Creating Entrepreneurs

Last update: 2012 Aug

Entrepreneurs CAN be created... ask me, I've been working on being one since my early teens (that's as far back as I can remember)! I just needed the motivation, for me it was seeking more financial and time independence (personal Freedom), then I was off... Yes, I needed some prodding and direction before I took the challenge, but hey, I was 14YO or so and I started the first of my enterprises - collecting scrap metal, bottles, etc, then I was a milko, a profitable canteen operator in Naval Reserve Cadets, then a motorbike part collector/trader  - all up to age 18. All small scale but it's the mindset that I'm looking at - I was a bit of an opportunist. In my twenties, I traded land, caravans, cars, gold, dabbled in shares, and renovated houses, and started several businesses.

I didn't know the word 'Entrepreneurship' then... but with some curiosity about people and business and a few decades of experience (lots of personal learning experiences too, aka mistakes!), I followed my nose into studying these critters. Actually, I was studying myself (other psych profiles explain that too). I was told (and found) that to be a good entrepreneur you need to know yourself and people.  I wasn't a good (read, as successful as I wanted) entrepreneur - perhaps I've improved - but I sure enjoyed starting and improving businesses.

I mentioned that I was after financial independence... The previous colourful diagram shows that entrepreneurs fit broadly around the Orange paradigm - the main entrepreneurial-type business paradigm. Is that all there is to being an Entrepreneur behaving Orange? No - it requires a ménage of skills, knowledge, & capacity ranging across value paradigms.

But first, for you (budding) Oranges, a book:

Full of fire, drive, and ego, budding Oranges may be a little cynical about the explanations throughout this site so I'll give you something you may relate to better: from Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker (thanks Michael A for giving me this book).

Harv focusses on one's 'money' blueprint how you think about money or your mindset aka worldview - a strong interest of the Blue/Orange (business) paradigm. He says there are 3 influences on creating our mindset - verbal programming, modelling, and specific incidents. This is what we say here as cultural worldview/perspective (what is told and shown to you in your upbringing, bearing in mind you might do the opposite) and what you experience (incidents that you are involved in). 

I found it superb reading, written for Blues looking to get a big foot into Orange, and it makes sense (in light of The Da Wei Laws too) and is focussed strongly on the entrepreneurial paradigm and finishes touching on Yellow!

A pure Orange objectivist perspective book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I loved it at the time as I was finding the need to dig myself out of another hole and was looking for personal progress. When you read it, consider the relationships and what they are based on!!! (And look for the bits about families & kids, hmmm).

More later...   back to the PCVJ view:

Defining Entrepreneurs:

<More later here> Shumpeter (Mark II version) should be one of your first designated readings if you are curious about entrepreneurs as he describes the Red/Orange aspects of these business folk. His is a classic view describing these individuals or corporations as the one/s who make the economy and innovation really move. 

For a Yellow aspect of entrepreneurs (e.g. like Branson), read Sarasvathy too as she includes the 'chaos-like navigation' (a Yellow behaviour) of contingencies as one major driver of Entrepreneurs. Perhaps this is the modern entrepreneur build for a very technological and dynamic world!

The essentially Orange entrepreneur strives and drives for success; will dip into and builds on the Blue process and rules of organization and social rules (e.g. law & regulations); and might even on occasion need to flex some, er, tough emotional muscle (Red). In modern times, entrepreneurs need to have a Yellow's flexible and creative mindset to develop and promote the NEW ideas/products/services that makes entrepreneurs entrepreneurs, as well as having good relationships/networks. The modern Entrepreneur will need to be multi-skilled and flexible in thinking and behavioural skills.

To get to this understanding, we looked at lots of successful entrepreneurs, the academic research on them, the myths and stories, evaluated a few, and it was evident where they 'fit' on the PCVJ (we plotted them). We know their characteristics, their thinking styles, their behaviours so it's just another step to train likely candidates to model themselves on the general profile of an entrepreneur - creating or rather promoting and enhancing the deep values of an entrepreneur.

Using a profiling instrument (the Congruency & Consistency Questionnaire - email Dr Dave),  we can determine one's Values that show in preferred behaviours. Each paradigm is not 'clean' or 'pure', hence we also have expected distributions of Value Stations with a particular paradigm bent. Here is a typical entrepreneurial (core Orange) distribution... 

5% Purple - the usual selection of unskilled & basic working groups reside here [or perhaps your inexperience]

15% Red - hard driving views providing a bit of fire [or perhaps your unbridled 'fire']

20% Blue - the supporting foundations of modern business - not too much; not too little - with the attitude of doing as required - as the boss says... simplified to process, process, process

55% Orange - the essence of business - outcome-driven (mostly financial/profit) staff have this (managers; sales) - again your driving fire and tempered with a considered goal

0% Green - not a business paradigm, hence one hopes close to zero (well, for now anyhow...) - the beginnings of your holistic perspective, perhaps a bit idealistic 

5% Yellow - the future part - the strategist visionary aspect (probably just in the leadership team) - opportunity seeking? yes, this time in a holistic way and probably not so financially motivated

Get this distribution close and all is well [thriving]; get it wrong and all sorts of strange behaviours emerge. From slowing performance to dysfunctional companies (see SAD, BAD, MAD paper

Remember that it's easy to measure once you have the appropriate tools. Academy of Business Acumen does...

For individuals:

Some time ago, I came up with this coping profile 'shape' that broadly defined Entrepreneurs (my 'shape' interpretation only at this stage - i.e. untested - but fits closely to above distribution). The action-oriented and driven Red/Orange (and Yellows acting as R/O) get businesses started - they have the drive and knowledge, and if Yellow, an intuitive sense of direction. This gut feeling helps navigate the chaotic ideas and startup phases in particular but quite a bit of bloody Red - fire in the belly - might be needed too to break through action barriers. In these phases for NEW product/services, the territory is unknown so, for most people, it is very difficult to traverse without a learned map. The Yellow follows their nose - the map of a developed 'sense' of radar fired with a dash of courage and commitment to the task and leadership of their team/s but then they've learned from experience already. 

You'll see the left side indicates how uncomfortable you are in a particular culture too - your rejection of that culture. 

What about you; what have you learned or NEED to learn?


An Entrepreneur's preferred roles (using Belbin):

Dr Belbin researched roles in teams and has three major groups. 

(Read the publication by Dave & Jeremy on Teams) ...tbc...

The lead entrepreneur (i.e Leader of an Entrepreneurial business):

The lead entrepreneur, as all leaders, need to stay ahead of their followers - even by just half a station. If they meet the follower at their level or lower, they lose credibility, power, and hence effectiveness. see Communications Compass.

Depending on the stage of development of the leader too, they may 'know' or know how they process information and make decisions. There is a level of meta-consciousness or watching yourself learn while you do or learn something  that is attained at the Yellow level. see Stages of Change for the Cycle of Competence: this extends the Conscious Competence model (which seems to have debated origins) and [also proposed by several authors] a 'fifth' stage in PCVJ terms.



An experiential aside on the Red Zone above - APPEAR angry (Red) before you GET angry... an school teacher's & parental trick (Orange or Yellow usually know this)!

On a broader community note about entrepreneurs: 

This all sounds good applied to a western, corporate, business-oriented worlds... but there are micro-entrepreneurs out there who need help. These would-be entrepreneurs have the strive but not our education and resources. To build global community and to develop in your own journey, please look at: and consider where you have come from and why/how, and perhaps help a little.

Click for References page...

based on the work of Dr Dave Robinson (Bond Uni, Australia) et al. as told by Mahesha 'M' Goleby (c) 2008