Are YOU an Entrepreneur? ..and is this The Best Answer Ever?
Are YOU an "Entrepreneur"?
I just read this short article by a Harvard Business School professor Howard Stevenson.
I thought he succinctly captured "A" definition of an Entrepreneur in under 25 words.
I won't spoil it by posting it here but check out the article (it's a quick read).
In your opinion:
1. Did he nail it? Is it the "Best Answer Ever?"
Yay or Nay...
2. Are YOU an Entrepreneur? Why? ...
3. What is YOUR Definition of an Entrepreneur?
So many people say they want to BE Entrepreneurs...Magazine, Newsletters...INFO galore...about the topic
BUT...when probed with the some of the questions above I'm sure there would be a WIDE range of thoughts and definitions....which would leave any sane human with an Identity Crisis :)
Hmm...Maybe the "success/failure rate" often quoted (e.g 9 out of 10 businesses fail in the first blah blah blah)has less to do with lack of skills and more to do with an "Entrepreneurial Identity Crisis" of sorts (A very loose Hypothesis which just came to mind)
Waiting eagerly to hear your Brilliance Sowpubbers HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Re: Are YOU an Entrepreneur? ..and is this The Best Answer Ever?
It's as good a definition as any, but why bother labeling or defining?
I have never met an entrepreneur who called himself an entrepreneur, or even attempted to spell it.
The word is used by others to label a person who does things that they themselves won't do.
In other words, don't talk about it, do it.
And don't call me names. :p
Risk taking, and how your potential resources are unlimited...
Thanks - interesting definition and article!
First... The article mentions the topic of "risk." If you look at a lot of books, they talk about "entrepreneurs" as people taking on a "risk"...
Most successful entrepreneurs figure out how to reduce their risk to as low as possible.
To give some examples...
When Richard Branson started Virgin Airlines, people said he was taking on a huge risk.
While he was taking on a risk - people didn't know he had a deal in place to reduce his risk.
I think his biggest expense was the actual Boeing airplane. In fact, he had a deal with Boeing that, if the venture didn't work, Boeing would buy back their airplane at the same price Richard Branson paid for it.
So - the biggest expense he had - he had reduced the risk by doing this deal with Boeing (as one of the conditions of the sale). He still would have had the cost of marketing, paying employees, etc. However, he had virtually eliminated the risk of the cost of buying the airplane itself.
Others reduce their risk with a "Plan B" (and even a "Plan C" and "Plan D").
Kirk Kerkorian bought surplus military airplanes (after WWII) from Hawaii, flew them himself to the US mainland (he was a pilot), and sold them for a profit.
However, he also had a "Plan B" - which was, while he was waiting for a buyer for any of his planes, he also hired the planes out for charter flights. So, he had at least a couple of different ways to profit from his airplanes.
Another part which is good in the article is that, it is true that you are not limited to your own resources.
In fact, the resources at your disposal are (potentially) unlimited!
It's called doing a deal. If someone else has a resource you want - you can try to do a deal to use that resource.
Let's say you need a warehouse - but you can't afford to buy one.
So you may be able to do a deal to get a warehouse.
You might find a business which owns a warehouse - but is only using part of the warehouse, with the other part of it empty - who may be willing to do a "creative" deal. (After all, if part of it is empty, they having nothing to "lose" as they are making no profit from the empty part of their warehouse, anyway.) Such a business may be more willing to do a deal with you.
For example, if you have the money, you could rent the empty space. Another alternative is, go into partnership in your business with them, and have their contribution of the use of their warehouse be part of the partnership deal. Or, instead of a partnership, have them be an "investor" in your company - and their investment, rather it being in cash, is through the use of their warehouse. Or, you could barter for the unused part of the warehouse - that is, give them free services or products, in return for the free use of the empty part of the warehouse. There are many different ways to structure such deals - depending on what you want, and also what they want.
I know a guy who got free use of a small warehouse. It's a kind of complex story, but the warehouse was sitting there empty and run down. The owner owns so many properties, he doesn't really care about some of his empty properties. The guy I know keeps the warehouse clean and maintains it - and in return, he has the owner's approval to use it - for free. (The owner will still make money from the increasing value of the warehouse, and the real estate it sits on, over time. That this guy keeps it maintained and clean actually helps the warehouse to maintain its value - so it's win/win for both of them.)
The fundamental idea is, you actually have potentially no limit on the resources that are available to you (as long as those resources exist on planet Earth). However, you have to have the creativity to propose a "win/win" deal with one of those people who controls the resource you want or need.
Anyway, this is "real" stuff - not just theory!
“Necessity-driven Entrepreneurship Can be a Powerful Motivator.” Tightrope: Yes, Any
Yes, Anyone can be an Entrepreneur, If... :)
Just Another way at Looking at Things...
Absolutely! ... No Shortage of Entrepreneurial injections... Lessons &/Of Intelligence...
Learn how to use Both sides of your Brain (the left and right hemisphere)... :cool:
Tightrope: Yes, Anyone can be an Entrepreneur, If...
Anyone can be Converted into An Entrepreneur! ...
Michael E. Gordon, Donald J. Trump - 2007 - Business & Economics - 247 pages
Some of the Most Successful individuals and companies Got to the Top by recognizing the ... Spied a Strange- looking military vehicle that had been converted into a sightseeing tour bus. ... It is a Two- way street; Anyone can Find and Adopt your...
