivor – literally and figuratively. You can probably pinpoint the dominant instincts of the others as well.
Here’s the key. Once you know your dominant natural instincts you are halfway to a successful company. Then you must learn to focus on building your talent into an exceptional skill and getting the right people around you to fulfill the other needs of the business. If you’re operating in the right place you can really have an extraordinary business that is both profitable and fulfilling.
So what is a Natural Entrepreneur?
A Natural Entrepreneur serves humanity and themselves engaging in a business reflecting their awareness and alignment with natural instincts, unique talents, and developed skills. You may ask, “How do I serve myself?” The answer is by understanding what’s best for you.
In my Lessons of The Natural Entrepreneur talks and training I emphasize these realities:
-Your personal fulfillment in business is tied directly to your dominant natural instincts – or to put it another way – your “big” needs.
-When you start a business, and as you grow your business, you must be crystal clear about what your dominant instincts or needs are.
-The way you build your business – the choice of products, staff, systems, partners, and personal focus must reflect who you are, what you do best – and who you want to be. The founder or owner must be in the driver’s seat.
-Your level of success or difficulty in growing your business will be directly tied to how well your business plan and execution is linked to your personal needs and your ability to lead a company from this foundation.
-Most entrepreneurs, particularly those that struggle, have not come to grips with these issues.
As entrepreneurs we must know why we are doing what we do, at all times. I am advocating a new approach to business planning – one that incorporates these concepts so that entrepreneurs do not wake up one day frustrated and trapped by their business.
When I coach entrepreneurs I ask:
-Is the momentum of your organization coming from the right place? That means the right priorities. Or, are you just trying to keep up – to keep everything going, and simply meet deadlines?
-As the entrepreneur, are you doing the things that matter most to your business and that enable you to have the most impact?
-Are you getting what you signed up for? Do you enjoy this? Are you making money? Are you satisfying customers? Do you want to keep doing this?
The goal of the entrepreneur is to create a company where his or her personal objectives, focus, and activities fit seamlessly inside the development of the organization. Top performing staff, excellent products, a well-oiled business process and profitability occur as a compliment to the entrepreneur’s proper integration with the business.
There’s so much more that I cover during my seminars and workshops, and in my complete system for entrepreneurs, 81 Lessons of The Natural Entrepreneur, but I hope you can see from this brief article that we all have the potential to build outstanding businesses. The fact is, we all have seven success instincts – built in at birth. That means, whatever our focus in business, we’re all Natural Entrepreneurs.