Savannah Graves was a finalist for the inaugural Rising Innovator Scholarship

By Savannah Graves

Ask the average person, “What is an entrepreneur?” Their response will most likely be along the lines of someone who is a business owner. While entrepreneurs are typically business owners, that is only one side of being an entrepreneur. 

With being an entrepreneur, I believe you have to have faith in oneself and what your business is. You have to have enough confidence to allow your ideas to be shared with not only peers but from consumers globally as well. The product, idea, or business you are presenting has to be a need from consumers. This causes me to believe that entrepreneurs are problem solvers. True inquiring minds on how to help not only themselves but people as well. Entrepreneurs are also willing to make sacrifices. When you truly dedicate yourself to your business, idea, or whatever one is developing, you give up many things. This could range from weekend parties, intimate friendships and relationships, and also sometimes maybe even time to rest and recharge. All these experiences you lose give you the opportunity to grow and develop your ideas as an entrepreneur. Courage is something that I also believe is vital to being an entrepreneur. You have to take risks as an entrepreneur. This could mean risking your money while investing into your product or business. This could also mean taking the risk of maybe entering a market where there are many competitors but still believing that your product will come in first place in the long run. Some entrepreneurs don’t take the traditional high school to college route to begin their business but that is a risk they take. Leaving behind the original blueprint and making their own to find success. 

I strongly believe that entrepreneurs are not solely business owners as they are often displayed as. Entrepreneurs can be high school students, teachers, or whatever job or career you choose to pursue. I believe entrepreneurs can have any job but they need to have dreams and goals that they want to achieve. The drive that follows them in their path of achieving their dreams or goals is what makes them real entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are willing to take control of whatever path they’re on and make it their own to become self-sufficient in their own definition. This could be a teacher having the goal of making their kids more engaged in class. This teacher then becomes an entrepreneur of their classroom and creates a way for their students to become engaged. They may take many different approaches to achieve the end goal but they are taking control of their goal and making their own way. Ultimately, entrepreneurship takes many different forms and is not conformed to one textbook definition. 

Entrepreneurs are also one of the many careers where you have to have a strong mental and emotional wellness. When you begin to devote all your time to your business, you begin to lose many experiences. This could range from your best friend’s party to a night out with a friend who came to visit. The loss of these moments can cause immense sadness which can cause your mental health to decline. Entrepreneurs have to have just the right amount of emotional and mental strength to persevere and continue chasing their dreams. Also as an entrepreneur, they encounter a lot of trial and error throughout their career. To be a successful entrepreneur they have to not give up on their own dreams and continue to push through these hardships. One example of how they could push through these times of trial and error could be changing their product. They could change it due to wanting to appeal to consumers more, this opens the window of creativity that entrepreneurs need to possess in order to succeed. They have to create something different enough to stand out from potential competition and to appeal to just the right amount of consumers. The creativity that entrepreneurs possess is unlimited. It’s shown through their product, their advertisement of their idea or product, what keeps them motivated, etc. 

Passion. One of the things that people often forget that entrepreneurs possess. Passion is a strong and uncontrollable emotion and I believe that every successful entrepreneur possesses this. I believe that this is synonymous to drive and determination but it has its own flair. Passion is an uncontrollable fire that isn’t able to be tamed or doused. It grows and grows as it reaches new heights. It is unstoppable. When you have a passion for your cause of entrepreneurship, you want it more than a possible competitor. You want to do better than you did yesterday pursuing this goal or dream. When a person is passionate about their goals or dream, they cannot be deterred, no matter the obstacle. No matter how big or small the goal or dream is within the entrepreneurship, the feeling of passion behind it makes it all worth it in the end. 

Long ago, I thought entrepreneurs were just business owners. Plain and simple. But nonetheless, they come in many different mediums. Entrepreneurship is always shapeshifting when each person takes control of their own goals and dreams and makes their own way. I believe I’m an entrepreneur. I have taken control of my own goal of becoming a neonatal surgeon even throughout the hardships I may face as an African-American woman in the medical field. My burning passion for medicine drives me everyday to do things that will assist me in accomplishing this goal.

Entrepreneurs are not regular people. They are superheroes that are all fighting to save different things. Being an entrepreneur to me is someone that has a dream or goal with a fiery passion to follow behind it to motivate them along the way. Being an entrepreneur to me is being creative and always taking control of your own path to success. Having your own vision and sticking by it always, no matter what some may say.