Say the word “Entrepreneur” aloud? Who or what comes to mind? For me, it’s Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.
When I was a child, I wanted to own my company-I wanted to be rich beyond imagination. I wanted a mansion, fancy cars-Lamborghini Diablo-a maid, and hordes of women adoring every inch of my body. I was 18, what did I know then?
Today, business ownership is a far cry from my adolescent boy perceptions. Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of America’s free enterprise system, where education, social and economic status take a back seat to hard work, commitment and an unwavering dream.
1. What is Entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is an individual or group of individuals who assume 100% risk in an idea or dream, attempting to create a service or product business. Those who watch from afar believe its alluring name provides endless nights of caviar, Crystal-filled nights aboard luxurious yachts.
Truth is, entrepreneurship is endless nights of worry, networking, business development and resource allocation, where the guarantee of any reward is steeped in luck.
2. Are You an Entrepreneur?
I tell my students, “Each of us-you, me-are individual businesses. We seek out jobs as a business, competing with other like-minded individuals.” You’re a company.
Although you may say, “I don’t like sales.” The fact is you’re selling yourself every day-to your boss, to friends and even to your spouse. Life is sales. We must understand job security no longer exists. The sooner society realizes this, the sooner each of us begins to think about creating something bigger than the seat each of us will occupy every day for the next 30 or so years.
3. Embracing Failure
An entrepreneur receives no company benefits. No group health insurance. No 401k or pension. As a result, one of two things are certain in business ownership, failure or success. Entrepreneurs believe in themselves and their products even if the world tells them it won’t work, as a result, they stare failure in the eye every day.
Sonia Lin, author of Secret to Startup Failure says it brilliantly, “No matter how positive and energetic entrepreneurs are when starting out on the journey, chances are they’ll end up not recognizing themselves if they don’t draw the line somewhere.”
What about you? Do you have an idea but scared to take the plunge? I’ve failed in countless business endeavors. I’ve lost thousands of dollars trying to create something. If failure and fear gripped me from trying again, you wouldn’t be reading this article.