2017 Scholarship – Second Place Essay

“Entrepreneurs and Online Businesses – the perfect match!”
By Matthew N.
Punta Gorda, Florida

The word “entrepreneur” summons up many images. It evokes symbol of the common man who rises up to become one of the elites of society, the clever individual who discovers what people want or need and becomes set for a life of greatness because of it, and a dozen other symbols aside. But what does it really take to be considered an entrepreneur in this day and age? A strict dictionary definition would peg an entrepreneur as “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so”. But words are often far more than a mere entry in a lexicon. An entrepreneur is many things, especially when it comes to the modern, digital age. This essay hopes to address the qualities required of one who would become an entrepreneur, and how these principles can be best maximized through the use of the internet.

The first of the qualities most vital to an entrepreneur is the quality of perceptiveness, especially when it comes to the needs of other people. The basic principle of the economy is supply and demand; therefore, to be able to successfully found a business, one must be able to understand what people are willing to part with their money for, whether it be something they need to survive or something they simply desire enough. And with the internet, this can be easier than ever. People on the internet love to talk, and by studying what they say and spread across the web, you can come that much closer to establishing and understanding what people need. Next to this, of course, is the ability to acquire what people need. While it is all well and good to understand what people are will to pay for, it is useless if you cannot figure out a way to get your hands on whatever it is so you can sell it to them. Luckily, the internet makes this easier as well. You can find anything on the internet, and this allows you to provide it to those less willing to go through the hoops to find it.

Now, while being able to understand what people want and to get your hands on it is all well and good, it is important to be able to convince people to buy from you. This is not just something simple as mere persuasiveness; a would-be entrepreneur must be able to properly advertise, allowing them to introduce people to their product and understand how and where to expose their product in order to establish the maximum effect. In this as it does other means, the internet proves to be an invaluable tool for those who wish to make their way in the world of business. With the internet, you can achieve new markets that you could never have seen or talked to, creating images and advertisements that can go viral and spread to millions of different people. Likewise, it is important to be able to deal with one’s own people as well as with one’s potential customers; leadership is a vital trait in someone who wants to become an entrepreneur. The advent of digital communication has improved this as well as the majority of other fields. With the internet, one can communicate with coworkers and employees on the other side of the world instantaneously, allowing for instantaneous coordination of the business and for changes in policy to occur much faster than they otherwise might have.

Of course, while being able to figure out and acquire what people want and being able to lead and persuade people are important tools in order to become a skilled entrepreneur, it is just as, if not more, important what sort of person you are. A real entrepreneur is clever and patient, knowing what to do and when in order to achieve the maximum effect. They are prudent, willing to be cautious and not be caught up in the trends they exploit. They are possessed of integrity and loyalty, to be true to their employees and willing to keep and make the promises they need in order to establish a strong respect for them in their customers, and to deserve that respect in turn. In this, the internet does change the substance of the thing; it merely provides new opportunities to show off these virtues and put them to the test.

Because ultimately, the internet, while a useful tool, is not necessary to become an entrepreneur. What one actually needs to be an entrepreneur is the skill, determination, and moral uprightness necessary to see the venture through and profit from it. In the end, that’s all an entrepreneur is.

Matthew N.

David Fairley is President and Founder of Website Properties.com. Having started Hamocks.com, Strollers.com and Drums.com as an early e-commerce entrepreneur, David's 25+ years of experience in the internet and Website Brokerage industry gives him a unique and experienced outlook on all things internet.

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