Why Be An Entrepreneur!
7th April 2015
Founder of The Body Shop, Anita Roddick, spelled out her motivation as an entrepreneur when she said: “I have always found that my view of success has been iconoclastic: success to me is not about money or status or fame; it’s about ﬁnding a livelihood that brings me joy and self-sufﬁciency and a sense of contributing to the world” (www.anitaroddick.com).
Words: Rosemary Delaney
Roddick’s business model followed the triple bottom line philosophy – people, planet and proﬁt. Although her subsequent sale of The Body Shop to giant cosmetic ﬁrm L’Oreal had a mixed reaction, one thing is certain – she made her mark. These are some of the rewards for entrepreneurs that I take from my own experience:
– Recognition – this is one of the motivational driving forces for entrepreneurs. Since the age of sixteen, I have always believed that I would make a difference, leave my imprint in some way. I have some ideas of how I can achieve my goal and it will take time and plenty of hard work. Perhaps through the WMB Awards I have already helped make a difference in highlighting the fantastic work that women do in an economic and social context.
– Options – I like to make my own decisions and will stand or fall on the choices I make. It is so important to be able to act on opportunity, to be able to control your own destiny, to sink or swim on your own merits. Entrepreneurship gives you choice without the red tape.
– The two ‘Cs’ – being able to use my commerciality and creativity. Unfortunately you tend to get ‘pegged’ or ‘boxed in’ when working in larger organisations. As an owner/manager, however, you have the opportunity to feed your creative cravings as well as deliver on your commercial instincts.
– Flexibility – ‘homepreneur’ is one of the many buzzwords of the day as more and more people opt out of commuting, paying unnecessary ofﬁce rentals and other overheads. As a business owner, your industry sector will very much dictate your location. I like physically going out to work, possibly because I have limited ofﬁce space at home. However, I enjoy a lot of ﬂexibility, which has been greatly helped by the advancement of technology. Flexibility cannot be underestimated. The idea that I can go to my daughter’s school play and, in the same day, work though my correspondence on the move, or even take a meeting or two, ensures I am both productive and highly motivated.
– Unlimited potential – there are no barriers or boundaries as an entrepreneur, just bountiful opportunities. If money is your motive, become a millionaire; if people come before proﬁt, introduce a social or charitable dimension to your business.
– Ownership and relationships – as an entrepreneur, you have an opportunity to lead rather than follow. You have a capacity to build and expand rather than just ‘exist’. Although you don’t tend to turn away business as a new start-up, once you become more established you can pick and choose your business partners. These partners will most likely share your company ethos and values. Relationships built on honesty survive and thrive.
– Family – the most important aspect of my life. As an entrepreneur, you have a sense of purpose. For a successful entrepreneur it must be so fulﬁlling to know that you can provide for your family. You can be a role model for your children and encourage them to become independent, conﬁdent young adults. You can ensure you have a certain quality of comfort and lifestyle.
Finally, and I think most importantly, you can be true to yourself. As a result, you are a happier and more fulﬁlled individual with an ability to share your life experiences in a positive way. I know I’m not there yet, but I compare my journey to baking a cake – I have all the ingredients and I just need to ensure that I get the mix and timing exactly right!
This is an edited and updated extract from Rosemary Delaney’s book: Women Mean Business: One Woman’s Journey into Entrepreneurship (2011).
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