Being an entrepreneur is about creating something new, moving into the unknown and maybe starting on projects where you can really foresee neither the outcome nor the financing. Many ‘self-employed’ people are ‘entrepreneurs’, but you may be one without being the other. For instance, a self-employed dentist is probably not an entrepreneur, and someone running a wild new project within Google might work as an entrepreneur but not be self-employed.

We believe it is important for anyone who has a dream of becoming an entrepreneur to understand which entrepreneurial roles exist and what they entail. In this chapter, we study various entrepreneurial roles and personal traits that increase the likelihood of success with start-up projects. We also consider the risks and benefits that are likely to occur when selecting the entrepreneurial life.

‘I want to become an entrepreneur.’ That's what both of us would say often when we were young students.

But what does that mean? When we were 15 or 18, we thought it meant only one thing: getting a brilliant idea and starting a company to pursue it. However, life has since taught us that there are many other ways to be an entrepreneur. And while there are many ‘hows’, there are also many ‘whys’, so let's start with those.

Why do people become entrepreneurs?

Statistics show that most entrepreneurs are highly motivated by:

  • money: hoping to achieve financial freedom
  • freedom: hoping to gain control over their lives ...

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