California State University, Fullerton
OC Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial Factors: Entrepreneurial Culture

What is an entrepreneurship culture and is it available in Orange County? First, we will discuss how to nurture a developing entrepreneur, why they must be benevolent leaders and finally why we believe this is in Orange County.

Entrepreneurship culture is essentially the culture that is needed to nurture and develop an entrepreneur. So why does an entrepreneur need to be nurtured? In a word, being an entrepreneur is hard. An entrepreneur is someone who sees the world differently from others: they see opportunity in depressed times, they have far reaching visions, they believe in their ideas when nobody else really does, they often work harder than anyone will ever know, and they are usually alone, all of which create immense self-doubt.

It is extremely difficult to stay positive and motivated when the majority of family and friends are telling the entrepreneur they will not succeed, especially when they keep spending money or even going into debt to keep their dreams alive. After going through so much turmoil, if the entrepreneur is successful, he or she must be strong enough to push aside any resentment that may have accumulated and trust their employees to help them grow their business. Creating a culture or mentorship with several encouraging and supportive entrepreneurs who have succeeded will help guide the developing entrepreneur become successful.

Culturally speaking, the developing entrepreneur needs to be treated with respect and companionship by their mentors. When a developing entrepreneur feels his or her ideas are respected by successful entrepreneurs, they feel validated in their thinking process and that they are on the right track towards achieving their dreams. In addition, camaraderie is essential to open the doors of communication. Relating on the human level lets the developing entrepreneur know that the mistakes made are part of the natural growth process and that temporary defeat will pass. Relating on this level allows the developing entrepreneur to feel more comfortable and confident in their decisions, and the more they can relate to their mentors, the more they feel they can follow in their mentor’s footsteps to greatness.

Why does an entrepreneur need to become a strong benevolent leader? Benevolence is essential in getting employees to follow, people need to know they are going to be taken care of by their leader or they will not follow them. Also, belonging to something great and creating something that is greater than the individual has empowered many people, entrepreneurs and employees alike. People will work their hardest and are attracted to follow benevolent leaders because of their altruistic sense, probably because there is so much negativity in the world that it feels good to follow someone who is strong enough to stand up for other people’s rights. Support for this can be seen throughout history with the most successful leaders being benevolent peaceful leaders: Jesus, Mohammad, Gandhi, and Mother Theresa.

Leaders need to be strong because people don’t like to be told what to do, leaders must lead by example. It takes strength and courage to do something difficult, but once it is done, respect is earned by those who follow that leader. Second, strength is desired in many people as they don’t believe they have the will or courage to choose their own destiny and when they find someone who has these qualities, people are attracted to that person. All entrepreneurs need strong will to become leaders and must have that confidence instilled within them through intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic may be from the introverted source, by doing something and seeing the desired results obtained. Extrinsic motivation is needed for people who want to reach higher than they believe are within their reach; they leverage the support and knowledge of mentors to achieve great things.

So how does someone get influenced by this and can a region or county create this culture? In short, it’s all about access to supportive mentors. Access to schools with influential teachers who are mentors is a key element. Schools that foster entrepreneurship through a supportive environment set the stage where fellow entrepreneurs are drawn to these schools. In essence, the school acts like an “incubator” where professors guide students in their development in a constructive learning environment. Having a strong branded school also helps with the credibility of professors and people affiliated with the campus.

A key element to the branding of that school is to highlight successful entrepreneurs who were developed in this entrepreneurial culture and to have them come back to mentor the future developing entrepreneurs. It only makes sense that being affiliated with respected and encouraging entrepreneurs will spawn off entrepreneurism.

Classic tales of entrepreneurial start-ups have occurred when classmates met in school (i.e. Bill Gates).Throughout history, the people who have made the greatest discoveries or contributions to society have known each other, perhaps an indication of synergy at work. Of course, if mentors are willing to share resources and give protégés a chance, that person has a much better chance for success.

California has been notoriously known to be the land of opportunity. The environmental climate is desirable, but more than that, the access to mentors, schools, and high-tech thought in metropolitan areas has made it more desirable for entrepreneurs. California is also known as the sunshine state where people gravitate to in order to launch big businesses so it also makes sense that those who are set on big goals, will climb over the adversity and pay the premium cost of living just to be close to this culture.

Orange County was designed to be more open and with spacious land near the ocean, the real estate prices only allow in those people who can afford this cost of living. Usually this lifestyle can only be afforded by entrepreneurs and therefore, geographically speaking, the people who live in Orange County tend to create an entrepreneurial culture. Orange County may also be more entrepreneurial because of access to new ways our culture interacts with social media. For example, there might be more meet-up groups in California, which gives people access to where people meet-up and exchange ideas.

Californians may have great access to the web and social media such as Facebook, which allows the exchange of ideas and encouragement. Could there be more networking sessions through the chamber of commerce and professional networking events in California? Perhaps the number of Starbucks might also lead to the foster of entrepreneurism as it’s a place to network while drinking a neuron-stimulating coffee that get’s people excited about sharing and talking about ideas.

Orange County does seem rich in entrepreneurial culture.

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