Guest Post By Matthew Kwan Copyright © 2010

You do not need to start your own company to be an entrepreneur. However, you need to be an entrepreneur to succeed in business. Entrepreneurship is an attitude, a mindset, a way of thinking, and something you need to develop. So, are you an entrepreneur?

Here are some questions you may ask yourself:
1. Do you enjoy solving problems and seeing the results at the end?
2. Do you enjoy hearing new ideas?
3. Do you enjoy building new business processes?
4. Do you enjoy learning how other organizations work?
5. Do you enjoy thinking win-win proposals?
6. Do you enjoy working with other (internal & external) parties?
7. Do you think negotiation is a way to achieve a win-win situation?
8. Do you think calculated risk is bearable?
9. Do you think performance improvement is mandatory?
10. Do you think an alternative route is an answer to a dead end?

If you mostly answer “YES” to the above questions, then the chances are that you already possess entrepreneurship qualities.

There are a number of qualities you should look for if you are determined to be an entrepreneur:

1. Problem-solving capability – This is a process which you need to go through before you can see desirable results. You need to be disciplined enough to follow the right ways of thinking if you want to solve problems. The way to solve a big problem is to break it into little problems. Your job is just to solve the little problems one by one, and then you will solve the big problem at the end! Problems may evolve but you can always apply the same rule.

2. Explorative – It is too easy for us to get used to best practices and formal procedures. New ideas always sound strange at first but if we are open minded enough to compare thoughts, there are always insights from new ideas that we can adopt to make better ideas!

3. Organization – Operational excellence is built on effective business processes. However, clear definition of business processes takes thoughtful planning and flawless execution. The success factor to this is continuous review and refinement.

4. Continuous learning – You can always learn from successful and disastrous organizations’ stories to find your path of success and prevent yourself from falling into the same traps. This kind of learning is motivational and helps you gauge your own business endeavours.

5. Think win-win – The business world is like a network of ecosystems, and there are no absolute winners in this world. The way to be successful in your ecosystem is to collaborate. One very wonderful word is Co-opetition! (Cooperation + Competition)

6. Teamwork – Working in team(s) is an art! Not only do you need to be fully aware of the politics behind each internal or external team members, you also need to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of each player before you can build a successful team. Teamwork is always built on trust but trust will never be built in short time!

7. Objective driven – How well and how clearly do you know your objectives? Without knowing your priorities, you will never know how to trade off. Return-on-investment is just a matter of trade off!

8. Risk taking – In order to advance, you need to take risks. Taking calculated risks is a very mature business act. Without taking risks, organizations will never advance to new heights.

9. Pursue of excellence – Complacency is a poison to any growing organization. Measuring performance and finding ways to improve should always be the responsibility of a professional.

10. Never give up! – You may hit dead ends on your road to success. Though it may look as if you are running in a maze, by systematically looking back and learning by mistakes, dawn will always come!

Matthew Kwan is a Principal Consultant of Adams Company Limited ( and is responsible for business consulting and enterprise training. He is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, lecturer and consultant working with enterprises and organizations in both commercial and Christian communities. He served for many years in multi-national companies including Intel, JP Morgan and Jardine Matheson with broad experience in sales & marketing and management in multicultural and international settings.

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One Response to Entrepreneurship is an Attitude

  1. amitabh nigam says:

    Superb piece of thought process…..found it very motivating.

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