So, you want to be an entrepreneur?
*Irony ahead *Irony ahead *Irony ahead *Irony ahead *Irony ahead *Irony ahead *Irony ahead
To be a successful entrepreneur, all you have to do is get rid of creativity and flexibility. They just distract you from being a true wannabe business person.
Micro-management and organization are your keys to success. Manage time, and you can do anything. Who needs focus or financial know-how? Once you open your business doors and hang up your shingle, your drive and personality will win the day.
Success follows invention. Flowcharts and process rule. You don’t need a partner or management team. All you need are customers, and they are waiting for your innovation.
And, customers? They will be there when the time comes. You have gotten this far on insight, vision, and sheer force of personality. Everyone understands what you are trying to do, and they only need to join or lose big time!
*Irony done *Irony done *Irony done *Irony done *Irony done *Irony done *Irony done
So, you want to be an entrepreneur?
Starting and running a business does not make you an entrepreneur. Dry cleaners, barbers, and car mechanics are rarely entrepreneurs. They may be successful or unsuccessful in their business management, but success does not equal entrepreneurship. So, you want to be an entrepreneur?
The media have spun definition of “entrepreneur” so much; it has little or no meaning. The best Harvard Business School’s Howard Stevenson owns the best definition: “Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”
There’s nothing new or local in entrepreneurship.
Without minimizing the courage or risk taken by any business owner, entrepreneurship is a more comprehensive concept involving passion, vision, motivation, inputs, outcomes, metrics, and more.
- Although some economies support more entrepreneurs than others at one time or another, no culture has a monopoly on creativity and innovation.
- Although some economies can support the education and risk, no culture has a monopoly on drive and desire.
- Although some economies are positioned to reach and share markets globally, no culture has a monopoly on the desire to profit and to serve its community.
Where business owners manage, entrepreneurs lead a process.
Entrepreneurs succeed as long as they proceed. Self-satisfaction and task-completion are their enemies. They launch, lead, and lift – often by sheer force of will power.
They teach entrepreneurship, but students do not always learn. You can study it and research models, but you won’t find evidence of entrepreneurial DNA.
In his Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Peter F. Drucker identified three elements necessary to the building of new organizations.
- having a clear market focus
- depth in financial foresight and best financial practices
- ability to assemble and develop a top management team
But, Peter’s typical direct clarity may dilute the concept. After all, entrepreneurship has not been patented and bottled for sale. Tens of thousands graduate every year from thousands of schools with majors in entrepreneurship, but few really get it.
Time governs managers, but entrepreneurs design and frame their time. They understand that time is a limited and pricey resource. They have a different sense of time. It’s not something you consume; rather, it offers space during which they can create value.
Meetings and lunch do not create value. Standard operating procedures, correspondence, and data reports do not create value. Phone calls, video conferences, and legal conferences do not create value.
- Entrepreneurs delegate or pocket these functions in controlled segments in favor of opening time for high value activities like listening, reading, and developing. They value meaningful time over productive time.
- Entrepreneurs know that time is opportunity, and it needs to be spent well. In addition to this meaningful time, they allocate time with room for others: customers, employees, and investors. This social time, aligned with meaningful time, uses feedback to create community and market.
- Entrepreneurs build futures with time well spent. Their passion works long hours, but if they schedule only two hours in an eight-hour day on meaningful and social time, they give 35% of their work to transformational time.
Managers monitor processes – entrepreneurs focus on outcomes. Entrepreneurs have a vision that defies words. The vision has the dimensions of a hologram they can see and almost grasp. But, the vision itself creates a disconnect with others for whom the vision is less vibrant and “real.”
This is where need enters. The disconnect is where the entrepreneur discovers dependence on others: the engineers, researchers, craftspeople, and others who deliver the product or service. They realize the entrepreneur’s vision, transformed into customer satisfaction. Unless their talent is managed and performance rewarded, both suffer. If the need for others is not felt, the vision moves farther away.
Managers organize, but entrepreneurs capitalize. Managers apply learned and past principles to expedite work processes. Entrepreneurs coerce the future, directing people to take a quantum leap into a future that is defining itself. Where managers build, entrepreneurs destroy anything in their way. They are disruptive and transformational, trans-disciplinary talents who lead from the front.
Managers are tasked with producing quality work on time. Entrepreneurs find themselves pushing for products that managers cannot produce at the moment and, then, giving them time and opportunity to do so.
According to a definition from BusinessDictionary.com, an entrepreneur is “Someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced.
An entrepreneur supplies risk capital as a risk taker, and monitors and controls the business activities. The entrepreneur is usually a sole proprietor, a partner, or the one who owns the majority of shares in an incorporated venture”.
You can conclude, that even a successful business owner is not an entrepreneur in this sense. So, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you must assume this exceptional transformational drive and achievement. For example, Mark Fields leads Ford Motors, but Elon Musk of Tesla Motors is the entrepreneur. John Donahoe runs eBay, but Jeff Bezos has done wonders at Amazon. Mark Zuckerberg has done a lot with Facebook, but look to at Sergey Bryn and Larry Page of Google to see the future.
Models are important to understanding entrepreneurship, and the United States holds no monopoly on entrepreneurial opportunity or success. It’s those models we want to explore in a series of biographies of lives lived in admirable and coveted ways.