Qualities of an Entrepreneur
David Schwab, PhD
Do you really have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Self-made millionaire Anita Roddick tackles this question in her new book, Business as Unusual.1 The daughter of Italian immigrants, Roddick hails from Littlehampton, England.
Her mother taught her never to be nondescript—a lesson Anita learned well. At once opinionated, political, motivational, and compelling, Roddick’s book is also a great story of entrepreneurial success. Starting with little more than an idea, she opened the Body Shop, an unconventional cosmetics store, in Brighton, England in 1976. She has since grown her business to more than 1500 stores serving 86 million customers in 47 countries. Roddick offers 10 qualities that she believes entrepreneurs must have to be successful. The following is a synopsis of Roddick’s key points and my analysis of how these principles can be applied to the business of running a prosthodontic practice.
1. Vision—and an obsession to make it happen. The notion that one is just going to “see what happens” is antithetical to the entrepreneur. The true entrepreneur makes his or her own future. The vision may be to increase production 10% over the next 12 months, to work 3 days a week instead of 4 but maintain the current level of production, to increase the number of new patients seen each month, or to sell the practice within 3 years.
Whatever the vision, the plan becomes a reality because you are totally committed to making it happen—and you know that because of your determination, it will happen. 2. The ability to act on instinct. Prosthodontists who have good instincts keep their businesses moving forward. One doctor suddenly had a sixth sense that he was being embezzled. At ?rst, he had no hard evidence to support his suspicions, and he felt somewhat guilty at ?rst of suspecting his loyal employees, all of whom seemed totally honest.
He nevertheless asked his accountant to conduct a surprise.