Now valued at billions of dollars, some of the most popular Indian startups like Zomato and OLA started as an entrepreneurial endeavor.

If you’re familiar with terms like ‘unicorn’, ‘angel’ and ‘incubator’, you’re probably well-versed with the startup ecosystem. Many of us harbor a wish to become entrepreneurs—starting our own business has a unique charm to it. But it’s not just about pulling all-nighters, pizza parties in the office and hanging out with your coworkers at the bar across the street.

Understanding how to become an entrepreneur has more to do with your idea, execution and follow-up strategies. You need to be clear on what you need to do from day one.

Read on to discover our complete guide on how to become an entrepreneur and how to start your own business.

  1. How To Define An Entrepreneur

  2. How To Become A Successful Entrepreneur

  3. The Ladder Of Learning

  4. Be Your Best Self To Achieve Business Goals

How To Define An Entrepreneur


An entrepreneur is someone who establishes and sets up their own business, taking a risk and investing their time, resources and effort. Some of the most well-known entrepreneurs in the world are Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Amancio Ortega. More recently, we have the founder of Glossier, Emily Weiss, and Nykaa’s Falguni Nayar making headlines with their strong entrepreneurial forces.

Having a vision for the future and a drive to achieve transformative results guides them and motivates them to go against all odds. Being an entrepreneur is a slippery slope because you’re venturing into the unknown. But if you stick around to see your vision turn into reality, you can reap the benefits of all your hard work.

Before asking yourself, “how can I become an entrepreneur?”, read on to discover what makes a successful entrepreneur:

  1. They know how to be honest about their mission, objectives and vision

  2. They accept failure just as well as they accept successes

  3. They listen to others, heed their advice and do what’s best not just for them but everyone involved

  4. They seek knowledge, information and insight

  5. They know when to step back and take stock of the situation and when to give the go-ahead

  6. They understand their strengths, weaknesses and abilities for strong decision-making

  7. They’re honest about not knowing something that pushes them to learn and grow

If you want to start your own business, you need a spark that ignites your spirit. It may be difficult at first, but with planning, preparation and help from others, you can achieve organizational success. Let’s start with the basics to give you a nudge in the right direction!

How To Become A Successful Entrepreneur 


Before we deep dive into how to become an entrepreneur, let’s consider an example:

Say you’re passionate about design. You enjoy editing images, videos and creating logos, websites and other creatives. For the last three years, you’ve been doing it for fun and you’ve even taken a few classes to refine your skills. One day, however, one of your acquaintances comes to you with a request to redesign their official website.

They’ve seen some of your work online and are quite impressed with your skill. Even though you’ve never thought of monetizing your passion, it seems like a good opportunity. You get together with their design team, create a few mockups of the most important web pages and fulfill the brief—bringing your own flavor and taste to it. They love your work, implement the changes and the new website is a go!

This unexpected opportunity gives you the idea to start your own business. You decide to set up a design studio to offer your services. You know what you’re doing and how you’ll execute each project that comes in. You’re excited about the prospect of getting paid to do something you love. But you don’t really know where to start.

This not knowing where to start stumps even the most passionate entrepreneur with a winning idea.

Here are some questions to help you think about how to become a businessman or a businesswoman:

  1. Are You Sure You Want To Start Your Own Business?

This may seem counterproductive, but what you want to do is truly understand what it means to establish your own business. You may want to buy a food truck one day and sell fast-food in a business park. But do you really want to invest in that idea or are you simply going with what others are doing? Questioning your beliefs and values, your motivations and drive can help you understand why you want to become an entrepreneur. You must learn about entrepreneurship, do you research and talk to people who are familiar with the concept before you get started.


  1. Are You Confident About Your Business Idea?

Many aspiring entrepreneurs start in the middle, skipping a few steps to get ahead. If you have a business idea you want to invest in, you have to stand by it completely. Whether it’s setting up an e-commerce website or creating an online rental place, you need to have complete faith in your idea. How else can you sell it to your customer? Reach out to people who work in the same industry and compile all the information to make informed decisions.


  1. Do You Know Your Competition?

Competitor analysis is one of the most important steps in becoming a successful entrepreneur. Your service may be unique, catering to a niche market, but you still operate within a corporate environment where there exists competition. You should account for market changes and fluctuations, how they can impact your business standing and how you should deal with setbacks. You can learn a lot from studying your competition, and even other successful businesses.


  1. Do You Know Your Target Audience?

A mistake many brands and businesses make is not creating a user persona or identifying their target market. If you don’t know who your customers are, you won’t be able to create effective marketing and sales strategies. Moreover, potential investors will likely ask you about your customer profile. You must make sure you know exactly who you’re offering your products or services to. This will help you customize and create a product/service that appeals to your end-user.


  1. Have You Established A Professional Network?

Businesses don’t operate in a vacuum. They are impacted by social, political and economic factors. There’s more risk involved and you may need to have more than one contingency plan. Sometimes, even with all the preparation in the world, plans may fail. To sustain your business, you need help in the form of a professional network. A professional network is built on mutually beneficial relationships. These are industry experts, thought leaders and experienced professionals who can help you get back on your feet. If you’re in a pinch or simply need guidance, you can reach out to them for advice.

Reading up on how to start your own business will help you understand what works and what doesn’t. Recognizing the pitfalls, conducting a cost-benefit analysis and studying the market are only a few of the many steps you need to take. But the most important thing is knowing why you want to take this step.

The Ladder Of Learning


As with everything we do, there’s a learning curve to establishing your own business and venturing into an unfamiliar space. It means you have to step outside your comfort zone and enter a creative space where you’re ready to build, create and nurture.

In the 1970s, Noel Burch developed the Ladder of Learning as a tool to explain the different stages in the learning process. It’s based on your level of competency and skills. As an entrepreneur, you face this ladder and do your best to refine and master your skills.

Here are the steps in the Ladder of Learning:

  1. Unconsciously Unskilled

You don’t have the right skills and you’re not aware of what skills you need. This is the first stage before you start something new.


  1. Consciously Unskilled

You’re aware that you don’t have the right skills needed for the job and you make a conscious effort to learn. This comes after you’ve had some experience and you realize you need to learn these skills.


  1. Consciously Skilled

You know you need these skills, you have learned them and make a conscious effort to use them where needed.


  1. Unconsciously Skilled

You’ve used your new skills and practiced them for hours. You’re now familiar with your skills and they come naturally to you.

Your ladder of learning will look very different from someone else’s. You must try to focus on what you need to do and learn to grow personally and professionally. This way you’ll be more confident when setting up your own business, taking things in stride and dealing with challenges effectively.

Be Your Best Self To Achieve Business Goals


Starting your own business is all about reframing a challenge into an opportunity. Turn your UPSETs (things that don’t go according to plan) into SETUPs (opportunities for success) with Harappa’s Leading Self course. With key frameworks like the Ladder of Learning, you’ll learn how to overcome personal and professional setbacks. Accepting your weaknesses and refining your strengths is the mark of a true leader. Learn to question things, be curious and take a risk to become a successful entrepreneur.

Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics related What Is Entrepreneurship, Simon Sinek Golden Circle Theory & How To Achieve Targets At Work to take charge of your personal and professional growth.

Related articles

Discover more from Harappa with a selection of trending blogs on the latest topics in online learning and career transformation