What Does it Mean to Be Enterprising?

What does it mean to be "Enterprising"?  There are a number of definitions, including "showing initiative, seeing opportunities and taking advantage of them, and adaptability", "Having drive, determination, persistence and passion", and "Ready to embark on new ventures.".   Many people assume that enterprising means starting a business or enterprise, but it actually is just one of a set of features or characteristics of someone doing that. 

Jim Rohn summarises it beautifully:

"An enterprising person is one who comes across a pile of scrap metal and sees the making of a wonderful sculpture. An enterprising person is one who drives through an old decrepit part of town and sees a new housing development. An enterprising person is one who sees opportunity in all areas of life.

To be enterprising is to keep your eyes open and your mind active. It's to be skilled enough, confident enough, creative enough and disciplined enough to seize opportunities that present themselves…regardless of the economy.

A person with an enterprising attitude says, "Find out what you can before action is taken." Do your homework. Do the research. Be prepared. Be resourceful. Do all you can in preparation of what's to come.

Enterprising people always see the future in the present. Enterprising people always find a way to take advantage of a situation, not be burdened by it. And enterprising people aren't lazy. They don't wait for opportunities to come to them, they go after the opportunities. Enterprise means always finding a way to keep yourself actively working toward your ambition.

Enterprise is two things. The first is creativity. You need creativity to see what's out there and to shape it to your advantage. You need creativity to look at the world a little differently. You need creativity to take a different approach, to be different.

What goes hand-in-hand with the creativity of enterprise is the second requirement: the courage to be creative. You need courage to see things differently, courage to go against the crowd, courage to take a different approach, courage to stand alone if you have to, courage to choose activity over inactivity.

And lastly, being enterprising doesn't just relate to the ability to make money. Being enterprising also means feeling good enough about yourself, having enough self worth to want to seek advantages and opportunities that will make a difference in your future. And by doing so you will increase your confidence, your courage, your creativity and your self-worth—your enterprising nature."

 

With that definition in mind, it is easy to see how an entrepreneur is enterprising.  It is a big and necessary part of being involved in entrepreneurship, and we could even argue that being enterprising, and being entrepreneurial are very similar.