Every year, many people make the leap and break into the competitive world of entrepreneurship. From stay at home moms who run online auction sites to programmers who develop innovative new software, these entrepreneurs embody characteristics that allow them to be successful in their ventures.
Of these creative innovators, some wonder if certain professionals are better at becoming entrepreneurs. While people from all walks of life start their own companies, some fields breed more entrepreneurs than others. Engineering is one field that, by its very nature, makes it a ripe field for the budding entrepreneur.
Some of the best inventors started out as engineers. They see a problem and think of the best solution to solve it. This is the very essence of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Think of the wild success of the popular toy, The Super Soaker. The water gun was designed by Lonnie Johnson, an engineer who was working on a solution to a totally different problem. He invented the toy by accident and went on to become a multi-millionaire.
People who start their own businesses identify a problem, and then create a solution. By selling these solutions, they become profitable in their ventures.
People are constantly convincing themselves that they can’t do something. This is what keeps the average person from starting a business. Engineers don’t think this way. They frequently attempt to solve problems that others see as impossible. Because they believe there is a solution to every problem, they are able to forecast and project success in the future. Optimism is one of the most important characteristics of entrepreneurs.
Engineers have a healthy dose of optimism. Engineering student Mark Zuckerberg took a simple idea and turned it into a multi-billion dollar concept. Without faith that his program would work, he would not have been able to achieve this feat.
Engineers often have to think of several elements of a problem that may need solving. Entrepreneurs often start out as one-man firms. This means they have to solve multiple problems simultaneously. They have to create marketing plans, manage the finances, buy inventory, and handle customer service issues. Engineers are able to segment problems and deal with them in manageable chunks. This makes them more likely to be successful in business.
In some cases, engineers are able to think completely out of the box in order to solve a problem. They use their analytical skills to generate ideas and act on them. Terri Stripling, an engineer and Merck pharmaceuticals executive, used her skills and knowledge to start Ten80 Education, an initiative aimed at getting girls involved in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Engineers have to constantly research and learn to get the right answers to their problems. They read, research, and read some more. This attitude of lifelong learning translates to business success.
Not only do they benefit from their higher level of knowledge overall, they are more likely to search for expert answers while working on individual projects. This quest for knowledge means that engineers make great business owners. They know they don’t know all the answers and are willing to find the help they need to succeed.
Do engineers make great entrepreneurs? Absolutely. They are fast and constant learners. They take problems and come up with creative ways to tackle and solve them. They have the guts to get things done and lack the fear that holds most people back. In the world of successful business, the engineer is king.