Can We Please Recognize Entrepreneurship as a Profession Already?
Building and growing businesses has been my passion for as long as I can remember, and I’m sure thousands of other entrepreneurs would say the same. The buzz of doing deals and being your own boss is a truly rewarding experience; however I still feel that the concept of entrepreneurship, particularly in the UK, could be better acknowledged.
I would love for entrepreneurship to be recognised and respected in the same way as any other profession, like doctors, lawyers or accountants. If you were to ask students what they want to be when they grow up – why shouldn't they say an entrepreneur? It is as much of a career as anything else.
Entrepreneurs are the job creators of society, and one of the biggest challenges facing modern economies can be unemployment. But quite simply the more businesses we have, the more jobs there will be.
Of course there is no doubt that over the last few years, starting your own business has become more popular. The rise of business shows on TV, as well as many regional and national schemes has contributed to this – last year almost half a million businesses were started in the UK, which is fantastic.
But for every person who begins their own startup, many others have similar unrealised ambitions. I remember reading last year that almost half of the population would like to start their own business but only around 5% actually do.
I suppose one of the main reasons people decide against it is because they believe their first idea has to be their best idea. Nothing could be further from the truth. Business is not a case of ‘one strike and you’re out’. As an example, look at how old someone like Ray Kroc was when he made a success out of McDonald – and then look at how many failures he’d had before that.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs however; you need to think long and hard about whether you have the characteristics to be an entrepreneur. You may currently be an employee that has the benefits of clear deadlines and targets given to you by your boss – but when you’re running a business you set your own goalposts. You also need to pay attention to things you might currently have little time for – having been in sales environments I have seen many big billers make the leap to entrepreneurship and struggle with things like processes, legislations and mentoring.
These challenges are exactly what drive entrepreneurs though. It is never going to be plain sailing – if you’re looking for a comfortable life then running a business is not for you! However if you are somebody that genuinely embraces the challenges and looks for ways to get past any obstacles, then you clearly have the personality to succeed.
James Caan is one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs. He made his fortune through the global success of his recruitment companies, Alexander Mann and Humana International, before founding private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw in 2004. He is best known for joining the panel of the hit BBC show Dragons’ Den, and more recently, The Business Class on CNBC. A passionate supporter of small businesses, James chairs the Government’s Start Up Loans scheme, which provides funding and mentoring to budding entrepreneurs. James Caan’s free Business Secrets App is now available for download on iTunes and Google Play.