THE BLOG

What Comes First, the Entrepreneur or the Idea?

03/11/2015 12:30 pm ET | Updated May 11, 2015

Talk about a chicken versus egg brain teaser! Some say entrepreneurs are born (business owners are in an entirely different class) while others say the entrepreneurial spirit is in everyone and nurtured via chance or dedication. Many times, an entrepreneur -- much like an inventor -- is struck with an idea and then that spirit starts to flourish. However, to really be an entrepreneur, many say that you need to have a slew of ideas. Entrepreneurs have the vision of dreamers but the ambition of doers.

What if an entrepreneur never has a fantastic idea or never stumbles across a once in a lifetime opportunity? What if someone feels the calling of entrepreneurship but the stars just never line up quite right? And what if an incredible idea or opportunity emerges, but the potential entrepreneur isn't ready (yet) to snatch it up?

Here's what happen when the entrepreneur emerges first vs. when the idea shows up first.

1. When an entrepreneur wannabe feels stuck

There are some entrepreneurs who just never fit in with the nine to five grind and always dreamt of making their own money. However, there are endless obstacles in the way. Add in shying away from taking risks, and suddenly an entrepreneur may be stuck forever. It takes gumption and planning (with a smidge of luck) to go from worker to entrepreneur.

2. When an idea comes with conditions

Just take a look at Shark Tank, and you'll see that a lot of non-entrepreneurs were virtually hit over the head with an idea they couldn't resist. They saw a disparity in the market, and figured they were just as capable of filling it as anyone else. However, there were hurdles: They needed money, they didn't have the right skills, they didn't have enough networks. An ill prepared entrepreneur will often fail. When entrepreneur Sanjeev Saxena started POC Medical, he faced these same conditions and has fought with failure every step of the way. He is now helping thousands of women with early breast cancer detection.

3. When an entrepreneur has other commitments

It can be family, a high paying job, an illness, being in school -- there will never be a shortage of excuses. A real entrepreneur will do whatever it takes to make their ventures and dreams come true. There will be sacrifices, but an entrepreneur doesn't see it as such. They simply see a trade-off that they think is worthwhile in order to reach entrepreneurial status.

4. When ideas don't come with directions

Pro tip: They never do. Unless you've been on this merry go round before, you have no idea how to get funding, how to get a prototype, and basically how to turn an idea into an action. A lot of potential entrepreneurs give up at this point, especially when they see just how much money and sacrifice is required.

There's no telling how many people abandoned multi-million or even billion dollar ideas. Entrepreneur Nick Haase began years ago by finding a problem "there is no directions as an entrepreneur, you just have to do it. There will be times when you want to give up, when nobody will want what you have. It's times like those that determine the real entrepreneur." A year later Nick has over $100,000 being earned with his company Loot.

It doesn't really matter if the entrepreneur or the idea comes first because a successful venture requires both. There are pros and cons no matter what your unique circumstances, so know where you stand and make the best of it. Nobody said being an entrepreneur was easy, but without both sides you'll be perpetually unbalanced.