Five levels of an entrepreneur

In his online article in “The Owl” in early August, Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial, reported some revealing statistics. In June 2014, 395,991 companies were registered in Alberta. According to Statistics Canada, nearly 60 per cent of those companies were “micro-businesses,” employing just one to four people. Another 17 per cent employed fewer than 10 people.

In his online article in “The Owl” in early August, Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial, reported some revealing statistics.

In June 2014, 395,991 companies were registered in Alberta. According to Statistics Canada, nearly 60 per cent of those companies were “micro-businesses,” employing just one to four people. Another 17 per cent employed fewer than 10 people.

Small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) accounted for 98.1 per cent of the companies in the province, and large companies with more than 500 employees made up only 0.2 per cent of the total.

“All sizes of companies contribute to Alberta’s vibrant economy and small companies are more than carrying their weight,” stated Hirsch.

Entrepreneurship is thriving in Central Alberta. A particular highlight in the 2012 Stakeholders Report released by the Red Deer Regional Economic Development alliance indicated that Red Deer had more small businesses per capita than any other city in Canada (7.5 small to medium-sized businesses per 100 people).

Entrepreneurs are known to possess a variety of talents, aptitudes and character traits. Passion, attitude, mindset, vision and drive are common descriptors. However, innate talent doesn’t always guarantee business success.

There are primarily five levels of development on the entrepreneur scale.

Similar to any growth curve, each level involves a specific mindset and a strong belief system, combined with a willingness to learn and embrace change.

Level 1 on the scale describes individuals who possess the “self-employed” mindset. There is the desire to gain control over one’s life.

Working 9 to 5, usually under supervision, isn’t fulfilling. They want more autonomy and firmly believe that they could do their job and operate their own business.

Many entrepreneurs replicate the job they know how to do, in the same area of expertise, selling a product or service they already know. Logically, this should be an advantage, but only when business fundamentals are in place.

They launch into business, juggling business operations while doing the same type of work they did as an employee. They haven’t created a new role for themselves.

They work 60 to 80 hours a week and never get a day off. Burnout soon follows.

They often don’t take the time to learn the basics of business. They may have little to no financial knowledge and are hesitant to take advantage of the talent and experience others could offer. It’s challenging to evaluate and respond to new opportunities.

Many men and women devote time, energy and money only to discover that entrepreneurship is not the right career path for them. This realization can take months or even years, with financial resources depleted in the process.

It is often stated that 80 per cent of businesses fail within five years of startup. The top factors contributing to this statistics are lack of planning, insufficient capital and poor management.

The fact is, businesses don’t fail because the owner didn’t work hard. They fail because the owner never progressed on the entrepreneur scale to learn the “rules of the game.”

Those who strike out in new and unfamiliar territory are forced to learn, be open-minded, and rely on experts for assistance. These ingredients are the keys to entrepreneurial success. They force one to evaluate the entire business system from a new and fresh perspective.

That goal is to envision and develop a business that works for the owner, rather than the owner working for the business.

This concept is the key for rising through the ranks of entrepreneurship.

In my next column, I’ll present the four levels on the entrepreneurial scale that eventually lead an entrepreneur to the definitive result: a commercially profitable business that works without the owner.

John MacKenzie is a certified business coach and authorized partner/facilitator for Everything DiSC and Five Behaviours of a Cohesive Team, Wiley Brands. He can be reached at john@thebusinesstraininghub.com.

Just Posted

Father charged for alleged sexual offences on child

An Olds father has been arrested by ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE)… Continue reading

Red Deer man says more cardiac care needed here

Ryan Gillies spent several extra days in hospital waiting to get a stent in Edmonton

Toronto the only Canadian city on Amazon short list of HQ2 candidates

Toronto is the only Canadian city on Amazon Inc.’s short list of… Continue reading

Barenaked together: Steven Page to join Barenaked Ladies for Music Hall of Fame induction

TORONTO — Barenaked Ladies aren’t getting back together with Steven Page, but… Continue reading

Feds mum on possible Canadian support to new U.S.-backed Syrian border force

OTTAWA — The federal government is refusing to say whether Canada will… Continue reading

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month