An entrepreneur is someone who starts a business from and idea in form of a start up or buys a running business and change it.
A project is something that has a start and end. While a business doesn’t end but it contains many projects within itself that are temporary and have start and end. Usually startups don’t have enough budget to hire project managers or other resources. So an entrepreneur is usually a multi talented person who is great at project management. You need to be able to set goals, do the planning, and execute, to deliver quality results that communicate with your target through the value it is offering.
These are what a good project manager does. So if you have started many things in life and you gave it up on the early stages without knowing why, one of the reasons might be because you didn’t have project management skills.
It is amazing to be born as a project manager and have all the skills in your DNA but not everything in life comes to us that easy. It is a good news to know that you don’t need to be gifted in project management in order to start your business and follow your passion, you can learn to manage projects.
Project management can be the solution for the problems you face while starting a new idea. It actually helps a lot to learn about managing a project while experimenting. It gives you the knowledge and experience at the same time.
As an entrepreneur you need to know how to set goals, how to set time and budget and do all the plannings. You also need to know how to efficiently test your idea. This prevent you from spending so much time and budget on something that would not bring any value. While testing, you can always measure and make changes in the process of shaping your business.
Even if you are not an entrepreneur and you don’t want to have your own business but would like to pursue your career in the field of project management I highly recommend starting something that would not require any monetary investment.
This gives you a great experience on how business owners, stakeholders, users and team members feel in a project that you are managing. Books and schools can give you knowledge of how you should think and process but only experience and being in the position of stakeholders can teach you how they feel and how they form their expectations.
A successful project manager not only understands the nuts and bolts of the field they are working in, she also understands the feelings, psychology, and thought process of people involved.
Starting your own business teaches you how to be a stakeholder, a developer, a project manager, and a user. And it also helps you appreciate the hard work it takes to have a successful business. This makes you appreciate things that stakeholders have done in the past and show them you know the value in their work and you care as much as they care.
So I would say entrepreneurs should be great at project management and should learn the science involved in it to be able to run small projects in their business to have a healthy running business.
And project managers should all have entrepreneurship experience to learn about the Art of project management. Learn about all the soft skills required to run a successful project that cares more than having a project done within a time, budget and scope; by bringing value to both stakeholders and end users.
Here is a book I highly recommend reading if you are an entrepreneur and you need to run your own projects:
The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management by Eric Verzuh