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All the best...
Defining and Labeling is Very Important. Here's why + Seth Godin
Thanks for your thoughts...and NO name calling here :->
You asked "Why Bother labeling or defining?"
I think the Defining and labeling are VERY important.
Because once you are clear about how you define "Entrepreneurship" it will help determine HOW you ACT and/or your general approach to the TYPE of business you are creating.
I agree with the you "Don't talk about it, do it"....which leads to the question of "Do what?"
The way you DEFINE/LABEL "Entrepreneurship" consciously or unconsciously will determine the type of movement you take and eventually the end result you achieve.
I feel it's more than semantics. I believe the book E-myth talked about this is greater detail. Something about an Entrepreneurial Seizure.
In Addition I just heard this quick interview nugget from Seth Godin about the Difference between a "Freelancer" and an "Entrepreneur". You can check it out at the link below. (it's about 3-4min)
Here are some quick notes I took
Freelancer vs. Entrepreneur (Begin: Seth Godin Interview notes)
"Let's understand the difference between entrepreneurship and freelancing...
b/c if you get confused about that...your life is going to be horrible 1:11
...b/c I've lived this."
- Freelancers get paid for their work. If you're a freelance copywriter you get paid for your work. When you're asleep you don't get paid for anything.
- An Entrepreneur uses other peoples money. To build a business BIGGER than themselves so that they can get paid when they sleep.
-The entrepreneur has no problem selling their business b/c it is a living breathing entity which is NOT related to what they do all day.
The Challenge is: If you TRY to act like a Freelancer pretending to BE an Entrepreneur you're gonna drive yourself crazy.
- b/c it's ALWAYS cheaper to hire yourself,
- it's Always cheaper to extend yourself
- it's always cheaper for you to go on that sales call instead of hiring somebody else to do it
- Then you're being Neither an Entrepreneur or a Freelancer (2:04)
- So the market for Freelancer that are Average is Horrible...b/c I can find an avg. Freelancer cheaper than you.
- The market for EXCEPTIONAL freelancers has never been better.
Therefore you better be exceptional as a freelancer else you will be paid as little as possible
The opportunity for the Entrepreneur is HUGE ....IF you remember that you are trying to build an Asset that has Value outside of YOU as a person. Otherwise go be a GREAT freelancer.
(End: Seth Godin Interview notes)
Thanks Bozo for Sharing your comments. In the end the best course of ACTION would be to just look at our own actions and be clear on the outcome those actions will lead to....because they are all leading to an end result. If that is an end result you want...then GREAT. If not start changing.
Re: Risk taking, and how your potential resources are unlimited...
Thanks. I found the definition short and sweet. Glad you commented on the rest of the article as I found that fascinating as well.
THANKS for the real world examples of Branson and Kerkorkian. It's interesting to see how they mitigate risk, by having plans B-Z, and or escape clauses etc.
It fascinating because a LOT of the "Self-helpy" type material make it seem like these entrepreneurs burn all bridges and ONLY have a plan A. Which a lot of the times as you've demonstrated is just not so. Plan A usually has -A1-A9.
As for Deal making it is as Robert Ringer says MORE important than marketing. If no Deal...then nothing to market. A very important skill and YES very real world.
"Deal making" can potentially be very simple...aka just A.S.K
I like the view of "no limits" on resources...
Interesting story about the warehouse. I like to read more "down to earth example from regular folks.
Ha Billionaire Felix Dennis quote from the book "How to Be Rich" is ringing in my head.
"The World is Full of Money. Some of it Has Your Name On it. All you have to do is collect it"
Money is just ONE resource.
Thanks for sharing Dien
Re: “Necessity-driven Entrepreneurship Can be a Powerful Motivator.” Tightrope: Yes, Any
Thanks for all of Brilliance Injecting references. After going through each of the links you may have answered the age old question.
"Are Entrepreneurs Made or Born?"
Thanks for sharing. Found some brilliant resources I had not seen previously seen before.
Re: Defining and Labeling is Very Important. Here's why + Seth Godin
Using those labels and definitions, I'm a freelancer. I'm not trying to build a asset to sell, or to pay me while I sleep.
My goals were to meet people, have fun, and lose some of my lard ass. I've met those goals and made some cash to boot.
Again using those definitions and labels, I think that true entrepreneurs are as rare as hen's teeth. Most people that consider themselves to be entrepreneurs have actually just created jobs for themselves.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. To each his own.
More examples of how your potential resources are unlimited...
Your mention of Felix Dennis reminded me of a post that Ankesh once posted, about how Felix Dennis started his first magazine...
When you read it, you'll see how he started with almost zero resources, too...
However, you don't need to "own" or "control" those resources, when you can possibly do deals to get what you need. That is why you have "potentially" unlimited resources...
Here's Ankesh's post:
Felix Dennis: How to obtain capital to start a business to get rich
Also, my reply on the examples of Bob Reiss and Sam Raimi are a couple more examples...
How Bob Reiss put together his TV-Guide-based trivia game, and how Sam Raimi got his start
The only "rule" in deal-making is that it should be "win/win" for each party. However, each deal will be different, as it will depend on your circumstances and what you want/need, and the other party's circumstances and what they want/need too.
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